This is hard to write. How do you write to someone who despises your very existence and yet has never met you? Someone who would rather risk the lives of their children, and other children, rather than run the risk of having a child like me. Someone with autism. My existence is, apparently, a living purgatory.
My doctoral education must be worthless, along with my career in the sciences. My relationship with my partner is not worth a jot, it seems, even though she is terribly hurt by the lie that “vaccines cause autism.” You see, she loves me dearly and embraces my differences as being an inherent part of me. So to be told that I have no worth—that the way I am is to be avoided at all costs—cuts her to the quick.
Perhaps I should have never learned to sing or paint. After all, my life must be so monstrous that I can’t possibly create things of beauty. That’s the message sent when you choose not to vaccinate your children because of the false idea that they somehow cause autism. That’s the message sent when you feel so passionately about it that you try to convince others not to vaccinate their children, petition your legislators to weaken or destroy immunization law, and protest against vaccines with your homemade signs.
Am I really that awful? I wonder how long your protests would be tolerated if instead of “vaccines cause autism” your slogan was “vaccines make you gay” or “vaccines make you black”?
Dr Nigel Munn is a professional scientist with a career spanning 20 years. His specialist field is environmental and sustainability governance. Whilst he has ASD, he has also found that with adjustments it can offer the employer or client huge benefits.