A Touch of Alyricism

Dedicated to the equally fascinating topics of autistic advocacy and the 'sisterly sophistries' of radical gender feminism. Other topics may occasionally crop up. Contactable at alyric@gmail.com

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Polemicist since Grade 8

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Autism Speaks - For Whom?

Autism Every Day, a 17 minute expose of autism was very recently showcased on the Autism Speaks website. In the short time available the producers nimbly jumped from one ‘autistic moment’ (borrowing a phrase from Phil Schwartz) to the next. There are tantrums aplenty replete with ear shattering screams, sleepless nights, diaper changing of (looked to be about a 3-4 year old), escapism into traffic etc. Interspersed with the footage was commentary from the parents and the occasional sibling on the trauma of sharing house with an autistic child, threatening sanity, marriage and the family’s financial viability.

Is this the real story of autism?

Can’t be. What’s missing is the real voice of autism, the voice of the autistic child. Don’t they get a say? Can we get an idea of what they might have to say about being a hybrid affliction/burden and the impact of this on their lives? Should we do a little extrapolation here and speculate on the trauma of living in a hostile environment, which would have to be what these autistic children are living in wouldn’t you say? If people think of your existence as a threat to their autonomy, integrity, relationships and finances, they aren’t going to like you very much, now are they, no matter what they say?

Maybe we should get the APA to have a quick look at this video. They’re the ones who cite the rates of child abuse of developmentally delayed children at 7 times the rate for normal children and 2-3 times the rate for children with other disabilities. Isn’t it the case that people abuse other people including children when they feel they have the right to?

1 Comments:

Blogger mcewen said...

I would hope that it isn't a question of what they feel that they have a 'right to' but more what they think that they can get away with, I hope.
Best wishes

3:39 PM  

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