An open letter to Sue

Apparently Sue Basko did not write the comments I thought she did. I apologize for wanting an apology myself.




Fueled by coffee and wine. Wife to a doc, mom to three boys (one with Autism), self-proclaimed tortoise wrangler. I knit, I get crafty, I tweet.


  1. says

    The thing that bothered me most. . . pre shit-storm. . . was that Sue B’s comments were actually more or less tame compared to the outright hostility of others. From complete denial that autism existed, to attributing autism to parents not giving enough attention to their kids. RIDICULOUS stuff. Sue B seemed practically rational. . . well. . . until the rest of the nonsense happened (now she appears nuttier than chinese chicken salad).

    The comments are really really sad. I don’t want Sue B.’s apology. I just wish she, and others like her, understood.

  2. says

    Very well written Emily! I can’t imagine what you go through on a daily basis. I do know that you are an amazing, wonderful, supportive mother to all of your children. Sometimes, people speak without thinking. Sue seemed to do this (although I haven’t read the article yet). She is entitled to her opinion, but I am a little taken back that she doesn’t feel that others are also entitled to theirs. She does owe the kids an apology and should spend a little time with a family to experience what they go through.

  3. says

    I’m always angered by ignorance and reading more details behind this only contributes. However, I have a pretty good sense that a woman like this would like to simply pretend that she’s right and everyone is just angry because she finally called a spade a spade.

    She won’t apologize and her apology wouldn’t be worth anything anyway.

  4. says

    Very well said Emily. Having an opinion is fine. Stating that opinion may even be fine (as long as it isn’t intended to be hurtful). But should Sue state her opinion, in a public forum no less, she should also expect to keep an open mind and hear differing points of view. Chastising and accusing people that are defending their children and offering to help you understand a situation or issue more fully is the ignorant and stupid part. I haven’t read the original and I don’t know that I will – I can already tell I’d get pissed off. Come on Sue – you are a trained attorney – doesn’t that mean realizing there are multiple points of view and each side has the right to be heard?

  5. says

    So well written and I couldn’t agree more. Why do people feel a need to put others down, particularly others who don’t necessarily have an easy life as it is? The word “retarded” should never, ever be used and I truly hope that this journalist issues an apology. She should be ashamed of herself.

    • says

      Hi Holly. I want to correct a misunderstanding. It wasn’t the journalist writing the LA Times series who posted the offensive comment, it was some entertainment lawyer living in Los Angeles.

      The LA Times autism series is…..OK so far,some solid bits explaining complicated issues well, and some problems with tone and language.

  6. says

    I listen to a midday radio show that interviewed the journalist that is writing this series. I believe his post today is on how to cope. His point on the show was that he was trying to get down to the reason why autism has spiked so high in California. I don’t know what Colorado is like, but in California, being diagnosed with something (right now it’s autism, a few years ago it was A.D.D., and before that, it was dyslexia), you get a lot of extra help. The discussion on the radio program was basically that a lot of kids seem to be falling into the spectrum that might not actually have autism, but tons of resources are being directed at them.

    Our state is in a serious financial crisis. People are hot about it. Ignorant people like Sue lashed out at innocent kids and concerned parents because they need someone to rant at about our financial situation. They might want to stop voting idiots in, but that’s never going to happen.

    I will tell you that the radio station that had the interview was deluged with angry parents that were shocked and insulted by the labels being used to describe the true needs that parents of autistic kids and the kids themselves needed. The journalist didn’t do a retraction, but more of an explanation of his direction. I can only imagine with the comments section over there looks like.

    • Emily says

      Thank you for giving more insight on this. Yes, there is a spike to dx’ing autism, but there are also tons of children that used to be thought of as stupid, slow, “retarded”, etc that should have been diagnosed with autism in years past. If you level it out, the “spike” probably isn’t as high as it seems.

      I definitely think people are entitle to their opinions and know she wasn’t necessarily attacking our kids or me specifically, but statements like that hurt and I’m tired of people thinking they can say what they want with no consequence just because she’s doing so behind a computer screen.

    • says

      Hi Sugar:

      I’ve been doing help for kids in California who struggle in school for almost 15 years.

      You wrote:

      “In California, being diagnosed with something (right now it’s autism, a few years ago it was A.D.D., and before that, it was dyslexia), you get a lot of extra help.”

      I disagree.

      Uhm. No. Dyslexia is still underdiagnosed and over overlooked. Students get very little in the way of extra help, and exactly $0 in terms of actual direct dollars.

      ADHD — well the situation is complicated, but “extra help” — not commensurate with needs.

      As far as autism, the lay public is still pretty naive. There seem to be three popular stereotypes: If you aren’t just like RainMan, or Temple Grandin, or silently rocking in the corner refusing eye contact, you don’t have autism.

      As more knowledgeable folk know, autism comes in a variety of flavors. At the Autistic Self Advocacy Network Symposium (ASAN ) last weekend, one autistic man made a pitch to reject the word “spectrum” and to use the phrase “autism constellation” as being more accurate.


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