From Mike McCarron to the Autism Hub

27 Jan

What follows is the text of an open letter, Mike McCarron, grandpa of Katie McCarron wishes to pass on to Autism Hub members.

An open letter to members of the Autism Hub.

I wish to thank each of you for your words; both about Katie and about people with special needs in general. In a world where differences easily become reasons to devalue people, your words have always conveyed respect, dignity and love for those with special needs.

I know that each of you from time to time question if you should express yourself and wonder if you are making a difference. Your opinions and descriptions of your travels in life have made a big difference to one grandfather and I suspect to many other parents.

In the days following my granddaughter’s death I was very upset. As I read comments from autism “advocates”, I moved from upset into anger. Many wanted to twist what happened to fit into their own agendas. All of you know the dialogue. I began to feel that all reason and common decency had been beaten out of society and replaced with hysterical and illogical screaming. Every time I would read some “advocate” say they could understand how a person could kill a child with autism I would bristle and await their self serving monologue of martyrdom. I even viewed a film clip that turned my stomach but it was receiving wide acclaim.

Then I encountered a different film, one of a little girl bouncing on a trampoline and I met Kevin. Next I found Kristina and the rest of your sites followed at different times mostly by reference from one of these two. During the extremely long trial process of twenty months I have visited your sites, some almost daily. Sometimes I would comment under a pseudonym but most of the time I just read and drew strength from your thoughts and your love. My interest in your posts varied by topic but I was always gratified and reassured by the love you expressed for your children and the respect shown for all people with differences.

I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you in person, I have corresponded with some of you, and still others I know only through your words on the internet. But words are so vitally important. The words used by some are frightening, intended solely for shock value, but are very divisive in the long term. Every time an “advocate” classifies autism as a fate worse than death they not only display the weakness of their own mind, but they do a terrible disservice to every autistic person. Your words and posts, firmly grounded in respect and love, foster the understanding needed for social movement toward improvement.

I sincerely hope that parents new to the autism community encounter the hub and your sites long before visiting many others. I find it strange to recommend sites that value human dignity; every site should, but too many don’t. That is what makes your sites so valuable. It seems that autism falls prey to every kind of con artist, they need to be exposed. It also seems that anything can be said about people with autism if the person saying it claims it was done to create awareness, they need to be set straight. Please continue to lead by example, do it as time permits but do what you can and what you already do so very well.


Mike McCarron

17 Responses to “From Mike McCarron to the Autism Hub”

  1. Maddy January 27, 2008 at 19:50 #

    Thanks for passing that on Kev.
    Very best wishes to Mike and his family

  2. Beau January 27, 2008 at 20:21 #

    Mike McCarron is awesome. Thanks for posting this. Even though I’m new to the Hub and never posted anything about Katie, she was always on my mind. Just never found the right way to express my feelings.

  3. Ms. Clark January 27, 2008 at 20:23 #

    Thank you, Kev and thank you, Mike McCarron.

    I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    “I sincerely hope that parents new to the autism community encounter the hub and your sites long before visiting many others. I find it strange to recommend sites that value human dignity; every site should, but too many don’t. “

  4. kristina January 27, 2008 at 20:46 #

    Just thank you.

    It’s been an honor to be a part of the Autism Hub community and to have gotten to know Mike, Kev, Ms. Clark, and so many others who’ve taught me so much.

  5. mike stanton January 27, 2008 at 20:51 #

    Please convey my highest regards to Mike and my admiration for the dignity and restraint with which the whole family have conducted themselves throughout this terrible periof in their lives.

  6. Estee January 27, 2008 at 21:14 #

    Your words mean so much to many of us,

    Speaking for myself, I hope the daily ruminations of autism and our lives can put some light into an era when mumbo jumbo proliferates not only needless fear, but utter lies about autism and “recovery.”

  7. Club 166 January 27, 2008 at 21:18 #

    Thank you, Mr. McCarron. But if there is anyone that who has led by example, it is you and your family.

    Thank you for your valuable contributions and insight. Your family remains in our thoughts and prayers.


  8. isles January 27, 2008 at 21:54 #

    Katie is remembered in this community for being a precious and beloved little girl. This is an honor to her memory, and I hope that it is some comfort to the family.

  9. Shawn January 27, 2008 at 22:09 #

    Mike, as Joe/Club 166 said, you have indeed led by example. You’ve done so from the moment you connected to others across the country and the world at a time when others might have thought it easier to shut the world out. You’ve kept those connections alive over two years when others may have pulled away. By doing so you have influenced me in positive way. And to me, having a positive impact on each other is what this on-line ‘community’ is all about. Thanks.

    My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family.

  10. Niksmom January 27, 2008 at 23:15 #

    Mike, I can only echo the sentiments of so many other hub bloggers; you have indeed given us a great, and easy, example to follow. Your love and admiration for Katie has been tremendously inspiring and grounding. Thank you for allowing us to become a part of your family’s experience and for sharing the beauty of Katie with us as only you could.

  11. lastcrazyhorn January 28, 2008 at 00:11 #

    I’m with Beau on this one. Some subjects I don’t touch just because my mere words can’t begin to accurately express my feelings for them.

    Just wanted to say thanks for the good words about the community and let you know that we’re reading.

  12. Phil Schwarz January 28, 2008 at 02:17 #

    Mike, your and your family’s dignity and wisdom, and the joy and love that Katie brought forth, have been sources of strength for *us* in the Autism Hub community, and more widely in the autistic self-advocacy community.

    Deine Zauber binden wieder, was die Mode streng geteilt.

  13. S.L. January 28, 2008 at 03:49 #

    Thank you, Mr. McCarron. We will never forget your beautiful granddaughter. Katie’s sweet smile is forever in my mind, I thank you for sharing the pictures and telling us all about her. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. I will continue to speak out, and try my best to make this world a better, more accepting place for my child and all autistics. Your words are always so eloquent, and incredibly inspiring. Thank you.

  14. Sharon January 28, 2008 at 16:06 #

    Thank you so much Mike for your beautiful letter, and for sharing memories and photos of your precious granddaughter. Thanks for showing the world how a family can stand up for their autistic child and speak of her with only love. I can only wish your family as much peace and healing as possible after the terrible hardships you have endured.

  15. Joeymom January 29, 2008 at 01:54 #

    Thank you, sir. We think of Katie all the time- and of you.

  16. Stimey January 30, 2008 at 05:51 #

    I am one of those parents who, when new to the autism community, found the hub before I found other sites. I can’t even say how much that has shaped the way I look at my child. I am so grateful for the things that these folks write every day.

    Mr. McCarron, you and your family stay in my thoughts.


  1. A Letter From Mike McCarron - January 27, 2008

    […] McCarron, grandfather of Katie McCarron, has written an open letter to the Autism Hub. Here is an excerpt; go here to read the full text of letter. I wish to thank each of you for […]

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