Monday, February 28, 2005

As anyone with half an eye could tell, the tendrils of my mind have been searching out all the different branches of thought and perspectives on autism. I joined first Aspergia and then, tried in vain to jumpstart the local autism support group (mostly because I wnated to meet more of my own kind), tried-even more vainly- to be an advocate for the other autistics at S.L. Start, devoured books (some of which I threw across the room because they'd been written by an ignorant normal with no idea what he was speaking of), signed up for a research study on how autistics think, searched for and read blogs and websites by other aspies and people on the spectrum....the only thing that's been holding me back is that I don't have enough time to pursue it as much as I'd like. More than anything, I've introspected: focused on replaying my childhood in my mind's eye, watching myself, how I felt, what I did, the reasoning, when it was so much more pure and unsullied by the tyranny of the normal world.

Went back and read my old report cards annd school records: "We are working on getting her to speak up so others can hear"...."is well liked but often plays alone on the playground and in the room."....."seems to need a lot of teacher approval and encouragement"..."needs to keep her desk neater". What amazes me are the things that they did NOT write...but I suppose I don't have the time to get into that. All the signs were there.....for those with eyes to see them.

Anyway, I'm getting diverted. If there is one recurring idea that enrages me, it is that autistic people are, by definition, fucked up and need to be fixed, cured, and improved. The notion that any hope for our success in the world is entirely dependent upon our becomign just as nearly 'normal' and 'well adjusted' as we can be. Early diagnosis is pushed emphatically. QUICK!!! Save 'em while you still can! While there's still hope!!! Get therapy!!! I don't know if my son is aspie or not, but I do know this: no therapy. No "fixing". No "cures".

Why can't they see it another way: that an aspie has the potential for genius, more than your average Dick or Jane. That our talents and interests should be observed and encouraged, that these are our gifts and strengths. That our way of thought is valuable, unique, and should be given opportunity to develop. I'm not saying that autistic children should be coddled or babied- quite the reverse! We should be aware of the challenges facing them, but encourage independence as much as possible- REAL independence skills. Education: Waldorf schools, home school or perhaps schools for gifted children. Nearly every aspie I've met yet, online or not, has had huge challenges in school that shut them down or stressed them severely (and I could rant about stupid teachers for a long time, but instead, I have to go to my daughter's school now to deliver something to her).

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