God's Love Shines down on us all

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

A letter of apology from a former classmate

Hello world. I hope you are well and life is good! First off, I want to thank everyone who responded to my earlier post about the whole vaccination debate. I agree with both sides and I'm sure there are many different ways that autism can happen to our youth. Those of you who responded to my requests and questions I appreciate your input very much. Those of you who were more snobby because my family shows genetic traits need to open your own eyes to the fact that not every case of autism has to come from vaccines and I'm still trying to learn if the vaccination shots could still cause genetic traits that could be passed on. But enough about that. I received a letter from an old school mate who wasn't very nice to me back in those days. His letter and my response follows. Enjoy!

Between You and Chris Kaiser

Chris Kaiser August 30 at 8:17pm
Hi Scott,I can't believe how long it has been and it is so good to see and hear from you. I have been reading your info and your blog posts and I have to say I am in awe.I have been a high school teacher for 11 years (strangely enough with Beegle and Wheaton in a different town from Leslie). I have had many autistic and aspergic students and have always felt compassion and worked extra to help them succeed in my classes.It breaks my heart to think of the pain you went through in high school and the complete lack of help you received. It also makes me ashamed of the way I treated you. I want you to know a few things: 1. I am truly sorry for being such an arrogant jackass in school and I hope my actions didn't cause you pain. 2. You are an amazing guy. I have children of my own but I can't imagine having to raise them on my own. You have my deep respect and awe. 3. You are extremely talented. You are a truly gifted writer and I hope that you continue to do so and that it brings you solace and peace. 4. You have beautiful children. From what I have seen you have been an excellent role model for them.Again, it is really great to see you and I wish you all the best. Please keep in touch,Chris

Scott Crawley August 30 at 10:15pm
Hi Chris. I would like to say it was good to hear from you, but I can't say that was my reaction when I first read your friendship request. I felt fear, anxiety, and a general worry along with many images of school days starting to play in my head. That happens everytime I see a name from someone from our school. I know that I was the most unpopular and disliked kid in our grade. I had a few friends in higher and lower grades but just couldn't seem to connect with anyone my own age. But I don't want you to feel bad about things that still haunt me. I have millions of bad memories from a life time of trying to fit in to this world. It's not anyones fault that I can't get over them. It's a side effect of my autism. Just because I can't every seem to get rid of all my painful memories, however, doesn't mean I also hold grudges. I hold you and anyone else on the planet forgiven and blameless for mistreating me in my life, especially my dad and brother. If I would've been diagnosed as a child I'm sure my life would've been different and less painful. This is why I tell the schools, phychs, and the kids mom that I have no problem with myself or my children being labeled "Aspergers or Autistic." They seem to think it will harm their lives to not be considered normal but they have lived as an autistic being labeled "Normal" like I was. They don't know what it's like to have coordination issues, social anxiety issues, phobia's, depression, etc and still try to fit in. I was in for a hard life as a male just being underweight which I still am. Add the Aspergers on top of that and I was doomed to live a life of being kicked around. My life is focused now on educating others on how serious autism is and hoping the world will be a better and more forgiving place for my children. My daughter is five and still doesn't speak sentences. She copies some words like a parrot but only communicates by pointing or leading me or others to what she wants. She still asks me by touching my back every single time she goes to the bathroom and then comes out with her clothes around her ankles and has to be told to pull them up. I have to be a mind reader when something is wrong with her. Add to that the fact that she's been a type one diabetic for about three years now, but can't tell me when her sugars low or high. Add to that my sons problems with school, I had to home school him for the last year and a half, and his constant meltdowns including when his sister is upset and crying and yes I'm living a very full and busy life even though I'm on disability for my bad knees that I was born with, and have already had four surgeries on, I'm sure you remember me on crutches in school, and I need a fifth surgery. My hips are bad now, liver problems, the list goes on and on but this little boy in a forty year old body is still kicking and going every day even though I live with suicidal thoughts. Wow was that a mouthful :) Back to your letter, I only have one really bad memory of you and that happened this one time, at band camp.....and there was no flute involved lol! See even with my life I can still make attempts at humor and I hope I made you laugh. But seriously at band camp my autistic mannerisms got on your nerves and you punched me in the stomach and I can still see it as if it happened yesterday. But that's my curse. Part of my autistic nature having a semi-photographic memory. It's too bad it's not any use to me other than to bring back all the bad memories. Well, I can flip through page after page rather quickly and it baffles some people. But I think my gift from god all along has been singing. I can still go into any karaoke bar and have the whole place cheering and strangers inviting me to sing at their wedding, etc. It's the only time I feel accepted and loved. Most of the time I still feel like a freak. But I am glad that you are doing good, and I'm glad that you wrote and apologized to me. It shows me you have grown up in your mind. I wish I could. Feel free to write me any time and if you want to use this or any of my post to educate people I don't have a problem with it. My life is an open book. I want people to learn and to help each other so we can make a better world for all the autistic. I don't care about the debates about the causes other than for curiosities sake, I just want all the autistic children to get all the help, love and support they need. If you can please become a follower of my blog. It gives me more encouragement to write. Share my writing with who ever you wish. Take care of yourself and your family Chris. God Bless!!


  1. Scott,
    Well let me just say that I believe that the vaccinations are a contributing factor to autism and until we and our government owns up to this and takes accountability there will be a great many more cases surfacing in our country.

    I have just read Dr. Wakefield's Testimony in reference to the studies conducted in the UK which determined that gastrointestinal viruses relating to Measles have been found present in children with autism but not in "normal" children. This being the case it is apparent that for whatever reason these children are susceptible to the virus and the virus is lingering in the intestinal tract of these children causing grave damage.

    This notwithstanding I still am thinking that the cause of the disease may have a genetic link of tolerance. Regardless, the government and our medical professionals need to have some concern as I do that the immunizations are causing harm. If there is a genetic link that makes the children vulnerable then we are responsible for furthering this disease by pursuing harmful treatment plans.

    Nonetheless, I think we need to look further and find the genetic link that could be responsible, while exercising precautions with the use of vaccinations.

  2. HI Scott,
    I understand why you felt anxiety when you got this letter. I received one from someone I thought was trying to make things right and despite the anxiety I gave her a chance. She had told me all about her life and naturally I thought she wanted to hear from me. After I wrote her back, catching her up on me as she did, I received another letter. This time she was right back to treating me the same way she did in high school. I feel so much sorrow for her and let her know that I would pray for her. BUT, I hope I never hear from her again.
    Glad to hear your contact from the past turned out much better.

  3. Scott,

    I didn't comment on your original article, but I don't believe the vaccines have anything to do with autism. I agree with you that there is a genetic link. My dad is undiagnosed Aspergers and he was born in 1936 way before we did the vaccines the way we do today. My brother was born in 1968 and had undiagnosed Aspergers and again before we did vaccines the way we do today. Looking back I think my dad's whole family has Aspergers. I think there are more cases of Aspergers and autism because we know more about it. My father and brother weren't counted as having Autism yet they do as we know today. I get really angry with Jenny McCarthy because of her all or nothing mentality. I'm wondering if her son Evan has something different than autism because of how quickly his differences seem to have been reversed. I don't think that you can reverse autism.

    As far as your daughter goes, my son didn't start to talk until he was 3. I can remember bringing him to the pediatrician when he was 2 and he was not able to speak in complete sentences. The Dr. told me if I was concerned that I could have a nurse come to the house to work with him. I ended putting him in daycare because I went back to work and then he started talking. Now he talks incessantly. When my younger son has a crying fit and he tries to tell me something, I tell him that I can't hear him when he is crying and speaking so high pitched, and he needs to calm down for me to be able to hear him which works. He is able to compose himself enough to explain something. My oldest son went through the pointing stage too but I always told him I didn't understand and he would have to use his words. It's tough. I'm still reading and wishing you well. I consider you a great friend!!

    Take Care,

  4. Scott,

    A few years back I wrote a series called "Autism in God's Economy", on Christ's pronouncement that "what you have done unto the least of these, you have done unto Me", and what that means for those with autism. The last two installments, "Those in Power over those with Autism" and "For All of Us Who Have Failed In Our Duty" touch on what has happened here.

    I encouraged people to think about they way they may have treated, "the wierd guy" in high school, find him, and make it right. When I read this today it was so encouraging to see someone do that.

    Props to Christ for growing, and I really hope that this experience brought some healing to you.

    And I hope next time you get a friend request from someone from high school it makes you a bit less anxious as it did before.