Hi, I’m Eileen. Pleased to meet you!
Autism & SPD
I have autism and sensory processing disorder (SPD), the topics of this blog.
If you are new to the autism world, here is an article about what it is. Reading the list of autism symptoms can seem vague, leaving you with more questions than it answers.
Some symptoms may not even sound like they are symptoms, such as having social difficulties. We can think of a quiet person we know who isn’t the life of the party, but this isn’t the same as a person with autism who cannot navigate the social world very well. That quiet person may know the niceties, the slang, the back and forth of conversation, and how to pick up on verbal and non-verbal cues, whereas the autistic person may not be able to do that.
I hope this blog helps.
I try to avoid politics and opinions. There are folks who believe that vaccines cause autism. Some people are against giving medication to children, whether it helps or not, sometimes citing big pharma trying to get into our lives and turn us into zombies.
Some people are offended when you call them “autistic,” not “person with autism” because they see themselves as the person they are first, and the autism diagnosis, second. Some people like or vehemently dislike the term “Aspie,” which means a person with Asperger’s Syndrome (on the autism spectrum), or the term “autie” for a person with autism. Others in the community like those terms.
Many autism organizations are pushing to get laws changed, such as getting medical insurers to cover autism expenses.
One organization, Autism Speaks, has been slammed for many years now about pushing that vaccines cause autism, and for TV commercials that talked about how horrible autism is, the parents will get divorced, and other doom and gloom. They raise tons of money to find a cure for autism, or at least, what causes it. Millions of people, primarily parents, want that cure for their child because they want their child to have a normal life. Adults on the spectrum talk about how there were no people with autism in upper management or on the board. (This may have changed due to the pressure put on the group.)
Adults and teens talk about how they don’t need a cure because they are happy with the way they are. If there were a cure, then they wouldn’t be who they are anymore.
Which brings us to the neurodiversity movement. Some say that autism is the next leap forward in our human evolution. Others want to be included and understood, not trained like an organ grinder’s monkey to be and to behave like neurotypical people (NTs).
Women on the autism spectrum is gaining more attention since they can display symptoms differently, so some say that many are not getting diagnosed, then not getting the therapies they need.
Some people are for or against ABA therapy, which many say helps their children, that it is a miracle for their functioning. Detractors have called it a daycare service paid for by medical insurance. Some say that it doesn’t help, just forces children to act like what they are not.
Lastly, so many get angry at people who unthinkingly (or on purpose), tell parents how to raise their autistic children or say or imply that they are rotten parents who don’t have control of their badly-behaving children. It hurts because parents do more than their best. It’s natural for parents to be angry, no, livid, furious.
I look at this three ways: 1. Some people are a**holes, and they can’t be cured of their a**holeness. 2. If asked, most people could not name a symptom of autism, and without that knowledge, they don’t understand the behaviors they are witnessing. 3. People offer helpful parenting suggestions, without understanding the disorder, and without knowing that the parents have already tried everything, and that their children are making small victories that others would not necessarily realize.
We can’t do anything about number 1. Number 2, we can educate people. I’m not sure about what to do about number 3, more education perhaps?
My political views?
I use the terms “aspie” which I have on a bumper sticker on my truck. I use “autistic,” but not overly much. I like the neurodiversity movement, because maybe it would give me some breathing room when I don’t act “normally.” But, at this stage in time, I think it’s naive to think that others, such as at a workplace, would understand because most won’t even know what it is. I won’t complain because I can be a part of the solution by volunteering with autism organizations to speak at employer educational workshops.
As for the rest of the politics, I usually don’t participate, but I do watch and learn.
I’m into educating, which is my aim for this blog.
It’s available for pre-sale now, and is officially released in May.
I have other books I am working on. (I like working on a couple at a time, so I will have more published soon.)