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This past week was a bad week for both vaccines and autistics.
Polio has once again broken out in Pakistan.
We were so close. A few more years, and polio would have gone the way of smallpox and rinderpest. Remember that ad campaign? “We are this close to ending polio.” Well, we were.
Permanently eradicating a disease is very difficult. Any failure can return us to a far worse point. It’s like running towards a goal on a walkway that’s moving in the opposite direction. Any stumble can set you back a long way. And this is a huge stumble.
A couple has been charged in the death of their autistic son. But what makes it really horrifying is the way they allegedy murdered him.
By starving him to death.
It is hard to express just how repulsed I am by this. To kill somebody by denying him or her food demands a monstrous level of premeditation. It can take days, even weeks, to die of hunger. All the while, the would be murderers have the opportunity to reconsider their decision but refuse to.
If the charges turn out to be true (and I really hope they don’t), a life sentence without the possibility of parole is the only fitting punishment.
One last thing: I have joined Twitter. I don’t tweet every day, but if you want to follow me, my Twitter handle is @AfricJungle.
Two weeks ago, Isabella “Issy” Stapleton’s mother pled guilty to a charge of first degree child abuse to avoid a charge of attempted murder. Kelli Stapleton drove Issy to a secluded area in her van, drugged her, then lit two charcoal fires inside the van to try and suffocate the both of them. They survived. Matt has more details.
Earlier this week, a Singaporean woman was charged with murder after her autistic son fell to his death from their high-rise apartment. I never thought I’d say this, but I really wish that the death turns out to be a tragic accident.
In the Stapleton’s case, people have tried to exonerate Kelli, pointing out how difficult it is to raise a child with autism. To me, this is unacceptable. What these people are saying is that it is understandable for parents to kill their autistic children. It’s not. It sends the message that our lives are worth less because we are not neurotypical.
In my last post, I put forward the hashtag #ALifeWorthLiving.
We need this hashtag more than ever.
In less than 24 hours, I will be attending the wedding of a cousin of mine. Yesterday, I tried to make banana bread. The result was unsuccessful, but still quite delicious. I’ve made notes about what I did wrong, and I’m going to try again.
I’m a member of the “Boycott Autism Speaks” group on Facebook. If you want to know why autistics would boycott an organisation that supposedly fights for them, it’s because Autism Speaks narrative is one of “autistics’ lives are unmitigated tragedy”.
So this is my little response. I’m going to try put it on a poster and take a picture.
Autism Speaks will tell you that my life is a tragedy.
- I have a driver’s license and a car.
- I live independently and can cook and clean.
- I’ve been working as a Software Test Analyst for over ten years now.
- I go to the Cinema regularly.
- I work out at gym often.
- I surf the internet and blog.
My life is not a tragedy.
I donated blood today.
My previous four weeks at work would not be out of place in a Kafka novel. As you know from my previous post, I first left a site then was sent back.
A few days after arriving back, my network access was disabled. It is a routine security precaution to do this when someone leaves. Unfortunately, the message that I was coming back slipped through the cracks. Alarmingly, my access still hasn’t been restored, almost four whole weeks later.
Here comes the Kafkaesque part. The person whose job it is to fix access was on leave (s/he’s back now) so nothing could be done. You’d think that in a huge organisation (the client site is a bank) there would be things like proper delegation and control so that if the person with relevant authority is unavailable there is someone with the necessary authority who can handle it. But no.
It would appear that whenever an organisation exceeds a certain size, it becomes a bureaucracy. Plenty of rules and regulations that, instead of helping, slow things down.
I’ve been able to access the system. I have an alternate user account that gives me restricted access (system under test, no email, intranet but no internet). One thing the client demands is that we log our times on its internal system. Without access, I can’t log time. This has me worried.
Well, the responsible official is back, so by Monday, things should be sorted. I’m hopeful, but not completely.
In my previous post, I mentioned that I was leaving the client where I’d been assigned for over four years, and going to a new site. Well, that was the initial plan anyway. Things have changed and I’m back where I was.
On Monday, I reported to my new site. I was told I would be taking over and that this week would be handover with me officially starting next week. The person I was taking over from would show me what to do. By Wednesday, things were going along swimmingly. Then, my head office manager showed up and told me that a woman on my old client site was going on maternity leave. Since I’d been there for over four years and knew both the client’s processes and the system under test, I was picked to replace her. I was instructed to go back on Thursday. This was a huge, and in some ways unpleasant, surprise.
My manager on the new site was unhappy, and I totally understand. Handover had been going very well, and now handover has to start anew with someone else. It had taken me over two days to get the hang of things, and the new person would have only two days to learn.
The people at my old site were surprised and pleased to see me back. It’s good to be back, but at the same time I’m worried about the site I was pulled off from.
As you probably know if you’re a regular reader of my blog, I test software for a living. Today I received a not entirely pleasant surprise. My contract at my current site ended today. Monday I’m going to a new site.
I can’t entirely blame my employer for springing this on me. On Tuesday I came down with the flu, and I was booked off until today. I would probably have been notified earlier had I not been off sick. It’s still a bit of a shock though.
I kind of like the site I’ve just left. I was there for over four years in total – the longest I’ve been at any client. The next longest period I’ve spent at a client was two years and three months. I’ve been testing software for just over ten years, and those two sites make up more than half my work experience.
There is a saying that a change is as good as a holiday. I’m about to find out if that’s true.