So much Autism information

I had these big dreams of writing an educational and insightful post on a different aspect of Autism every day this month, but I can tell you that is going to be a difficult feat. I’ve spent pretty much the entire day today trolling the net for information, and there’s so much of it, that trying to find a way to sift it and pull out a specific nugget is daunting. I forgot that I’m not 18 anymore, when writing research papers was my forte haha! Also, I’m finding that it’s a lot harder now that I don’t just have information all spread out in front of me with highlighters and pencils and outlines aiding in my organization.

So for now, I just wanted to write a third post on this, since it’s the third of April which means I missed out on posts for the first and second. Yes, I am dedicated to this, even though my posts probably won’t be anything academic.

My brain is pretty numb at this point, but I will just generalize my opinion thus far. To me, Autism is not a terrible fate as is sometimes implied. I remember seeing those commercials on TV about it and I thought it was a severe affliction. And I’m sure to some it is, and obviously I can’t speak to it since I don’t live with it. From most of what I’ve read so far about the people who do live with it, or parents of children with it, they all have a very positive attitude.

I wish I had something more difinitive to say so far, but as Erik pointed out, I have the whole month. Maybe the information will start to settle and I can organize my thoughts.

I think the main point is to say that just because a person has a disability of some sorts, if they’re quirky, or seem awkward, or if they can’t see, or if they can’t hear, or if they use an animal to assist them, or if they ride in a wheelchair, or if they are missing a limb, or they can’t speak, or whatever we may see as “disabling”, everyone has the right to live and to live how they can and to be treated with respect. I’m not making any sense. But this seems to be the biggest thing that children and adults with Autism face. That people think they’re freaks. And it’s not fair, and it makes me angry. So I’m rambling in this post, maybe to help me clear my head, I don’t know.

I guess what always stands out for me with any kind of disability, is that none of us are “disabled”. I hate that word. To me, if something is disabled, it doesn’t work. A disabled car won’t start. A disabled computer doesn’t hum. To me, a truly disabled person would have to be in a vegetative state, but even then, some systems are working, right? But those of us who function on some level, are not truly disabled. We have a disability. Or many. But we are not completely disabled. And sometimes it floors me that society hasn’t caught up enough to realize that everyone has a place. Everyone has a purpose. Maybe that’s why I’m taking on this project. I don’t know. Ok, I should really step off my soapbox now 🙂

9 Comments

Filed under Autism, awareness month, rambles, rant

9 Responses to So much Autism information

  1. I agree with you completely. a few years ago I went to a camp for the blind. i’d been every year, so this was nothing new, but this particular year there was a girl there who had autism as well as being visually impaired. her and I became friends and were almost inseperable for that whole week. after I got back, I was inspired to, like you, research autism. I, like you, became overwhelmed by all the information but I took out of it what you did. that everyone deserves to be respected and accepted as they are, no matter what “disability” they happen to have. I know several people online who have autism and most of them have told me they don’t want a cure, they just want people to accept them as they are and to understand why they may act differently. if you get a chance, go on youtube and look up Carly Fleischmann. a pretty remarkable young woman. I had the opportunity to meet her recently and she’s awesome!

  2. Ro

    I will definitely look her up. That would go well into one of my posts for the month. Thank you!

  3. You’ve really set out a daunting task for yourself. I did a paper on autiism years ago, and the researchers can’t even figured it out!

    Ya know what kills me? Those within the disability community, those among us, have lobbied for the use of the word “disabled.” whywhywhy? Honestly, why would you want that word? Ug blech. I hate “differently abled” because it’s just confusing. “Person with a disability is straightforward, puts the person first, and doesn’t make me feel like a disabled car, stalled on the roadside.

  4. Oh, I read about a movement called…I think neurodiversity? Oh god is that the right word? That was started by folks with autism. Maybe that would be worth reading about? I’m just trying to remember random things I have learned about autism over the years.

    My sister was reading a book called “born on a blue day.” She said she had real trouble reading it, but she said it was written by a dude with autism. Maybe that would be worth a look…if it’s available from a library or something?

  5. Ah, autism. Did you know that the most recent publication that labels diseases and disorders has gotten rid of Asperger’s as a diagnosis? It’s now just considered high-functioning autism.

    I have some limited experience with autism. My boyfriend in college was diagnosed with Asperger’s while we were dating. Forgive me if you knew this already, but he was also hearing impaired, and ended up committing suicide. I know that the Aspergers contributed to his depression. Sad.

    A close friend’s son was recently diagnosed with autism. He was in the same daycare classroom as my daughters, so I know him pretty well. My little gesture towards autism awareness has been to talk to my three-year-olds about being patient with his quirks. They understand that he pushes and gets angry because he doesn’t have words. I have such verbal kids that it me saddens me all the more to know that my friend can’t get a handle on what her son is thinking.

    I actually pegged my friend’s son as autistic early on, but she (understandably) resisted the label until she had him formally evaluated. He’s in a great early intervention program, and I’m excited to see what the rest of his life brings. Autism isn’t all bad, you know. There’s a lot to be learned from people who experience the world completely differently from you and me; there can be a deep creativity and comprehension that you or I couldn’t begin to imagine.

  6. Ro

    Carin, yeah, Katrin gave me that one and it is an abundance of really good information.

    Sadia, yes. I am seeing a lot of conflicting things about Asperger’s and Autism. I’ve found places that say Asperger’s is a type of Autism and then other sites that say it’s actually a spectrum disorder but not autism oh geez. I think my posts are going to have to be more overviews and my own opinions rather than fact because I can’t separate facts from confusion.

    I definitely don’t think Autism is horrible, and I’m totally on the side of the people who just want to be accepted with it. I have to wonder if it’s harder being diagnosed later in life, like your college boyfriend, and Katrin, because they go all those years with no one understanding why they’re “different”.

  7. I don’t talk about it a lot but yes I was severely depressed for many years of my life. Like to the point that it many days boggles my mind that I made it to 26 all in one piece. It’s really just been in the past 18 months that I haven’t been 24/7 dabilitiatingly depressed. That was part of my original diagnosis: chronic depression. I still get that way, but I think a big help for me has been now knowing there is a reason that I was different all my life and that that is acceptable and learning to cope in new more functional ways. And not pressuring myself to be someone I can’t be. to not try so hard to fit in and act “normal” and behave in a manner that I think others would expect. Coming to terms with the fact that I am who I am and that includes my autism and if people don’t like it too bad for them. It made a big difference in my life.

  8. Ro

    Somewhere in my research I ran across stuff on depression. I don’t remember where I read it but it was talking about how anti-depressants don’t work with autism, or that they were noticing a difference too early after the start of the medication and then when the medication is actually supposed to work, it would stop working. I have to wonder if a lot of the depression associated with autism is situational, like you talked about. Not know their place in the world, not understanding, not being accepted, etc. I think a lot of times, it’s forgotten that unless there’s an actual chemical imbalance, pills won’t work, that it has to be finding ways to manage, like you have. I wonder if over medication is a problem with autistics? I know they tried to medicate me when I first went blind, I told them it wouldn’t work, that I had a reason to be depressed and it would pass, that I had to feel the feelings etc. I took it to humor B and the docters and just like I predicted, I quit feeling anything. To me, that’s not coping or healing, so I got off it after a month and haven’t been back on anything. Sometimes I think all we can do is feel it for as long as we need to, and then begin to pull ourselves out of it, like you have.

  9. I know myself, and have heard of other autistics having this same problem, is we can have lots of issues with medications and are very very sensitive to them. Like many autistics who take psychotropic or other meds take miniscule doses, way less than the “normal” dose and it is effective. For my system I tend to have a 2 year max that any med will be effective if I take it regularly. And there are many many meds that have 0 effect on me and the drs think that is because of my different nervous system. For me SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressents have never had a positive effect and they had me on and off nearly all of them ever created in a 5 year span. I had the same problem with sedatives or meds with sedating side effects tried for my insomnia. Either they didn’t work or they gave me horrible side effects or they worked for a short period of time before having no effect. Finding meds that have been effective for my migraines has been a similar problem. Yeah and NSAIDs have little to no effect on me either.

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