Autism advocate Linda Mastroianni – Opinion comment to the editor


Linda Mastroianni is founder of Speaking Autism Canada, an autism advocate, and mother to Emilio, who is on the Autistic Spectrum. Following her Huffington Post Blog Post regarding Susanne Atanus’ comments on immorality causing autism, Autism Daily Newscast asked her for her opinion on the politician and her interview with the Chicago Herald last week.

GOP candidate Rep. Susanne Atanus’ recent remarks in the Chicago Herald  have been causing an uproar on social media. Her comments are insanely absurd and insulting to autistic people and to their families and loved ones that support them.

Susanne Atanus is a prime example of what we should never allow into politics.  Her warped views are not shared by the community she is hoping to represent. Autistic people are already subjected to enough stigma generated by a population that doesn’t know anything autism.  They don’t need additional false statements made about them.

It is beyond my comprehension why there is always someone making negative comments about autism.  Have these people truly seen what autism is?  Have they seen the abilities of autistic people?

What if, by the sole purpose of allowing people to be who they are, without judgement for their differences, a new paradigm is created, and with that, the knowledge that something greater is lying beneath?

To assume incompetence in an autistic person before assuming competence is a grave injustice.  Autistic people have every right to be here, to contribute to society, to engage and converse with a community that we all share.

Autistic people were born for the same reason you and I were born; to learn our purpose in life and give back to humanity, to our community and to educate those of us who still have a lot to learn about autism.

Using a political platform to state hateful, inaccurate comments and using God’s wrath as the cause for autism, is being dangerously negligent.

I hope her political future is a short one.  I hope we never see another candidate like Susanne Atanus again.

Linda Mastroianni

Opinions expressed by Autism Daily Newscast Contributors are their own.

For more on Autism Daily Newscast’s coverage of this story, read here.

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Linda Mastroianni About Linda Mastroianni

Linda Mastroianni is founder of
She is a certified life coach providing consulting services on many issues such as special education, life skills, transition into the workplace, aging out of the school system, employment programs and much more. She is also a contributor for Huffington Post Canada.
You can reach her at or