Autism Awareness Month

It's apparently that time of year when we're expected to increase awareness of autism (which I forgot until Apple posted a video). Yeah, because the millions spent by Autism Speaks, the proliferation of puzzle pieces and ribbons, the endless public service announcements on Internet radio feeds, the countless feel-good "news" stories and on and on haven't done enough to increase awareness.

People are aware. Nobody needs me to blog about awareness, since readers of this blog are pretty obviously aware of autism and atypical neurology, neurodiversity, or whatever you wish to call it.

At this moment, I'm taking a short break from editing a video about autism, the arts, and education. If we want to increase awareness of some aspects of autism, how about debating these random thoughts?

1) Autistics and those with autism-like traits should be the ones speaking, writing, illustrating, signing, painting, composing, et cetera, about what autism means. Allies should be promoting our voices, not speaking for us.

2) Awareness does not demand, or require in any manner, seeking a cure for neurodiversity. Many autistics embrace their autistic strengths and differences. My own statements that I would be fine with "curing" my headaches, seizures, and other neurological differences are individual and should never be taken as a voice for all autistics.

3) Celebrating autism isn't something to do, anymore than celebrating blue eyes. Most of us want to be treated with respects, not as objects proving how much others empathize with difference. Don't celebrate us, include us.

4) Autistics range from asexual to hypersexual. Stop assuming we're all robots or future sex offenders. We're simply people, with a range of gender, sexuality, and relationship preferences. I assume many of these traits are as hard-wired as our other traits.

5) Autistics feel. I'm not sure if it is the injury I had at birth, or simply my nature as a writer and artist, but I certainly feel emotions when I see sad events, sad stories, and so on. I feel so much empathy watching movies and television shows it can be overwhelming. I still cry watching Iron Giant and that's a cartoon. Don't even ask me to watch Bambi without getting upset. The news can be overwhelming. We feel. And that intensity of emotion is why so many of us avoid conflicts.

There you go. Some thoughts. Feel free to look up my past posts on autism awareness. Basically, I just want to do my school work, teach, and create my various forms of art.

Comments

  1. I know this is a year old but reading this really just made something click. My son does the same thing. Certain tv shows can cause him to cry and he repeats it's ok (Charter name) until I can calm him and change the channel. He is only 4. I've always wondered if it was anxiety due to the plot or maybe the sound. Overwhelming is the perfect word I think. I never thought of it like that.

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