We saw a lot of kids and grown-ups dressed in orange today in our school, and I should not be a cynic who thinks wearing a t-shirt in a certain colour changes really not so much (there are some other actions of course..). So I won’t think that..(although a quasi-free dress day without the obligatory donation would help in an otherwise uniformed school, too..) I just think it’s a bit vague and does not go very deep. Who would be FOR bullies anyway?
There has been no ‘autism awareness day’ (acceptance/month, whatever) in the school so far, and I have been explicitly told talking about autism might lead to bullying (..?) which basically only made me start this blog in September last year.
So April is coming around and so far I don’t know what is planned, I don’t know what to think again, is it really just about donning a bit of blue and say “Autism!” for one day? What is your take on ‘awareness days’ vs actual action, information, education?
Are you doing something in April ?
This is really just a side note on parenting in general. We are currently in the longest holidays if the year, it’s hot (remember, Australia),and I have limited budget for outings and stuff.
6 intense weeks, not every day is bliss… Why lie about it..?
I mean “autism parent” or not, apart from all the bliss, this parenting gig can be hard work, frustrating and incredibly frustrating… It’s all part of it. 🙂
That’s also why it’s so great!
I am never sure what to think of those statements or thesis where divers great figures of history are post mortem diagnosed with autism, or any other condition only known and researched during the last century. I am sure you have seen these and other examples, too. I mean, I believe that there was autism all throughout history, and I am not saying that some descriptions by other people of the time do not sound like at least autistic traits in some of the personalities. But without knowing their exact circumstances and what else could have caused similar behaviours, a post mortem diagnosis can only be speculation. Yes, I guess it feels good to point out these people (..all men?) as examples how greatness has been achieved in spite of – or was it because of – their autism, but although my son has a clear preference for science, at the moment, our main goal is really a happy life of acceptance and fulfilment rather than putting the pressure of outstanding achievement or talent (in whatever) on my son.
Hello Everyone! A bit paralysed by a heatwave that is hitting Queensland right now (the ‘White Christmases’ of my childhood really quite a distant dream…) I wish everybody a good holiday season. Whatever you celebrate, and how, and with who and most importantly where – all our best wishes for you and those that you love! We will leave the ‘reflections on the year that was’ and ‘good resolutions for 2014’ to the news channels and social media outlets I think, but I do want to let you know that I feel really HONOURED that so many people are following my blog (80+ via wordpress! yee-haa!) , have commented (you know who you are !) and have shared posts (yesss!!) ! It’s a great encouragement and makes doing the comics even more fun! Like almost everything in my life, this blog had a bit of a rocky start (bitstrips suddenly exploding via their apps and my computer being somewhat ‘unwell’ lately) but your reactions make me think that I am onto something and I really feel like I have made a few new friends! So thank you for that, and keep in touch ! =)
I have got to say: I am really enjoying myself at home at the moment. We don’t have a great budget for presents (like, not at all..), but I have lots of ideas for Christmas craft. So many! I have a DIY advent calendar going for Nemo with little gifts and treats – and he makes a little collage for me everyday. I am gradually getting all my usual christmas deco up – and I made a few new things. Fun. We are not a religious family, and my little fact fiend has basically stopped believing in Santa the year after he first understood the concept.. But it’s all good. I believe that Christmas is what you make it. I have grown up with European Christmas Traditions and although it’s a bit odd to have Christmas in Summer now, I enjoying passing that on, in my own way. And I think Nemo likes it, too. =) So how are you and your family going ? – Are you doing “All the Christmas” ..?
I believe that one way to be an advocate for my son, is to talk about his autism in a normal, unexcited way, and to all kinds of people. Without pressing it on them, without embarrassing my son but, when it fits in the conversation, you know, mention it. No big deal. If people ask questions – great. If they don’t, ok – maybe next time. But then, there are those people who have it all figured out : With or without Nemo present, several people have now commented that Autism is “just a label”! So what these people are saying is that a century of research, observations and experiences are…just humbug?! So it’s just a fashion; and the assessing specialists have just given some sort of fad label ? 0_o If anything, I want my son to know that AUTISM IS REAL and AUTISM IS OK. Those people I spoke to, didn’t mean to actually insult him, or me or the gazillion of people concerned by or researching autism. But people are stupid and will say sh*t about autism, I guess..
I know that we are all supposed NOT to judge other people’s parenting.. BUT..there are those situations that just can’t leave you indifferent.No obvious harm done, but you know.. you just feel that they could be a little bit more supportive with their child? That LONGTERM, this could go badly.. You never know what goes on in other people’s lives, right, and I would not even go into it with total strangers.. But I think it may well be that the sometimes charmingly quirky, often dreamy but always a bit peculiar girl Nemo quite likes since prep has actually autism. No, not “LIKE Nemo”. Her OWN autism, obviously. So yes, I have her on my (very amateur and non autistic) “autism radar”. And haven’t many recent studies mentioned the fact that girls go easily non-detected? Her two siblings, as the mother doesn’t tire to point out, are very different.. Only her father ‘used to be an airhead like her’.. So what do you do? Talk to the mother about autism?
Autism is more and more present in the media. There are movies, tv series, documentaries of all kinds… And then there is the odd ‘autism snippet’ on news shows on commercial television. It seems they are all follow the same pattern: “this family wants you to see what their life with autism really looks like” – cue: screaming child wreaking havoc in the house. Parents talking about how hard it is. For them. Then, briefly some expert : “The causes of autism are not fully known…” (oh snap!) “..early intervention, ABA..” “high costs..” (critic of governments service schemes, ok) and THEN either “new hope for early detection” (in infants.. or before birth, usually VERY early studies..) OR – aaargh! – “the debate continues if autism is linked to [insert scientifically completely debunked autism myth here]” and maybe even room for some self-declared expert quax to deliver their spiel. Total time: usually less than 10 min. My personal learning experience : zero. Effect on the broad public : Autism is mysterious and totally scary.
I had prepared this comic for a while, but hesitated to post it. I think I try not to be too confrontational with real life people… Not only about autism, about anything. I kinda had my share of conflicts in life and know some are just not worth the effort. Like this one? See, my answer to her was “It’s ok. I understand“, something like that. But in reality, I was incredibly hurt. It wasn’t the first car we were passengers in. When the driver actually sets some rules from the start, it usually works. But mum and her kids were completely mute and not exactly welcoming to Nemo. It was a short ride but it WAS uncomfortable. She knew about his autism for long, also worked in education. She “totally” understood ?
This may or may not become a series also. Just like “sh*t people say about autism”, there are a few things parents of autistic kids do.. that simply are not right in my eyes. There may be a minor educational effect, very similar those of the ‘see this family suffer!’ stories we see on the media, but displaying their own child in distress on the internet for anyone to see, judge and possibly ridicule – I just don’t understand why parents do this?! I already see enough risks with the full exposure blogs that have photos, names and places of ANY child, let alone children with disabilities. There have been cases of abuse of imagery, nasty troll comments and so on. Once you put something on the internet, even if you delete it, copies are in circulation forever. THINK before you expose your child on the internet!