On his July 14 program, Cincinnati radio talk show host Mike McConnell (of AM powerhouse WLW) addressed the topic of autistic kids. Among other things, McConnell opines that parents with autistic children should immediately remove misbehaving children from restaurants so the remaining patrons can enjoy their meal. ("Misbehavior" apparently means anything from mild crying on up.)
As McConnell put it: "it boils down to one word: 'manners'."
Find the podcast for Mike McConnell's 7/14 broadcast HERE and listen to the end of hour 2 and throughout hour 3. About 10 minutes into hour 3, this clearly ignorant host begins to pontificate about how we should not have our kids mainstreamed into public schools. Also, many callers have disturbing insights. One even claims to have friends with an autistic child but chooses not to go out with them because the child’s behavior upsets him.
Every single day, there's a story somewhere about one of our kids being tossed out of a business, or a school, or a church. It's like being punk-slapped over and over and over again. Well, I think we need to start making it clear that we're not going away, and that we have rights too. And we have long memories. We won't forget those who have treated our children well, or those who have hurt them or turned them away.
Please tell this dolt how you feel about his comments. E-mail him at email@example.com.
McConnell's boss at WLW is Program Director Darryl Parks. Tell him what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, WLW is owned by Clear Channel. The head of Communications/Media Relations is Lisa Dollinger, who can be reached at email@example.com.
Tom Lewis is a Cincinnati, OH editor and writer with three children,
one of whom is on the spectrum.