I had the great pleasure of meeting Dr. Eric London, and his wife Karen, in 1998. My husband, my mother, Caitlin, Deirdre, Erin, baby Meaghan and myself traveled to New Orleans, LA to attend a NAAR gala. I had called Karen, on the phone, prior to the engagement to tell her how excited I was that NAAR was started and to tell her a bit about my family. You see, we were in the process of having Erin diagnosed at the age of 18 months. We had 2 kids with Autism, which was unheard of at the time. The NAAR benefit was held in New Orleans...one of my favorite cities. The gala was held at Ann Rice's mansion. John Goodman was to MC...I love him from Roseanne. Delta Burke, from my favorite show, Designing Women, was to attend also. In attendance, was also to be Joe Montegna (who has a child with Autism).... We arrived at this black tie affair...my husband in his rented tux..and me, in an evening gown and a borrowed mink coat. We felt like royalty.
The evening started and we were told that John Goodman, Delta Burke and Joe Montegna were all stuck on location somewhere, and would not be attending. Dr. London took over as MC....and you know what..?? We did not miss Mr. Goodman AT ALL!!
Dr. London grabbed the microphone and began to tell a story. The story was about their child who was diagnosed with autism. Tears began to fill his eyes...and the whole audience listened and cried with Dr. London. He told about his passion in finding ways to help his child. He told about his feelings and shared his soul....that was incredibly brave of him.... My husband looked at me...because I tend to well up when I see people cry (especially men) and asked if I was okay... I was !!! I was, because I was in the presence of a man who was not going to give up finding ways to help his son and not give in to the pressures of those who are wrong.
This week, it was announced that Dr. London was resigning from Autism Speaks for reasons that are his....not the cronies at Autism Speaks (yes, poor little Katie Wright is bitching and moaning about this), or the martyrs who feel it is okay to demean and belittle other parents over at the AS forum..... The comments on the AS forum are as low as you can go....they do not know Dr. London. They judge him because he does not believe the way they do...WAY BEYOND PATHETIC !! Dr. London owes no explanation to you...but, I will say...he has done it with dignity... something I think the people over at AS need to acquire.
Dr. London...I wish you and your lovely family all of the best. I hope you can continue your work in Autism with your new endeavor.... My family and myself thank you for that !!!