A good portion of last week was spent searching for independent references for the parent advocacy or family movement because the good folks at Wikipedia ruled we didn't exist without them. This was a surreal experience. As nonsensical as: My art isn't art until some objective source says it is. My hardship isn't real unless someone in academia or the media writes about it.
Seven decades of fighting discrimination and developing community supports for our loved ones isn't legitimate unless verified by an outsider. Yikes! I understand prudence and fact checking but we are far from a passing fad. Most of the references we found were biased (in wiki terms) because they were 'self promoting' - that is they came from individuals, organizations and commentators who were part of the parent/family movement. So we went searching for independent references – from academics and the media. We found some but not as many as we had hoped.
However, we did find surprises such as the links between President John F. Kennedy, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Nobel Prize author Pearl S. Buck and the family movement. As well as many great stories about our origins in the late 40's and early 50's when spontaneously, around the world parents rejected prevailing medical, scientific and academic knowledge and decided the best place for their sons and daughters was to stay with the family and not be sent to an institution.
Our revised Wiki references some of these early families including President Kennedy who broke all social rules of the time by publicly declaring his sister Rose had a disability. Check out our revised, heavily referenced wiki submission on the parent/family movement. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Movement
You will see we are now classified as an orphan by the wiki folks. Will they accept our revisions or not? Stay tuned. In the meantime do send in your own stories, and references. We may still need further proof of our existence!