I had the privilege of reading one of most thought provoking and very real posts on a blog by a Father with a son with classic autism – The father’s name is Harold Doherty and his son’s name is Conor.
Keeping it Real
That is what I liked about Harold’s posts they are honest, sincere, direct and give true honesty and humility about the realities facing many people on the autism spectrum, he breaks down stereotypes, assumptions and the glamorisations within what autism is and what it means for him and his son.
Autism cannot be represented by one person
No it cannot everybody on the autism spectrum has a diverse set of conditions and syndromes (a clustering if you will) this means that autism in itself is diverse – what makes up a person’s autism? What are the mechanic’s? Or as Donna Williams what is the “fruit salad”?
Many people on the autism spectrum who have classic autism are forgotten so there is an imbalance in both the media, books and other forms of media out there – Harold not only states this but backs it up with statistics and the realities of this for people with classic autism and their family members, this is surely not fair and services should be tailored and person-centred for people’s very specific needs.
Autism – Disorder or Difference?
What I would hope is that some day, academics and practitioners who have promoted the careers and perspectives of high functioning autistic persons and trivialized the challenges faced by those who suffer from severe autism disorders will start showing some integrity and professional responsibility whether they live in Montreal, Canada, New York, USA or Sydney, Australia. What I hope is that all academics and professionals will stop trivializing the severe challenges faced by so many with autism disorders and tell the world the whole truth about autism DISORDERS.
Harold also gives very real account of why he calls Autism a disorder – personally I agree with him and there is responsibility for people to be told the truth about such things, this clearly isn’t out militancy it is out of education, compassion and need for more awareness.
My Autism Profile
My Autism profile as I have stated in many posts in complex due to brain injury and very nature of my sensory perceptual agnosias, language processing issues and a “mild” learning disability and so forth I have no problem with the word disorder, nor the word disability it is a fact and knowing the truth however hard it;s worth it. I can only educate by saying this is my profile and that I don’t represent everybody on the spectrum that would be unfair and grossly inaccurate.
I say keep going Harold, keep educating, spreading the word and keeping it real it will be a huge benefit to everyone the advocacy you are doing.
Paul Isaacs 2014