Monday, September 26, 2016

Positive Spin on Autism 3

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/01/21/autistic-adults-tsunami-services-column/79110016/

Now here comes a 3rd positive spin on autism, and the base link that I want readers to focus on is a link that doesn't have such a positive tone. Here's where I can turn this linked article into a positive spin.

I'm just going to be blunt when I say this. You don't need to read very far into this linked article to find out what the higher ups of any country in the world think of you, the autistic person. It's painfully obvious that this article ties this "proposed plan" around this core belief that people who are autistic simply can't take care of themselves and that they need crutches for every single facet of their lives.

When you read articles like this one it becomes very clear that it's very easy for media know-it-alls; i.e. journalists who spin news to fit a specific agenda, to put a negative spin around almost every issue that involves autistic people.

For the record, Autism Speaks, that one famous organization that is mentioned at the end of this linked article, isn't an organization to be trusted. I'm sad to say that I've had a not so good experience communicating with Autism Speaks. It involved me seeking help to find work with the help of Autism Speaks, and let me just say that this organization is not one to have the backs of autistic people like you and me. In fact these kinds of organizations don't exist to cater to our best interests. These organizations only exist to make a quick dollar and put autistic people down in the process.

"Wait! Where's the positive spin in all this?" This is where I make that turn.

I hold the belief that we autistic people are creative in varying ways. We are wired differently, after all. We think differently compared to other people, so with that in mind, I think it would be best for me to suggest that we put our rewired minds to the test. We need to challenge ourselves mentally every day to do something productive, no matter what it is. We need to focus on what we do best mentally and put that part of us on center stage while we mask our weaknesses as best we can.

I also believe that we shouldn't let politicians, media personnel, business people, etc. speak for us as if they understand what we go through every day. Simply put, many of these people don't get it. We shouldn't let these kinds of people put words in our mouths and create ideas that won't truly benefit us autistic people. Many of the ideas that come from the mentioned people above are created to benefit themselves, if anything.

The Autistic Community is real. It's a community that matters. It's a community that needs to stay in tune with what the current perception of autism is in the eyes of people who aren't autistic. It's a community that needs to speak for itself. Autism speaks, but not in the way that Autism Speaks sees it, if you know what I mean. Autism is NOT a disease that we need to cure because quite frankly it's incurable. That's a fact. The best thing for us to do is to deal with the cards we have been dealt, so to speak, and bring out the best parts of ourselves while we blaze a trail for us to live decent enough lives.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Positive Spin on Autism 2

http://www.npr.org/2016/07/15/486009997/from-father-to-father-a-few-words-of-wisdom-on-raising-kids-with-autism

Here's another positive spin on autism. Reading this article in the link above you will realize just hos widespread the issue of parents having to deal with autistic children is. A father is asked about how he deals with his son who has autism. The answers that the father gives in this article are telling for all the right reasons. It is going to be a work in progress no matter how you tackle this issue.

Though there are challenges, the father has remained loyal to his son and sticks by his son. A father's love for his son is something so invaluable that it should never be taken away.  Charles Jones handles autistic related issues the right way. He has every right to worry about his son Malik, and he will have to teach Malik that there are some things he has to pull away from doing, such as the hard flapping of hands when he gets excited. However, it's the reassurance from both the father and the son that everything is going to be okay that makes this article stand out.

Simply put we need more positive stories like this one. We can't be all "doom and gloom" and assume that every autistic person's story is going to have a sad ending. That's not how we are supposed to live our lives. We can't live in fear. We can't keep expecting the worst case scenario to keep playing out in our lives. The bad days that autistic people have in their lives probably won't be as bad as the bad days that those who take care of them will be. It can be stressful for these caretakers and it is stressful.

If you are a parent of a child who has autism, it is in the best interest of the entire family not to get discouraged. Will you have your challenges in dealing with autistic topics such as sensory issues? Yes, you will. However, in the single life that you live you have to be willing to adapt. As they always say, "Roll with the punches". If you're not willing to roll with the punches and adjust your lifestyle to accommodate your autistic child, then you will be doing the whole family an injustice.

Don't see your relationship with your autistic child as a "badge of shame" that you're forced to wear every day. There is no shame involved when it comes to having an autistic family member. It is easy to get discouraged today in a world where many, many, many (I put emphasis on that word intentionally) people want to see you fail and fall flat on your face. Let your relationship with an autistic family member be a positive experience, and also a learning experience for others to observe and hopefully replicate.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Positive Spin on Autism 1

http://ballparkdigest.com/2016/07/25/revolution-to-host-sensory-friendly-night/

Earlier in this baseball season we had the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League host an event that was really unique when it came to the ballpark experience. They ended up hosting something called "Sensory Friendly Night" where people who happened to be autistic could take in a baseball game without having to deal with the typical sensory issues that they would normally deal with in everyday life.

The autistic community has been catered to with events like this one, and it should be noted that events like this don't just bring awareness to people with autism. These events also make a good impression on those who aren't autistic. To be able to gain an understanding of what an autistic person goes through will be of great value, and people who need a better understanding of sensory issues will be given the opportunity to do so with these kinds of events.

If you notice in this press release (link above), the little things that get taken away to make autistic people feel more comfortable at a certain place make more of a difference than what people think. Sometimes all you need to do is scale back on some of your daily operations, such as fewer public address announcements, reduced volume and fewer motion graphics, and you will start seeing results from an audience that wants to invest in your product but can't because of sensory issues.

Some people tend to ask "How can I understand what an autistic person goes through?" Well, as someone who doesn't have sensory issues, you need to think on a scaled back level. You need to be willing to make some sacrifices that don't initially appear before you, but are considered to be very important by autistic people. When scaling back an experience you shouldn't make everything boring, because that's not what an autistic person wants to experience neither, but you need to be willing to take away enough things so that an autistic person won't feel super overwhelmed and that he or she can't function. Excitement is one thing, but practicality should also be considered. That's the gist of it.

This is the first of a string of positive spins on autism. Be on the look out for more positive spins.