Normal Is Overrated

Musings and meanderings on the autistic spectrum

April 1, 2009

Yet another April…

…which means it’s once again time for me to blog more often than the occasional post that I usually make.

And it’s not just because I just turned in my comprehensive exams for grad school, though that has a bit to do with it as well, given how swamped I’ve been feeling lately.

No, it’s because it’s the second ever World Autism Awareness Month. And those of you who follow this blog should know how I feel about the typical media approaches to “awareness.”

And tomorrow’s the second annual World Autism Awareness Day, which means that such “awareness” will be out in full force on all the TV morning shows and news programs. All sorts of talk about how kids on all ends of the autistic spectrum will never have jobs, never go to college, never have significant others, yada yada yada, never mind that many of us have grown up to do all of those… all sorts of misguided efforts to try to make sense of autistics without actually bothering to talk to any of us, as if we don’t actually exist… not to mention all the people who seem to forget that autistics actually grow up…

Then again, the media may very well surprise me, as some of the ones I mentioned in the above-linked blog post did last year— actually giving awareness that autism isn’t just something that affects kids, that it certainly isn’t any sort of death sentence, and that even with the occasional odd reaction or atypical behavior, yes, we’re people too.

That’s the sort of awareness I’d like to see more of this month.

Or, to paraphrase a slogan from another well-known advocacy movement:

We’re here. We’re weird. Get used to it.

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 3:26 pm

2 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the reminder that awareness continues to be a double-edged sword. Remember the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird? I always thought that Arthur (Boo) Radley was on the spectrum and that Scout got a very clear lesson in the difference between awareness mixed with ignorance versus awareness mixed with reality. We need to remove the ignorance — one day at a time.

    Comment by Mark — April 1, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

  2. “actually giving awareness that autism isn’t just something that affects kids, that it certainly isn’t any sort of death sentence, and that even with the occasional odd reaction or atypical behavior, yes, we’re people too.”

    That’s the kind of awareness I would like to see more of too.

    “We’re here. We’re weird. Get used to it.” Right on!

    Comment by Ed — April 2, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

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