Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Public Face Of Autism

I don't have time for an incredibly well written, witty post.  With this kids still on holiday break and hubby at home the last few days my time has been spoken for.  I do however, have a small favor to ask everyone in the autism community.  See that picture above the post?  Stop using it as a stock photo for autism. Please, just stop.  It is degrading.  It is humiliating.  It is stigmatizing.  It is perpetuating stereotypes.  It doesn't represent autism.  It doesn't represent anything other than outdated, misconceptions of what autism was thought to be. I'm tired of seeing it attached to 1/3 of every news article, or otherwise information about ASD. Do you want people to treat your autistic child with respect, love and kindness? Sure you do.  We all want that for our kids. Then, please portray them as possessing those qualities and deserving those things. Insist that others use respectful images and words in association with autism.  No, this doesn't mean that Autism is a bed of roses and always should be spoken of as such.  Just remember you are the ones that are telling the world what it means to be autistic.  Ask yourself before sharing and speaking... is this a representation of how I want others to view my child/loved one?

                                         Thank you.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for your strong, passionate voice. We need more of you. :)

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  2. I don't think can tell the world what it means to be autistic. I am not autistic. I can simply tell the world what it's like to raise2 children with Autism...more specifically with Aspergers, mood disorder and ADHD, and OCD.

    It is a bed of roses...including the thorns. It can be so sweet...yet prickly and painful at times.

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  3. Thank you Christine!

    As a parent of autistic kids you are out there spreading awareness. The idea that there are ASD adults that can speak for themselves in still unfortunately a novel concept to many. What you say, the words and images you use will have an impact on how others view autism.

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  4. As an autistic person with a whole lot of pictures of myself from childhood on, I will cheerily donate some of the images for use for (nonoffensive) autism stories.

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  5. Sorry, I forgot to address the last portion of my last comment to Karen. Sorry, if I confused anyone.

    NeurodivergentK, Me too. I think there is a Face of Autism project, but can't remember where I saw it. They were all happy, very cute smiling children. Not the 'Help! I'm trapped behind this wall!' sad pictures.

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  6. Thank you - this picture annoys me too. =)

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