Repeat after me: We are ALL different.

1oneperson

As I said before, I do not believe in this one “autism community”. It’s ok for me, though, there are different groups. What is not ok is that debates escalate online in flaming wars and attacks get way too personal for me to want to be involved in any discussions or ask even questions to understand what is actually going on?! I understand partly how anger and trauma can make people get more than just ‘passionate’ over whatever is discussed, but there should be no “enemies” in this debate – no one ‘in the trenches’. We are not fighting a war, are we!? We are living life with autism, all of us, in all our differences. Different lives.

Link to one parent blog from New Zealand on the subject (a blog I really recommend), another opinion from another parent here (US, a bigger blog, I believe). Also here an Update of the comment policies on “The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism” following some escalated comment threads on their facebook page.
I am really happy to know that I have autistic adults reading and liking my comics and words here and I am glad to say I read some excellent, down to earth and thoughtful Australian (ASD) parenting blogs too, on a regular basis (blogroll soon) So Peace, people, FFS! It’s kinda important. Happy New Year, also.

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18 thoughts on “Repeat after me: We are ALL different.

  1. Spell It Aut

    PS All communities have these intense conflicts …because… differences! I’m a rabbit rescuer, and you wouldn’t believe how vicious bunny-lovers can be toward each other. Bunny lovers for godssake! Of course, we have wonderful friendships, too… I am not involved in the Deaf Community. From what I understand, similar rifts exist there, too.

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    1. suburp Post author

      That is really interesting, and probably true. I am not a ‘collective’ kind of person and the whole infighting just overwhelms me at time.
      Probably, sadly, just human nature though…

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  2. Spell It Aut

    You may have already seen this post from Chavisory… http://chavisory.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/emotional-discussions/
    From what I’ve observed, people often are afraid of other people’s strong emotions, and feel personally attacked when there was actually no personal attack. Then they launch their own attack. That’s when things get ugly. And I’ve been appalled by the hateful, vulgar, mocking insults I’ve seen directed at Autistic people by a certain group of mom-bloggers. They are a particularly vicious lot and this is not the first time I’ve seen them go after Autistic people (then high-five each other about how clever and kind they are). I think we parents need to set aside our egos as much as is possible and listen to the content of what Autistic people are trying to tell us, even if it feels uncomfortable at times. I definitely feel there is a place for anger in the discussion. What I find confusing, though, is that some bloggers whom I really like and respect are friends with bloggers whom I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. It would be interesting to see a chart of how all the different friends and enemies in the autism blogosphere are actually connected to each other…

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    1. suburp Post author

      I just answered to that post about the historical necessity of emotion to “infect” the other party – who must be ready to accept it though. 🙂 this comic isn’t meant for those who are trenched in their positions and I am certainly “on the side” of the autistic self-advocates who have all ongoing reason to be upset and the right to be angry, too. Sometimes, I just think people forget our different circumstances though. The blogs I read here in Oceania are very different from what happens currently online in the States (where are you?) .
      But I agree that sometimes I am dumbfolded by some positions of parent bloggers on the actual issues, on form or tone questions when I had just settled for liking their attitude to autism and felt a little bit of ‘community’ by being in their readership. It’s confusing, sad and so counterproductive.

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      1. Spell It Aut

        What tangled (inter)webs we weave. If I hadn’t seen the hateful things some of the hateful mom-bloggers had written on Autistic people’s blogs, and had only read their posts about their kids, I think I might have actually liked/agreed with many of their ideas and attitudes about autism. People are complicated and contradictory. I’m in the US. I really like Bec at Snagglebox, I think she is in Australia. And she is friends with some of the mean mommy bloggers…

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        1. suburp Post author

          Yeah, I really don’t know who’s standing where in this whole mess. It’s sad.
          I have lost faith in the building of a big autism community. In the end, you can only try associate with those that at least think similar than you and kinda do your thing as best as you can.. Will check out your blog tonight 🙂

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  3. alexforshaw

    100% yes for accepting differences, and for setting them aside when they are not relevant to a shared goal! Happy New Year! 😀

    (I had the same reaction as autisticook to “We are all different”…)

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    1. suburp Post author

      Well, after one night’s sleep I must admit that it is the same phrase that – in its insufficiency in replacement for educating about autism – hasn’t exactly made my son’s last year in school easier…
      But I guess I felt people need to remember it still when we somehow meet on the internet, all these different people from different places, just because at some point, we all googled ‘autism’.
      What I see at the moment, scares me for when my son will find his way into open forums by himself.
      Some of the attitudes and messages are extremely toxic and I am not looking forward to him having to deal with all of that..

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      1. autisticook

        Oh ehm uhm err….. I meant scripting as in echolalia. I was trying to make a joke, sort of. It’s true though: every time someone says “We’re all different”, I start repeating this bit of dialogue from Life of Brian to myself.

        . And then I collapse with the giggles.

        I like how you said “just because at some point, we all googled autism”. That’s so true. It’s a really strange unifying factor to have.

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        1. suburp Post author

          Lol, yeah, didn’t think of that scene – and I think our school doesn’t either with their (empty) mantra…
          I often wonder if other conditions/disabilities have (had) as much growing pain with definitions, intercommunication and over approaches/therapies. Obviously autism is different than down syndrome or say, deafness bit maybe those ‘communities’ have gone through similar phases (I really can only think of lip reading vs sign language but you know, there is a start) and we could learn from it?
          I mean in the end, I am not thinking we can ever be a fully harmonious group (because DIFFERENCES!) But there is so much work to do for acceptance in the non autistic society still, it’s just all such a waste of energy…>:(

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  4. PK

    I think I know of the post of which you speak, and I went a few places and asked questions. I also have an idea that I want to propose to the group whose practice is under fire, to see if they can change the identifier from the INSIDE, to reflect what their child-centered practice is… don’t know if it’ll work, but it might help 🙂 And if THEY really mean how they say they feel, THEY are the only ones who can do it.

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    1. suburp Post author

      You know, I do not actually think of one particular post, although I have read a few in the last days, the first of this fresh year, that, well, illustrated well what has been going on, to my knowledge, for quite a while but increasingly so in the last year. Or I have just read more about it, or felt more involved…I don’t know. It’s been ugly, and completely counterproductive.. Good on you to try to help this situation, too. We must all accept differences, we might just find we want the same things. 🙂

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