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January 2012
Letters from Readers Autism: Going beyond the Stigma

I am writing in response to autism awareness events [cricket tournament, dance drama] reported in Khabar in the past couple issues. Thanks to those articles and my watching of the movie Taare Zameen Par recently, I was encouraged to share my thoughts and experience. I am a mother of a son diagnosed with autism (Today I can say this without any hesitation and without tears in my eyes.)

Even though I am in a service profession, I was in denial for years about my son’s disability. Yes, I saw all the symptoms, but I justified them because I desperately wanted him to be “normal.” For years I thought that with my knowledge, skills, and love I could overcome anything and one day, he would be better than OK. Hence, I did not see the need to label him.

Well, today, he is better than OK, but I had to overcome my fear. The fear of labeling, community stigma, people’s judgmental views, and fear for his future prevented me from seeking help for him. I fought off the label of “autism” as much as I could.

But by preventing him from being labeled I was preventing him from receiving services that could benefit him. It took me seven years to accept the fact that we needed professional help, and two more years to digest the fact that he was diagnosed with autism.

Today, thanks to the care and services he is receiving, he has learned so many life skills that I once thought he would never learn. Yes, to me he is just like any 13-year-old, and no, I don’t love him any less. In fact, he is loved by so many more and because of the help available to him. He is even able to express, “I luv u too, ma” (priceless to me).

I am proud of my son for coming so far and of myself for going beyond stigma, criticism, and all the negativity that hovers over such disabilities in our culture.

I encourage all parents and caregivers to seek help instead of pretending everything is OK. Only good and healthy things can happen when we open our arms and embrace new information.


Hetal Patel
Georgia

 

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The Ahmadiyya Muslims’ response to terrorism


Thank you for your coverage of Muslims holding a blood drive to honor 9/11 victims (Khabar, November 2011).

The Ahmadiyya response is at once convincing and hits home the fact that the terrorists have chosen death, but our choice is life. Talk radio and other sources constantly criticize that Muslims don’t condemn terrorism. The Ahmadiyya response should not only give pause to such critics but also challenge the terrorists to take a second look at their solution to war and turn to enjoy the beauties of life.

Chaudhey M. Idris
Valdosta, Georgia

 

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Predictable Parochialism along Party Lines

I had never heard of Senator Williams or Governor Beshear of Kentucky, but reading your article (Editorial, “When Parochialisms Collide,” December 2011), I assumed the governor is a Democrat and the senator is a Republican. I wasn’t surprised to find that to be true upon digging it up online. Some stereotypes never die. It’s sad that people like David Williams call themselves Christian, yet fail to practice the essence of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Ron Jacob
Alpharetta, Georgia

 

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What’s on YOUR mind?

We welcome original, unpublished letters from our readers. You could either respond to a specific article in Khabar or write about issues relevant to our community. Letters may be edited for length and other considerations. Longer submissions by readers may be considered for the “My Turn” column.

Email: letters@khabar.com • Fax: (770) 234-6115.

Mail: Khabar, Inc. 3790 Holcomb Bridge Rd. Suite 101, Norcross, GA 30092.


Note: Views expressed in the Letters section do not necessarily represent those of the publication.


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