This video challenged my preconceived ideas of what autistic people are/should be like. The video revolved around autistic people picking out sayings or phrases that people in society often say to autistic people, and commenting on them. First off, as sad as it is to say, I was surprised by the appearance of these autistic people. When you originally think of someone who is autistic you think of someone whose head looks like it’s in another world, however, these people looked just like everyone else, and it was therefore suiting that the first phrase they mentioned was “you don’t look autistic,” in which they reiterated that autism is such a huge spectrum. Throughout a few other types of questions they further debunked the stereotype of autistic people being all “Sheldon cooper like,” genius type people. Interestingly, they also pointed out that autistic people are almost always portrayed as children and men, and practically never women. However, the phrase, and response to it, that really surprised me was “everyone is a little autistic.” I have repeated this phrase multiple times before and their response of utter disgust was really astounding. One of the people in the video explained this response by saying that most people have an extra sense, being the ability to understand everyone else’s thought processes, and this extra sense, is what autistic people lack. Therefore, if you are blessed with this sense, you shouldn’t try find reasons to say that you are ‘a little autistic,’ because you are not. Ultimately, this video was really eye opening for a number of reasons, 1) being that it exposed me to a greater variety of autistic people and reminded me not to group all people on the spectrum into one category, as each person is different. And 2) it also reminded me, that despite lots of research, I still don’t really understand autism completely. Another interesting analogy that one woman gave in understanding what autism, towards the end, is to think of it like you’re in another country where everyone is speaking a different language to you, and despite numerous books and texts, you still can’t understand them.
This video is dis-similar from other videos I have explored that link with disabilities. The lady in this video, Stella Young, lives her life in a wheelchair and describes how being a teenager she was awarded an award for being an inspirational citizen. She recounts that if her disability was taken out of the picture there is nothing truly remarkable about her, and therefore her award was really unnecessary. She continues to discuss that today there is an unconscious perception about disabled people, that they have a limited ability to achieve and we therefore congratulate and celebrate really minute achievements such as getting out of bed and remembering their names, when they are normally capable of so much more. She goes further and says that publishing images and videos of disabled people running or swimming or doing maths is something called 'inspiration porn.' Young says that this 'inspiration porn' as by doing this, we objectify disabled for the sake of non-disabled people. We publish these images or videos so that we can think how much luckier we are than these people for the sake of merely ourselves. Originally, hearing her perspective I thought that it was almost insensitive to those people with disabilities who really do have these limitations. Subsequently, I was almost shocked at myself for believing this. Just because someone suffers from a disability or has special needs does not cause them to segregate to a separate category. Another smaller aspect of her talk continued to cause me to think, being that she was recounting a story of her being a classroom teacher. I suddenly realized that this was probably the first time that I had thought of a disabled person really contributing society, and subsequent to this, I was shocked with myself again. Young raised the issue that a huge problem is how disabled people aren't normalized in society, and the very thing that is fueling this segregation is our attempt at sympathy, being our 'inspiration porn.' Whilst some, if not many, disabled people are inspirations due to the challenges they overcome, by us categorizing them by this specifically we continue to deepen the gap between us and them and continue to fuel ignorance and discrimination, and that the key to a better understanding is exposure.
This video was really interesting as it brought to mind the classic idea that you can’t possibly understand someone until you have walked in his/her shoes. This advertisement for autism awareness is shot in the perspective of a boy who is autistic and shows the struggles of the almost normal scenario of going to the shops. Unlike most people’s shopping experiences, this one is very different. This is because in this video certain sounds, smells or colours that our brain tends to simply filter out and insist are irrelevant, are exemplified. Examples of this include perfume being sprayed and a coin dropping from a cash register. This initially made me think of one of my favorite chapters of the novel, being the one that Christopher begins with the line “I see everything.” In this chapter he discusses that when he looks at a farm view, as opposed to us, who simply will just see cows in a field, he sees 9 cows, 4 of which are brown and 5 of which or black, with 13 buildings in the background and so on. This, in conjunction with the video, got me thinking that it is simply impossible to fully understand someone, especially if they suffer from autism, because our brains work differently, and that’s ok. However, an important point is that lack of understanding does not parallel to ignorance, the difference is that we must understand that we don’t understand and use this understanding of our lack of understanding to accept people who are different for who they are. We must still strive to get a more complete and accurate view of reasoning behind their actions however. It is not our place to judge and comment on others seemingly peculiar behaviors. Ultimately, the way to better understand people with autism, even if there will never be a complete understanding, is mutual respect for.
I thought that this was really incredible. A major problem in society today is the non-existent representation of those with autism in the media. By not showcasing people with autism on TV shows or in books or movies it creates a large barrier between us and them, however, by introducing an autistic character into the classic children's show 'Sesame Street,' it is a serious step into the future. The article discussed how recently they added a character named Julia to the show who is autistic. Julia exhibited fairly common autistic traits such as being very touch sensitive and not liking certain textures touching her skin, she also didn’t answer questions straight away, which made it seem as if she was ignoring people. The author of this article expressed his utter happiness and joy in watching this episode, as he is the father of an autistic child. He expressed how amazing and necessary it is to mainstream people with autism to further link them to the community. By introducing autistic characters into children’s TV it will hopefully inspire a greater acceptance and understanding of autistic people throughout the western world. Some questions were raised regarding how Julia is not an accurate representation of the whole autism spectrum, however this can quickly be refuted by remembering that it is a spectrum and no single character can properly encapsulate it. Ultimately, I hope that in the future I am heading towards, wont celebrate the inclusion of an autistic character and that this will become the norm, in order that we can close the gap and better the world.
This article was about a mother of an autistic child who describes the challenges which she faces of having an autistic child. She talks about how she is in a constant state of worry for her child, with not knowing what will happen to him, if she were to suddenly leave. She also describes the hardships of not knowing what her child is feeling or thinking, how she constantly feels like she’s on the ‘outside’ and she will never truly know her child. She talks about the simplest struggles like asking your child how their day was and not even getting a nod in response. She also talks about the discrete, passive aggressive form of bullying she experiences with fellow parents giving her side looks and saying things like “he doesn’t even look autistic.” Ultimately, I think it’s quite interesting to hear this perspective as it is something unbeknownst to me and probably most. The mother in this article loves her child deeply, however, having a child with autism is a real struggle and poses real hardships. These are the people that have to facilitate and assist autistic children constantly, who have to bear their behaviors and know that they will never truly know their child. This article also assisted me in understanding Christopher’s mother. Originally, when I look at her I think that she is the ultimate villain and antagonist, she simply got up and left when her husband and son really needed her. But honestly, if I was placed in her same scenario, I would have probably done the same thing. It is also helpful in understanding Christopher’s dad, I didn’t really understand why he would shout and swear at Christopher, or why he wasn’t as patient and those sort of things, but caring for a child with autism is really hard, and therefore, each parent’s response to this situation is perfectly legitimate and acceptable.
This was a really interesting article for a number of reasons. Initially, it really surprised and opened my eyes to adults with autism. Normally, whenever I think about someone with autism or special needs I almost exclusively think of children, so therefore, hearing about an adult was really interesting. What was also interesting is that he has a job and takes care of himself. The man in the article, Brooks Wolfner, is currently a Food Service Technician at Mercy Hospital, he said that he attended a program for people with disabilities, which prepares young adults with the tools to work. I found it quite amazing and I was positively surprised that there are people who are on the spectrum that have jobs. Another thing that was interesting is that he described some challenges he faces in his day to day life, one of them being change. He describes his routine as being very, very rigid and structured with everything planned out, and that a slight disturbance, ie. clothes being damp in the morning can throw him all off and cause him to become very distressed. This is a behavior that Christopher also exhibits and is something I’m beginning to understand, being that, the response of people with autism's responses to scenarios may seem out of proportion but that is merely because we have not walked in their shoes and been in their minds. He finishes with a lovely line that I would like to repeat: I am aware that I have a disability, that I am different and that there are limitations to that. But I think being different is a good thing. If everyone were the same, it would be boring. It’s easier to accept and embrace who you are than to try to change. It’s easier to be happy.
This video was utterly incredible. It was about a girl who had autism and was non-verbal for over 11 years, then one day she looked like she was in pain and she ran to a computer and started typing H-U-R-T and H-E-L-P. This was a huge breakthrough as none of her treatments had worked much. With much training and help she began typing more and more. She started to express her feelings about being autism and certain behaviors. She talked about what it is like to be different and how touch feels like pins and needles, and how her sometimes weird movements or behaviors are responses to her heightened senses. She also wrote that often she feels like she is a smart, funny, quirky girl trapped in a body that doesn't fit her. This in a way is quite similar to the book we are currently reading as it gives an insight into those who suffer with autism. I took away from this video to not dismiss someone as dumb or retarded because in actual fact there is so much more to them. There is so much going on inside their heads that they just can't get out and they are actually just like you and me.
This video is all about Alix Generous, who has been diagnosed with Asperger's, which is a high functioning form of Autism. Throughout the video she describes certain aspects of the disorder such as how she has trouble communicating. She elaborated on this by talking about how when she was younger she didn't understand jokes and was really shy because she was un-sure on how to communicate. She says that despite this facade that people with Autism are emotionless and have no ideas or thoughts, they still have the same thoughts that anyone else has, they just have more trouble communicating these thoughts. Another interesting thing about this, is that throughout this video she made multiple (really funny) jokes. This surprised me as I didn't think that people with Autism had that capability, but I know realize how foolish that is, and I was almost ashamed at myself for thinking this. She describes her form of Autism as being hyper focus, which allows her to focus very, very hard on a single thing and achieve greatly, with regards to that thing. Another interesting thing that she mentioned is that she is hypersensitive, meaning that she is very sensitive to touch. She recounted that when she was younger water felt like pins and needles, and as a result she didn't like showering. I also noticed that in this video she wasn't wearing shoes and her feet were on the carpet which is probably linked to this. This opened my eyes a bit, by showing that some behaviors of those with Autism may seem weird and wacky, but in actual fact is due to an increased sense or perception. I think that this will also help in me understanding Christopher's character by thinking of him like this.