This is the month of Autism awareness.
I am on Hopeful Parents writing about Autism Steretypes today. If you have a minute join me there
If you dont like to click on links read on
Beyond Autism Stereotypes
"So is it true that to bring on labor, Indian women drink a glass of water in which their MIL has dipped their toe"?H one of R's lead therapists asks me breathlessly one day
She has just returned from adoption training and they are sensitizing them to the different cultures that they may adopt a child.
It's cultural sensitization training.
"Never heard of it?" I smile back "Maybe true in some part of India - India is a huge -it would be like me meeting the Amish people and then assuming that all Westerners avoided technology"
In the past I have been asked about baby throwing, eyeball eating ( thank you Indiana Jones) and elephant ownership( I wish ) .
Here is my problem with stereotypes.
While many are based in truth – none are completely true.
It's the same with Autism stereotypes.
People who don't know much about Autism will meet R will tell us "he does not seem really autistic at all .. he just seems different"
He does not seem ASD – to those that do not know Autism - because he does not fit the media stereotype of either the unhappy child in his own world or the intellectual savant that will help you win at cards
The media specializes in extremes and stereotypes
The reality ? Not so much
April is the month of Autism Awareness.
Many of my kind - Special needs mums and dads are sharing their stories
Each of our stories is different because the way Autism has so many versions
( Even though from a distance we look alike )
Because of the hard work of many organizations- Autism awareness today is different that Autism awareness 10 years ago.
Characters with autism /autistic traits are starting to show in Mainstream media regularly – Max on Parenthood , Lizbeth Salander in the Millenium series, Mr Monk etc
I think as a society most of us are aware of Autism
But I think what we still have a way to go with Autism understanding and acceptance
And in thinking beyond stereotypes
For autistic kids are all unique individuals – just like typically developing kids are
Autistic children are not defined by their autism just as typically developing kids are not defined by their typicalness
And that is what I would like to say in the month of Autism Awareness