Last week, I prepared my third blog post for Autism Awareness Month. I wrote it, edited it, let it marinate and edited it again. But I never posted it. I wrote about my frustrations with the way the media handles autism. My position was that journalists – mostly fed by corporate and not-for-profit press releases – are not properly focused when reporting on the spectrum community. In part, I wrote: That’s where the negative perspective is born: a perfect marriage between two industries mostly concerned with their own survival. While those writing press releases and newspaper articles try to justify their own existence, the only people putting the child first are those living on the spectrum every day… You can’t avoid the message the media are selling, which has included the following suggestions: Vaccines cause autism No it’s the environment Kids aren’t being diagnosed early enough Early diagnosis isn’t enough Autism is a growing epidemic No it’s not, diagnosis
Showing posts from April, 2012
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Words are powerful. They hurt or heal. They tear down or build up. As part of Autism Awareness Month, I want to focus on ten words that are not about what you say, but about what you can do to make awareness personal and meaningful in the life of a child. If you know a child or teenager with Autism, you CAN do more than simply be aware. You can put into practice these ten words: 1. Wait. It may take longer than you like for someone with autism to answer a question, tie a shoe lace, complete a chore. By waiting patiently, you tell that child that they can trust you: that you will not rush them, make impatient noises or expect them to do what they cannot. 2. Listen. If someone with Autism has something to say, listen. Hang on every word. You can’t even imagine how difficult it is for her to process her thoughts into speech. By listening patiently, you make her efforts worthwhile. You encourage her to keep communicating. 3.
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Today is World Autism Awareness Day. It’s a special day. It’s like every other day. Paradox, contradictory truths, counterparts. There are many in my life. I bet you could say the same. Consider this: · Autism is something to worry about. Autism is something to celebrate. · People with autism often see the world in “black and white.” People with autism often see a spectrum of complexity in the world that we who are neuro-typical miss. · People on the spectrum need to be taught how to engage with society. Society needs to be taught how to engage with people on the spectrum. · My child with autism needs attention that my typical child does not. My typical child needs attention that my child with autism does not. · My son will always need me to advocate for him. My son needs me to back off so he can advocate for himself. I can’t help thinking of paradox when I consider autism. And as I celebrate World Autism Awareness today, for the