This post really hits on something I often have a difficult time with . . . If you want to know what it is like to be autistic, you have to listen to those on the spectrum. ALL of them. You see, autism is not something you can fit into a generalized list of symptoms and issues, you can’t watch a video or read someone’s opinion because we are all unique in so many ways, just like every single person has their own traits, quirks and mannerisms, so does every single person on the spectrum.
Awareness is great, vital even, but it’s when people think they have an understanding of what it might be like because they watched a video or know what it must be like because they read about it, it can be detrimental to the awareness they are trying to promote . . .
Awareness is trendy. Everywhere you look people are raising awareness about things. Sometimes even things they know very little about.
For example: here’s a 2-minute Vimeo video titled “Listen” that is intended to “inspire positive change through a deeper tolerance and understanding” about autism (Trigger/Seizure Warning for flashing graphics, loud abrupt sounds).
Do you feel more aware? Do you understand what it’s like to be “a child who is non-verbal” and an “extreme case” (in the words of the producers)?
No, you don’t. How do I know this? Because the people who made that video don’t know what it’s like to be a nonverbal autistic child.
Neither do I, of course. I am not and nor was I ever a nonverbal child. Only a nonverbal autistic child or someone who was once a nonverbal autistic child understands what it’s like to live that experience.
I am autistic, however, and…
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