Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another Nonliterary Post

From Feministe, a link to this post by Shark-Fu:

A bitch was pleased to read that Senator Clinton would increase funding into autism research and education

…but I’d like to see some of that money go to adult autistics too.

Oh, I know that the press is in love with autism right now because the revised spectrum has resulted in a better understanding of just how common an autism diagnosis is.

But the press has failed…horribly…to point out that autism is not a childhood illness just because symptoms appear when a person is a child.

Autistics grow up.

I left a comment at Feministe that tried to express what I think underlies this failure of the news media, or public policy, to acknowledge the existence of autistic adults and the fact that children with autism do develop, even if it is at a different rate and in a different way. I'm not sure it comes across in the comment, but I think the popular image of autism has a lot in common with the old story of the changeling --- a human child stolen by fairies and replaced with a strange, inhuman substitute. A lot of the terminology people use when they're describing autistic children --- in their own world, cut off from other people, walled off behind the autism --- has an undertone of otherworldliness or abduction. My child doesn't live in the world, or alternately, my child used to be fine and healthy, but now he's different and I don't understand it at all.

I have a vague idea that there might be a book written on this subject, but darned if I can remember the title, or find it on Amazon.

No comments: