Friday, March 15, 2013

World Autism Awareness Day 2013 Should Include Some Autism Reality


April 2, 2013 will feature another World Autism Awareness Day around the world.  Many blue lights will shine, politicians will pose and take credit for helping advance the cause of autistic persons and their families, countless media reports will talk about the gifts of autism and television series and movies alike will feature gifted individuals and autism, once again, will be portrayed for public consumption as the domain of brilliant if socially quirky personalities.  Little if anything will be said about the vast majority of those with autistic disorder who are limited by intellectual disability, or about  those who suffer from  obsessive behaviors, serious sensory issues, epilepsy and seizure activity, self injurious behavior, or spontaneous aggression in the form of property and furniture damage or even reactive, spontaneous aggression towards parents and caregivers. Of course nothing whatsoever will be said about the ultimate realities facing autistic children and their families.  We all age, our children become adults and the parents who care for their children grow old, feeble and .... deceased. When these events occur our severely affected autistic children will live out their time in various types of institutional arrangements including psychiatric hospitals ... if they are among the fortunate with any place to live.   

Feel free to keep shining your blue lights and repeating the words autism awareness until you are ... blue in the face. But please try to actually raise autism awareness by talking about the serious challenges facing those with autism symptoms and disorders from which they will suffer for the rest of their lives. 

Shine your blue lights but start being realistic. If you really care about some one with autism and want to help the and make positive changes start by telling the world the truth about autism.  Create some reality based autism awareness.

3 comments:

Ram said...

Everyday should be treated as an awareness day for all disabling conditions. We should not just think about it for one day and then forget about it!

Ram
Social Security Disability Help

farmwifetwo said...

Sorry, can't be bothered to join the "day". Every day is autism day... period. Every day is awareness day... period. The hijacking that has gone on online for the last 7+yrs (I've been around for 7) causes more harm than good and I'm constantly dealing with it in the real world with people that have no idea.

Unfortunately, people that haven't a clue that join special interest groups do more harm than good.

Even the anethesiologist's student (the "teacher" and I stood aside and let the two of them interact) treated Russ with respect and even as I reworded his questions so Russ could answer them he never looked away from Russ. I was simply the "translator". I'm finding that happens more and more... it's not because of TPGTA or ASAN... it's because people like myself and yourself are out and about in the community with the children/adults and they are no longer hidden.

Roger Kulp said...

While I do agree with you,farmwifetwo,Harold is right.This is a big media/PR campaign to put a big happy face on autism,and promote neurodiversity.

You also make a point that I have many times before.While you do see a lot more of the more severely disabled autistic children and young adults,it's rare to see any over the age of thirty,who are not in group homes or "residential treatment centers".There has been a generational shift among parents,for the better,but I still find that people who ought to know better,still are not used to meeting an autistic in their 40s or 50s,with autism caused by any of the serious medical problems discovered since 2000 or so.