I’m Done Asking for Autism Awareness

13 Dec

Please tell me how someone has NOT heard of autism? If you’ve been living under a rock, there’s a good chance a kid with autism likes the texture of it and has tried to pocket it for his collection. If you’ve permanently lost your remote control or don’t have access to a television, DVD, or VCR (do they still make these?), you’ve missed some seriously good movies and shows lately — many of which even showcase the autism spectrum (Parenthood, Temple Grandin, The Big Bang Theory). All in all, there is NO excuse for such blatant and ignorant disregard of humanity.

My brain is ablaze because of a comment that I  apparently had to hear as I opened the waiting room door at my clinic: “What’s wrong with these kids?” At that particular moment, they were too loud. But, more generally, nothing. The real question is: “What’s wrong with you?”

As you might guess by that statement, I’m as judgmental as the next person. I like to people watch. I look through magazines and comment on clothing. I watch “What Not to Wear” and wonder what in the world some of those ladies were thinking. I worry about my own personal presentation and the thoughts of others. My largely neurotypical abilities are shining through. In contrast, my four little boys with autism aren’t equipped to recognize, understand, and care about what others think just yet. And, some days, those are skills I’d love to bypass teaching.

I’m not asking people to cure it, recognize it, donate, wear a puzzle piece, or even “have a friend” diagnosed with it. I’m asking for the benefit of the doubt, some understanding. I’m asking for empathy, that neurotypical trait so many with ASD struggle with. I’m asking for acceptance. And I might be done asking.


Posted by on December 13, 2010 in ASD in the Grand Scheme


5 responses to “I’m Done Asking for Autism Awareness

  1. Joe Klemmer

    December 13, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    “[T]here is NO excuse for such blatant and ignorant disregard of humanity.”

    There is no excuse but there is a reason. The Wizards first rule.

  2. Stuart Duncan

    December 14, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    This is why, instead, I push for Autism Understanding and Acceptance. Awareness is good for things like Cancer and other diseases which can be prevented by knowing the methods for early detection.
    It’s just not the same for Autism.

  3. Diana Huetteman

    January 3, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    Why is it that the myth persists that those with ASD struggle with empathy? I don’t think they do. I believe that those with ASD don’t “show” their empathy in the same manner as NT’s. For those with language limitations, the words typically used may not be part of their vocabulary. The typical physical behaviors associated with empathy are not part of the social make up of ASD people – too much closeness, too stagey, too phony. NT’s have no monopoly on empathy. As seen too many times, NT empathy is a sliding scale – given generously to those like themselves but sparingly, if at all. to “others”.

  4. jalfff

    February 5, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Wish you all the best of luck…Doesn’t make any difference where you are there will always be rude/ignorant individuals present…
    I’ve been listening & dealing with those comments over 20 years…
    From school security to law enforcement, & teens/young adults threatening physical harm over a public video game, be aware is all I can say..
    My son is a gentle giant with a great sense of humor, there is always more than what most people realize going on…You wouldn’t believe some of the things he’s been falsely accused of, because people don’t understand, even many who have trained to work with people/children with Autism. Sorry for dragging on but Please be vary aware of your loved ones surroundings..There is a school for our children in Roswell,NM… Eastern New Mexico University has pretty a good program for job & living skills…….

    • jholverstott

      February 6, 2011 at 12:58 AM

      Thanks for sharing the information about Rosewell. I will look into it and pass it along to my clients.


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