Cool infographic re Autism
I have become very interested lately in the way infographics are being used in new and very intelligent ways. ABC TV’s ‘Hungry Beast’ has been leading the way in this area. Came across this graphic re Autism through my PLN.
Australian ABC Radio’s Life Matters program broadcast an episode dedicated to current thinking on ASD. There are three parts: interviews with the keynote speaker at the Asia-Pacific Autism Conference on Autism, Dr Eric Frombonne; a Danish entrepreneur, Thorkil Sonne (referred to also below in a Wired article), who has established a business capitalising on the skills of people with Asperger syndrome; and the couple, Kristin and Rupert Isaacson, who took their autistic son, Rowan, to Mongolia to seek treatment with shamans.
I have recently finished reading John Elder Robison’s “Look me in the eye”, a personal account of living with Asperger’s. John was not diagnosed until he was an adult, and was glad of the diagnosis because it explained so much of what had gone on before.
The quotes below come from the Postscript to the Second Edition:
“When I wrote Look Me in the Eye, I wanted to show readers what it was like to grow up feeling like a freak or a misfit. I thought my book would show how people with Asperger’s are different from everyone else. To my great surprise, my book actually shows the opposite: Deep down, people are very much the same. I had grown up saying to myself, “I wish I could be like the captain of the swim team.” He was suave, polished, and everyone liked him. Now all the so-called popular people – swim-team captains, cheerleaders, class presidents, football quarterbacks – came to my events, and they spoke up. They felt like misfits too! In the end, telling others how hard it was to fit in has helped me fit in better by revealing the universality of my struggle.” p285
“…I may look and act pretty strange at times, but deep down I just want to be loved and understood for who and what I am. I want to be accepted as part of society, not an outcast or outsider. I don’t want to be a genius or a freak or something on display. I wish for empathy and compassion from those around me, and I appreciate sincerity, clarity, and logicality in other people. I believe most people – autistic or not – share this wish… I hope you keep these thoughts in mind next time you meet someone who looks or acts a little strange.” p288
This extraordinary collection of articles, blogs and discussions is a wonderful insight into the world of autism. Actually set up for Aspies, Auties and their families, for someone like me, outside of that sphere loking in with interest and (I hope) empathy, it is mind-opening.
The description from the home page:
Wrong Planet is the web community designed for individuals (and parents of those) with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, PDDs, and other neurological differences. We provide a discussion forum, where members communicate with each other, an article section, with exclusive articles and how-to guides, a blogging feature, and a chatroom for real-time communication with other Aspies. Asperger’s Syndrome, a pervasive development disorder, is a form of autism. People with Asperger’s Syndrome usually have normal or above normal IQs. Asperger’s can be described as an inability to understand how to interact socially.
Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg’s blog details her life as a late-diagnosed Aspie. Her “100 Myths About Autism” is well worth reading, as is the November 8th entry, “I do not suffer from autism”. Actually, most of her posts are worth spending some time over – her perspective, as someone diagnosed as an adult, gives a very different angle to her thoughts and understandings.
This US-based site has a terrific and interesting range of articles about autism, written by medical professionals, parents, and self-advocates. Age Of Autism describes itself as the “Daily Web Newspaper of the Autism Epidemic”. The discussions following articles are worth reading too.
A really interesting piece discussing the contoversy over “I Am Autism”, and a number of links to other articles previously publisherd in Time magazine. (If this direct link is unavailable, and it was on 11 Jan ’10, search for “I Am Autism” dated 6 November ’09, at the Time website.
Is autism a disorder or just a difference? Psychiatrists consider it a mental disorder, but since the early 90’s, an autistic rights movement has sprung up, challenging the official view of autism and working to change how the world sees autism.
A London GP tells explains that autism and related conditions have become ‘mainstream’ in the nation’s consciousness. But, he warns, ‘“Normalising” autism may reduce stigma, but at the risk of trivialising the problems of those with more severe learning difficulties and also of underestimating the extreme aloneness that results from the social impairment of autism, even in higher-functioning individuals.’
Wired magazine article concerning a Swedish company that hires Aspies because of their special gifts and talents. There is a very interesting mix of comments following the article.
Autism Spectrum Index compiled by Stan Protigal
Autism Spectrum Pages hosted on Seattle Community Network and Related Pages Hosted Elsewhere
Analysis & inside perspectives of some of the most common differences, difficulties, reactions, talents & idiosyncrasies in people with Asperger Syndrome, Autism, PDD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder, Scotopic Sensitivity, Synesthesia, OCD, Tourette Syndrome etc.
Is the autism spectrum too broad? by Johanna Eubank (Arizona Daily Star, 2 Oct 2009)
People with autism or autistic disorder are quite different than people with Aspergers Syndrome. The most obvious difference is that those with autistic disorder are much more like to have speech delays or never to speak at all, but there are other differences. There are also many similarities, and that is what makes the question difficult to answer.