Dear Mr. Rush Limbaugh,
Hello. My name is Kim and I am the very proud mother of a 25 year old with Aspergers’ Disorder.
I read a transcript of your show from May 27, 2014. A segment of your show concerns me. You were speaking about Aspergers’, but didn’t seem to really know much about it. As a social commentator on a national stage, I found that very discouraging.
Let me tell you a bit about Aspergers’. It is a pervasive (meaning effects multiple systems) developmental (meaning neurological development) disorder (meaning something has gone “wrong”). Being part of the Autism Spectrum means it not simply “similar to autism”, but it is, in fact, autism. Aspergers’ brings with it challenges and obstacles that are unique.
It is not “terrible” and it is not a “disease.” Approximately 1 in every 88 children is affected by Autism. It is a diagnosis that changes families and lives. Most of us are out here doing our best to raise good kids. We have the added task of dealing with gastro-intestinal disorders, sleep disorders, anxiety, sensory integration disorders,depression, IEPs (Individual Education Protocols), and other co-morbid conditions too numerous to name. We balance psychologist appointments, physician appointments, and home life. We love our kids: both the autistic and the neurotypical.
Now let me tell you a bit about my son. He is 25, very bright, very intelligent, and a very hard worker. He has held his current job 6 1/2 years. He reads voraciously and deeply. He can converse with anyone on a huge variety of topics. He is kind. He is thoughtful. He is compassionate. He is a truly good man.
We have always tried to teach him that he is valuable, capable, and worthy of respect. We have taught him that a person’s value is a God-given blessing. It doesn’t matter what a person can contribute to society. It only matters that they exist. We have taught him to look beyond externals.
We have fought against ignorance and prejudice. I believe that is why I am concerned about your portrayal and generalization of Aspergers’. Your comments were completely misinformed and hurtful. I realize that this is your “schtick,” but there are many of us out here in the real world fighting every day for our children. Your words remind me that the general population remains ignorant and uncaring.
Your words remind me that we have a long way to go before we can rest.
I’ll stay quietly in the background, continuing to fight the daily battles of autism. Continuing to help my son find his own level of independence. Continuing to remind him that even the “mighty man of the airwaves” can be wrong. Dead wrong.
While here in the background: I pray that you will issue a public apology. I’ll pray that God will have mercy upon you. I pray that you will find a hint of goodness and fairness in yourself that will allow you see how very wrong you are about this.
Kimberly M Hotz-Hedges