Welcome back! This week, we will tackle a problem concerning labels (and no, it's not that they exist), but rather two certain types of labels. One fellow blogger has called it the “Autistic Dilemma”, though it affects both people diagnosed with either Autism or Aspergers. What is the “Autistic Dilemma”? Put simply, society either declares you to be A) too Autsitic/Aspie, or B) not Autistic or Aspie enough. But wait, there's more! (there’s always more. No one ever says “but wait, there’s less!”).
Un”less” it’s one of those commercials that tries to shoehorn the saying “less is more” and trying to turn it into some kind of lame joke. (sigh), commercialists, don’t quit your day jobs.
Now according to Autistictic, the negative effects of the dilemma are thus: people can be “more” or “less” Autistic/Aspie, much the same way as telemarketers can be “more” or “less” annoying, and I know what I’m talking about: I’m the son of an insurance salesman. Being either/or means that society can justify itself treating you differently compared to someone else, who is also Autistic/Aspie. And last but not least (you'll love this one), society has more of a right to “designate how impaired the person is rather than the people themselves” (Autsitictic, THE AUTISTIC DILEMMA-FUNCTIONING).
What does this mean? Will, from what I understand, it’s a tactic used by our detractors to try and silence us in the discussions about Autism/Aspergers, to ignore whatever we have to say on the subject. As will, I believe that it is an attempt to cause a rift within the Autistic/Asperger’s community, an imaginary conflict over who is “better”, people who are “more” or “less” on the spectrum. In either case, by taking a look at the dilemma, we can begin to see not only how wrong and disenfranchising it is within the Autistic/Asperger discourse, but also come up with replies to individuals who might attempt to use such a tactic. But first, let us understand some of the aspects about the dilemma.
Knowing if only half the battle. And after all, research is fun right!? Right?
First off, according to the dilemma, if you are “not Autistic/Aspie “enough, you are: supposed to be silenced in discussions around A/A (Autism/Asperger) spectrum because you can’t understand what “real” Autism/Asperger’s is like. You're not diagnosed because you don’t seem A/A enough (not sure if this diagnosis is, in this context, coming from the internet troll or a psychiatrist or such). Denied support because you are able to do some stuff that, stereotypically, people with A/A are not supposed to be able to do (this is also the reason, according to the article, that you could be denied adequate healthcare). Or finally: be talked over in online (or, assuming, live) discussions by someone who is “voicing their own opinion” (Autistictic, THE AUTISTIC DILEMMA-FUNCTIONING).
However, if you are “too” A/A, than: you are to be silenced because you supposedly don’t have the capacity to understand the topic of discussion, or to communicate what you want. Automatically assumed incompetent because you can’t speak or perform some daily tasks without assistance. Denied the opportunity to partake in, or perform an, activity because you are supposedly unable to do it. Denied adequate healthcare because, will it’s just your A/A showing. And finally: you need someone to speak for you, without even considering your own views about the topic being discussed.
Well, that does it for this week's post. Next week, we will continue to discover more and more about this dilemma of ours, and how we can solve it (much like solving a 1000-piece puzzle: all the frustration and consternation, twice the fun!). Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.
Welcome back! This week, I will pick up where I left off last time, talking about the situation facing people with Down syndrome, and realizing that there are some similarities with our own problem. Namely, how society has come to a strange conclusion that we: those who are neurodiverse, disabled, or diverse in any way, shape or form (I remember hearing about how the trans community got sick and tired of everyone thinking that just because they are different from the norm, their lives are somehow immeasurably worse. We hear you). Also the shared pain of driving in the city at night. Or during freezing ice, heavy rain, with other people who don't know how to drive. Driving man, it’s a struggle.
Ever stop to think that, on an almost daily basis, we are driving, or sitting in, large, fast-moving machines that have the power of a hundred horses or more, outrun any other land-based mode of transportation, is either made entirely of metal or plastic, and with the simple turn of a steering wheel can turn a fast moving killing machine?
So what specifically is the problem we, people who are neurodiverse, disabled, and other, is this: our society has a rather weird idea on what it’s like to be, well, not normal. And this idea is not new (and also a chance to show off some of what I learned in my media communications class! Hooray for showing off!). We all take something for granted, like for example, sight. Does not need a wheelchair, prosthetic limb, or the like. Or having a neurology that fits within society's definition (this might be an odd way of trying to mention neurodiversity, but I think we all know what I mean). And to someone who perfectly understands the rules of society, has sight, and does not need such devices like a prosthetic limb or a wheelchair, that way of life can seem like the best way, perhaps the only way, to live.
Than, when someone comes in (is born, immigrants from somewhere, etc.) that is not, in your view, lucky to have all the same abilities that you have, their life must be somehow worse with no benefits at all, and therefore deserves your undying (and incessant) pity. Or is a life form of lower stature than you, and plans to usurp you and everyone like you through their devious, none-normal way of life (shout out to the eugenics movement, you forcefully-sterilizing chums you). Either way, they’re not like you, and that's bad.
And this is where the which came first, the chicken or the egg/nature versus nurture debate comes in, concerning media-communications of course. See, there are a few theories about who is the bigger influencer of society. Either public personas (think local politicians, celebrities, popular media personalities) believed in these negative stereotypes of the diverse members in their midst, and used their influence on the common folk to teach them how to behave towards them, how to imagine them (poor, unfortunate, can't do what we can do), and on and on. From here, the media is influenced by the public personas, which is in turn influenced by the mass population (this, in media-savvy lingo, is called the 2-step approach).
Though, to be honest, it sounds more like a dance move than anything media-like. “Okay everyone, were going to learn how to do the 2-step approach now”.
The other major theory is this. The public personas decide to cut out the middleman altogether, and either directly influence the media themselves, or create their own media, and use the/their media to pass on messages to the public about how those who are diverse deserve pity because of, well, you know. The public than consumes these messages and acts on them, believing the messages in part or in whole (this is called the Hypodermic needle approach. You learn new stuff everyday, like how hypodermic needle sounds more frightening than it does educational).
You can see the dilemma. The point is, the bias that, from what I read, society holds towards people with Down syndrome seems to read parallel, word for word, the same bias that society holds towards people with Autism/Asperger’s and others. So, during this holiday season (or regular season but with just more snow and unforgiving cold), while you about your business buying groceries, working, keeping on top of school work or taking advantage of opportunities cropping up for you (Or both). Or even fighting to change your societies views of whichever oppressed group you belong to/sympathize with, spare a thought for others like you who are facing the same kind of problems. Perhaps even reach out to them, form an alliance, and push for social change together.
Strength in numbers. Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.
Welcome back! This week, on our continued look at SPD, or CD, or whatever acronym you want to use it use (not that it will matter much, as the chances are that it is probably already being used for something else). First off, I apologize about making a false claim, or in modern parlance, fake news, in the last post, were I thought that there was a link on paragraph 4 of the article, that contained the link to see if your child has SPD/CD/etc. It’s not on paragraph 4, but actually on the one above that, paragraph 3. Also, the link does not work, as my publisher says. So...yeah, if you tried to use it, now you know my frustration when upon finding out that some of the links I used in the just-recent past, no longer work. Internets a wonderful thing eh?
I guess that makes me a member of the fake-news media now. Maybe I should change the name than, something Infowarsy. I know! Communication Conflict! Perfect.
But where was I, oh yes. I was just beginning to read the part of the article that says why it’s bad to scapegoat stuff like poor behaviour on SPD/CD. Focusing to much on your childs SPD/CD would mean that you might miss-out on other issues he/she might have, like ASD, ADHD, or an LD (all of which have a D at the end of their acronym. If your child’s first or last name also ends with a D, and this goes for the parents to, you might be in trouble). Care.com than goes on to make the same claim that the last article did, that a lot of children (this one even has numbers with it, a 70-90% chance) have ASD along with SPD/CD, but not every child with ASD has SPD/CD. Confused yet?
What's the difference between a child with ASD and SPD, and one with just SPD? Why, the “social piece” (Sensory Processing Disorder: Signs and How to Cope) of the puzzle, of course. The child with ASD will have a hard time socializing, while the child with SPD won’t. Likewise, seeking occupational therapy to help solve your child's social problems will do wonders if he/she has ASD and SPD, not so much if they just have SPD.
And if that’s not confusing enough, SPD also shares some symptoms with ADHD: inattention? Check. Fidgetiness? Yep. Distractibility? You got it. But how do you really find out what's going on, if it’s really SPD/CD that’s causing so much grief with your child, or something else? Will, the article suggests that a good strategy to find out is “finding out what helps to mitigate the impact.” (Sensory Processing Disorder: Signs and How to Cope , Paragaph 8). If “stimulant medication” (Care.com), works, than that is what the child needed What is Stimulant medication? I dunno. If occupational therapy helped, than there are some sensory-based issues at hand.
However, as helpful as therapy and medications can be, they are not, in and of themselves, the cure. Societal acceptance (along with some cat and dog love) can really go the extra mile when it comes to making it easier to live with certain disorders like SPD/CD or ASD. If society does not accept you, for whatever made-up reason, than no amount of medication or therapy in the world will help you feel better in the long run. Sometimes, in cases like these, the worst effects are not internal, per say, but external.
WIll, that does it for this week's post. Next week we will learn more about SPD/CD, and probably find out about other acronyms currently being used for the disorder. Fortunately, ASD still means, in the english language anyways, Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder. For now anyways. Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.
Use it while you can! Because like SPD and CD, it might soon start to mean multiple different things!
Welcome back! This week, we will continue our search into SPD (Witch, I just learned, is also the acronym for a political party, the SPD: Sozialdemokratische Partie Deutshlands, or Social Democratic party of Germany. So instead, for the sake of being clear, I’ll call it cognitive dissonance, C.D. Like Compact Disc...which is also C.D. Never mind, use whatever acronyme you like.) is from the viewpoint of Care.com. Care.com: because the hyperlinks Wecare.com, Icare.com and HowtospotSPDinchildren.com was already taken, while Whocares.com was not an option. Last time we left off, the article had a link to where you could evaluate your child to see if they have SPD (you can go to the Care.com article here, look for the third paragraph), followed by some lists of how it affects children in varying ages.
Much like running into dead ends in a labyrinth, finding an acronym that, while it could perfectly suit your intended purpose, could also already be in use, meaning something entirely different.
But you may be asking yourself, along with the article: How can you tell if your annoying little tike has SPD, or is just being an annoying little tike? Will lets see. That, as another interviewee form the article states, would depend. Is it a quirk, or a part of your child neurology? Let’s use an example from the article “it’s one thing if your kid only eats three types of food… But if you can’t take your child to a family thanksgiving dinner, that’s a whole other level” (Care.com, paragraph 6).
Then again, if the dinner is happening at your uncle and Auntie May’s house, I wouldn't be to disappointed at not being able to take your kids there, as no-one else would be going. You can only take so shouted phrases like “hashtag MAGA!” “SAD!” and “Lock her up!” before you surrender to the urge of putting on your pink, knitted pussy cat hat and white “Bad Hombre” T-shirt. Of which, of course, you carry around with you for both fashion and for this just such an occasion. Or at least the hat.
It’s the kind of fashion thats screams “2 more years, just survive, 2 more years”.
Family dinners aside, the interviewee believes that that a consultation is needed if SPD is interfering with them doing the things they both want and need to do. Either socially, academically, or behaviorally. However, another interviewee of the article states that SPD is only one piece of the puzzle, as they say (pray that there is not 1,000 pieces, that there seems to be in every, other puzzle these days).
That ends it for this week's post. Next week we will move farther down the article, and see why it is a bad idea to blame SPD for every unfortunate thing that happens to, or because of, your child. Much easier to blame the father's side of the family, because after all: that's where your child's aunt and uncle May reside. Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.