An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

I Will Stand

Today has been a long and hard day for DogForDavid which of course means it has been a long and hard day for me and my family.  After a long line of insults and figurative “slaps to the face” to DogForDavid and the Autism community from the local art gallery that was supposed to be displaying the art show, I came in today to find that the show had been taken down a day early without permission to make room for another one.  Upon confronting the issue with the one in charge, I faced more insults and deeply trenched attitude, but at least this time I had a friend standing right there with me to both witness them as well as encourage me and keep me strong through it all.

Today also marked the point that it came time for me to make an official and public stand against the art gallery for their behavior and their attitude towards (and treatment of) the local Autism community.  For someone that struggles with fear when faced with major conflicts and agressive people (whether it be verbally as in this case, or in other ways like emotionally, physically, etc) this was an incredibly challenging and draining day.

Times like this make me want to run and hide quicker than someone can say my name, but I stayed.  I stayed because it mattered this time.  I stayed because this didn’t just effect me.  I stayed because I had people counting on me from the Autism community.  I stayed for my two sons.  I stayed for their future and the future of others like them in this community/town.  I stayed because it was the right thing to do.

I stayed and I fought back.  And I did it with trembling knees, but with strong heart.  And all I can hope now is that I made a difference and that someway, somehow, I have helped break through even just a bit more so that the voices of so many can get that much closer to being heard like they should.

I also make a promise to my community and to all of you.  No matter how hard it gets, or how much I may be forced to stand and fight, I will keep pushing forward until I have done all that I possibly can to help make life better for those living with Autism and for their families.  The Wichita community has gotten away with shunning and hiding those of us in the Autism community for far too long.  Even if at some point I have to stand alone, I promise I will continue to stand.



  1. Well done. Brave isn’t brave unless you are afraid! Well done.

  2. Very brave of you! Keep strong! We had a rude and insensitive (to Bethany) experience by the person in charge at The Art Museum in Utica NY today. I’ll be writing some letters!

  3. caffieneplease

    You go girl!!!

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