Autism, Empathy, and The R Word

Yes! Diversity is what we are. And we all should succeed in living and understanding it. H does. I’m so happy-flappy again to read this. 😉

Thirty Days of Autism

I have to tell you that my son, H, loved watching a somewhat irritating internet show called Fred – which I think is rather much of a sensation with the early teen or pre-adolescent set. Well – a while back I asked him why he wasn’t watching it any more – and he said,  “Fred is dead – he used the R word – so I am not watching that show anymore.”

That was over 4 months ago… and he hasn’t gone back to it.

Last night we went to a movie and I was working hard to remind H that he needed to be quiet in the theatre. This is always a bit of a challenge – as he is so full of questions – and really I do want to encourage that kind of thinking and questioning and social interaction.

He usually does pretty well, but it still…

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“I’ve been autistic for 57 years. A person might think I’d be good at it by now… but I’m not!!”

Finnish autism foundation about ‘Vectors of autism’ (for english translation scroll down).

Autismisäätiö / Autism Foundation of Finland

(Scroll down for english text)

Harvoin näkee dokumentteja joiden aikana minua hymyilyttää näin paljon. Vectors of Autism on John Schafferin ohjaama dokumentti Laura Naglesta, 57-vuotiaasta autistisesta naisesta. ”Kuolisin ennemmin omana itsenäni kuin eläisin jonakuna toisena” , hän sanoo. Samanlaista aitoutta ja kykyä katsoa itseään sekä ympäröivää maailmaa lempeästi ja huumorilla toivoisin kaikille ihmisille. Yritän itsekin muistaa tämän ajatuksen seuraavalla kerralla kun oma autismini aiheuttaa haastavia tilanteita. Muutaman kerran vuodessa löydän itseni toivomasta etten olisi autismikirjon henkilö – yleensä sen jälkeen kun olen huomannut stimmaamiseni tai muun käytökseni loitontavan minua muista ihmisistä. Harvoin kyse on kuitenkaan siitä että aidosti käyttäytyisin huonosti, vaan siitä ettei käytökseni ole sellaista mitä pidetään normaalina. Aspergeriani enemmän päänvaivaa aiheuttaa muiden ihmisten suhtautuminen siihen.

”Pidän esiintymisestä, koska autismista puhutaan paljon, mutta suurimmaksi osaksi sellaisten ihmisten toimesta jotka eivät ole autistisia”. Tämä pitää paikkansa ympäri maailman. Autismikirjon aikuiset ovat nousseet ajamaan omia oikeuksiaan ja vähentämään neuroepätyypillisiin henkilöihin kohdistuvia…

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Sounding the Alarm… there is no acceptance here…

Thirty Days of Autism

Screen shot 2014-07-18 at 1.37.36 AMOn Tuesday, July 15, I was still editing the comment below for the Autism Speaks docutrauma, Sounding the Alarm: Battling the Autism Epidemic, which is currently on Netflix. My intention was to leave it in the reviews section on Netflix with a one star review… and, to be honest, I was considering doing so without actually watching the film. Messages of fear and negative stigma about my child and other family members and my friends are not high on my list of the media I am eager to consume.

“As a mother of an Autistic teen and a Special Education Teacher, I find this film offensive.

I daily see the impact of the negative stigma spread by Autism Speaks. AS tells my child, my students and their families that Autistic people are a burden, an epidemic, and a tragedy.

I encourage those who view this film to look deeper……

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Road Trip Activism… #BoycottAutismSpeaks

A strong young man with heart & brains, stands against stigma of ‘Autism Speaks’

Thirty Days of Autism

The other day H and I went on a road trip to Bellingham, WA. We talked long, as is our habit on lengthy drives, and had the chance to explore all sorts of topics. We also nabbed the chance to take a few photos in front of an Autism Speaks billboard.

We have driven by this billboard so many times – and each time I have cringed as we discuss the rhetoric promoted by Autism Speaks, because I wonder if the positive messages we give our son are enough to mitigate the constant barrage of negativity in the media.

But this time we stopped, and when we did so, I could see that H stood a little taller…

H and I will feel different from now on when we pass that sign because we shifted things to create a message of pride.  This action, though it may have been…

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