Dear Toronto, Canadian Councillor Doug Ford:
It has come to my attention that in regard to the Griffin Centre, a home for autistic teens in your district, you were quoted as saying, “My heart goes out to kids with autism. But no one told me they’d be leaving the house.” Should this be a true testimony of your feelings toward autistic individuals, I offer this quote in return, “I wish you, Mr. Ford, never left your house.”
I understand you feel your thoughts about autistic individuals have been misrepresented. My autistic peers and I know full well what it feels like to be misrepresented. When someone is described as having autism, a myriad of thoughts swirl in the minds of a populace who are often unclear as to what autism is and isn’t. Luckily, you’ve a great opportunity to learn what autism truly is. Beginning this October 22 – 24, Toronto’s Geneva Centre for Autism will be hosting a convention led by a world class guest list of respected speakers who will fully define autism during their presentations. I will be speaking with one of those brilliant speakers, Dr. Tony Attwood, on the 22. I invite you to come to the Geneva Centre and learn all you can about autism. I guarantee if you do, if you really learn about autism, you will never again even hint at the notion people with autism should be kept behind closed doors, discarded and feared.
Liane Holliday-Willey, EdD
Autism Advocate, Author and Consultant