Today is 2nd of April which is dedicated to Autism Awareness Day. Autism Speaks raised awareness for lightening buildings, landmarks or home on the colour blue for Autism. I won’t be supporting this campaign as I object to it.
Firstly, it is the colour blue. No problem with colour but what I do have a problem with is Autism Speaks admits that they chose blue because boys are diagnosed more then girls. To me this is sexist, it is almost as if to say that if you are a girl with Autism your condition is not as important. I may add that I am female and autisitic and I know first hand the battle us female autistic individuals have to deal with!
Why blue? I mean it feels like it is targeting one type of person. We all know that is not the case with the condition. It is a spectrum and no one person is alike. I like the idea of the association with autism with a spectrum of colour. It celebrates the diversities in the condition.
That leads me on to my next point is Autism Speaks attitude is if people don’t donate money to the organisation they won’t be saved and then that will lead on to being left hopeless and useless. Well I sure as hell don’t feel like that and I don’t give money toAutism Speaks. I am not perfect and have my faults but I don’t think I result to nothing. I don’t believe any human is nothing, I am a strong believer in that there is good and bad in everyone.
Here’s the thing with psychological research if you have the funding then you have more power of influence. It is more likely swinged towards quanitative (numbers, questionnaires, tests) as a pose to qualitative (which is about people taking more about personal experiences and longitudinal studies which observed over a long period of time in the individual’s naturap environment). It is well know that qualitative wins the day most of the time. This is because it is cheaper, quicker and measureable. Compared to qualitative which takes a long time but hears the voice of the person. Therefore you can manipulate numbers and that has an impact on the power of research. Then trickles down to treatment and assessment. If it is based on a certain criteria and that cuts of other certain behaviors that are less typical and more found in females due to the response from their background. This is going to sway what we perceive as Autism and therefore will only see the popular characteristics. This is not to say sex is separate it is to do with the way that gender is segregated and wrongly taught from an early age. Male aspies are more computer/geek but this could be argued that it is not down to their own natural personality more of a choice/opportunity. What the parents buy for them or what they see in their childhood through experiences can have a direct response to want impact s their behaviour. We all want to fit in and be accepted. Our parents most of the time try to adapt to them messages. Not because they are being mean it is what their education or financial implications have on the behaviour. As a parent you try and do best for your child. With the times and what is deemed as socially acceptable that will influence decision making and performance. I.e. It was acceptable in the 70s to hit a child. Whereas now the vogue thing to do is use positive parenting where the focus is listening to the child and allowing them to be a person with a voice. The changes are if you were hit you became more.sneaky and lie better to your parents. You were less like to be heard and lore forced. Whereas the modern way the child.may eb more open and talk about issues. You can already see how behaviour can change due to standards and teaching. Hence why money is powerful and can easily sway judgement. It just relitateriated the ideas of a certain criteria to fit Autism. Is ticking the correct boxes and not seeing the contextual identify within making the assessment for the individual. If you are put in a room with a stranger how can you possiblly see the real you? There are many factors that influence the behaviour.
I’m not denying that Autism comes in all different manners. But I get the sense that Autism Speaks is narrow minded. They have money to do the research. They also send out a strong message that Autism can be curable that somehow it is a disease that can be removed or treated. Somehow it will go away with treatmentand be cured. Not denying that therapy can help and change responses. But it doesn’t get rid. It just provides coping mechanisms to follow. The downside to Autism is we are flexible and we can have a set formula but if a change is made or too many stressors hat is where the problem lies.
What we need to do is not thing of Autism as a problem that needs to be fixed. Rather there Autism has differences that need to be understood.
Just look at the logo for Autism Speaks. It has piece that is separated from a jig saw. It says yoy are a problem to a parent or a caregiver and that problem needs to be fixed.
I think we need to understand the condition and accept the person for who they are.
Cheers for reading X