This is an article about the new character on Sesame Street, an autistic girl named Julia. The article is very interesting and points out how in the past there have not been not many characters on TV or in movies who are autistic. Even those who are generally have a superpowers, like the 'Blue Ranger' in the new 'Power Rangers' movie, or they portray the minority of autistic people who have some amazing talent to counteract their social awkwardness. There are also almost no children's shows that include autistic characters, Sesame Street is one of the first. The author of the article then comments that she thinks it is very good how Julia is just an average autistic girl that is just part of the 'Sesame Street Crew'. All the other characters just have to learn that she sees the world differently and might act a little differently. When Big Bird introduces himself, Julia is concentrating intently and does not look up. Then Big Bird tries to give her a high five, but Julia turns away. Big Bird feels dissed and thinks that Julia doesn't like him, he is sensitive and slightly put out. This is the reality of interacting with a person on the autism spectrum. It takes patience and understanding. Overall this new character in Sesame Street is a big step forward in normalising autism and creating a better awareness of it for children and adults.
A recent survey of 304 GPs show that 39% of them had not received any autism training. This shocking statistic brings up a whole list of problems about how unfair life can be for people with disabilities. When most people are sick they call the doctor and make an appointment. This is something we take for granted and may not be what happens for some people with autism. Some people on the autism spectrum do not speak or are not very good with communication. What are they supposed to do? An average doctor might not understand what an autistic person is complaining about when they are sick and might diagnose them wrongly. They need special training on how to deal with autism. As a society we need to learn how to alter our lives slightly to cater for the needs of everyone not just 'normal people'. This can relate to Christopher and how he wanted to take his A level maths the principal was reluctant to take special measures to allow him to do this. People who have disabilities already have a tough life and by slightly changing ours we can make a world of difference to theirs.
People on the autistic spectrum can take in more sounds at any given moment compared to non-autistic people. This might mean that they are more likely to have perfect pitch than a non-autistic person, but in reality a noisy environment can be hell for a person with autism. According to Anna Remington, Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Science, "an autistic person's senses just take in all the information possible and if there is too much it will be a sensory overload." This is why autistic people are often found holding their hands over their ears or face, they are trying to block out the overwhelming information. People who do not understand this will probably think that autistic people are weird because they act like this. This is not their fault but if they could just understand why they are acting like they are society would look at autistic people so much differently. This sensory overload can be seen with Christopher as well. On many occasions he crouches on the floor and starts groaning when things get to much for him. People like the police man do not understand what he is doing, only people like his father and his teachers understand and tolerate this behaviour. Society needs to start understanding and accepting this behaviour. The lives of autistic people and non-autistic people could be enriched greatly with just a little understanding.
This is a poem written my a mother who's child has autism. It is talking about how autism does not define the people who have it and it is not something that needs to be cured. It is rather something that makes people special and should be embraced. The world needs to learn that not everyone communicates in the same way and people need to try understand that everyone is different. Underneath all their layers and barriers of communication problems and learning disabilities people with autism are the exact same as us and want the exact same things as us. This poem can relate to the book as this is exactly how most characters like Mr Shears and the police view Christopher. There are only a few people who understand that he is different and needs a little more effort to understand. These people are his parents, Siobhan and Mrs Alexander. Additionally, the poem says, "I have discovered what is beneath all the layers, that everyone is so afraid." This can be interpreted to mean that people who do not understand disability and autism are probably just scared of it because they don't know what it is. This can be so easily fixed by teaching and informing people about disability and autism so they don't have to fear it.
This video is trying to inspire people with disabilities and show them that they can do anything they want. Society is causing people that are disabled to think that they can not achieve the things that they want, but we must try change this and encourage them to follow their dreams. All they have to do is set their mind to it! To emphasise this point the video points out how many famous people from the past and present actually had or have disabilities and we don't even know about it. For example Albert Einstein who is sometimes called 'the smartest man to ever live' was dyslexic and autistic and famous baseball player Jim Abbott was born with one hand. These well known examples give hope to people with disabilities that they can achieve anything they want. The video also begins with the shocking fact that in the last decade the amount of children with disabilities has risen by 200%. This fact makes the video more relevant to viewers and it will encourage them to actually think about the taboo towards disability. So many more people have disabilities these days and people need to start becoming more aware.
Nearly three quarters of people with disabilities have been victims of learning disability and autism hate crime. This article points out how society takes advantage of people that can't help themselves. There is an atrocious example about a man named Alex who's best friend exploited him financially because he did not know any better. This can relate to 'The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time' when Christopher's dad takes advantage of him by not telling about his mother's death. Christopher's father just assumed he would accept anything that he told him about his mother because he didn't think that he would lie to him. Now this is not a crime but it is still taking advantage of someone because they don't know any better. It’s time to tackle this problem head on and make sure people with disabilities or autism get the right support from police and the wider community to live full happy lives. Their lives are hard enough already, we don't need to make them tougher.
IMAGINE if you woke up one day and could suddenly play an instrument flawlessly. This article is talking about acquired savant syndrome - a person that acquired a mental disorder, like autism through a particular health disturbance or physical incident, like a stroke or severe head injury, who demonstrates “superhuman” abilities, typically in the fields of maths, music or art. The article is trying to relate autism to people that don't have it by shocking them with the information of how easily they could acquire acquired savant syndrome. The article gives the example of Jason Padgett. He was not a particularly academic student, until he suffered what doctors called a “profound concussion” after he was physically assaulted outside a karaoke bar. The day after he said, “When I used the sink and took a shower that morning, I saw lines emanating out perpendicularly from the flow of the water,” As his brain became overstimulated, Mr Padgett turned to mathematics. He found solace in drawing geometrical shapes, it was the only way to distract himself from his overstimulated mind. Listening to these stories gives people a little insight into what life is like for an autistic person and they can try to understand why autistic people act the way they do. This is very important in the modern world where everyone is different and everyone has their own way of communicating. People need to learn to tolerate and embrace their differences, which is done by understanding them. This article is just one way of brining a difference like autism down to earth to people who would never stop and think about what someone else is going through, to try and understand them.
This video is a TEDtalk by a 16 year old girl who has autism. She talks about how in todays society everyone is trying to be normal, but shouldn't. In today's society we compliment people for being amazing or extraordinary, yet we strive to be normal and fit in. This does not make sense, how can we be ordinary and extraordinary at the same time? Rosie then points out how having autism allows her to express her true self and be extraordinary. She explains how she has a very, very vivid imagination. She says, "It's very easy for me to let my mind loose because I don't try and fit myself into a tiny little box. That's one of the best things about being autistic. You don't have the urge to do that." People with autism are usually clumped all-together in one stereotype, but in reality every case of autism is different. Some people speak others don't, some people like maths others like art. It is the same with 'normal' people as well. Everyone is clumped into their group and they are too afraid to step out of it. If people would just be brave and express their true, amazing personality the world could be a much brighter, happier place for everyone.
This article is written by a mother of a child who has autism. It makes a very interesting point that not all people with autism have amazing skills, some of them just have disabilities, and that is ok. She says, "The standard person with autism does not have any savant skills, just as is in the case with us normal “normal” people. How many people in the general population are geniuses? For every one Picasso, there are millions of people for whom art began and ended in art class in school." Society needs to accept and embrace that most people with or without autism do not have phenomenal talents. Everyone has problems and quirks but everyone is also special in some way. We might not see everyone's uniqueness all the time but it is definitely there. This can relate to Christopher as from a glance people might think he is a weird and stupid but looking closer it can be seen that he is actually very smart and has a reason for everything he does. Now Christopher is actually very good at maths unlike most other people with autism, but we can't expect everyone with autism to act the same. Just like everyone else they are all different, no two people with autism have the exact same problems and quirks. We must not treat autism as one big bubble but rather the individuals as the people they are. If we continue to ignore those that are different and just brush them off as one big group we will miss out on some amazing people and experiences.