Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spot the Autism

This video here poses a question about being able to 'spot the autism' .  I did right away, but I will post it and continue with my writing below so you can take a moment to watch it, so as I don't give away my point.

Were you able to see it?  I found this on a FB page about autism.  The page owner said she had experience with autism for over 25 years and couldn't spot the autistic child in the video until it was pointed out to her.  I interjected that I could right away and attempted to explain why in one or two sentences.  The entire thread continued on about services being so wonderful and inclusion and latidah.... everyone putting in their two cents about how they could never ever tell... completely ignoring the fact that I said anything.  Apparently,  they don't acknowledge any autism unless it fits their definition of what they think autism is and me and my words weren't it, as well as this little girl's actions.  The girl in the video could have been me as a child easily.  She is not behaving non-autisticly. She is copying NT behavior.  That is how I can tell she was on the spectrum, immediately.  She is me as a child, and even now as adult.  Watch carefully, and you'll see that she is always one second behind everyone else.  She pauses and looks around to see what she is supposed to be doing in that moment, then does it.  She is becoming a master chameleon.  When in doubt, just follow along, as been my motto for my whole life.  I can fit into any situation that I need to by smiling and mirroring. It isn't natural.  It never will be.  That's why socializing with others is so tiring and difficult.  It's like doing a huge math problem in my head.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think that that inclusion is a bad thing, or that ASD kids can't be taught social skills. I think inclusion is great and we can most definitely learn social skills, but it's not ever going to be second nature to us.  All I am saying is please don't ever think that if ASD kids are force fitted into social situations we will by osmosis become more typical, because that's not what necessarily happens. We may learn to fake it more, but it will always be an act.  As for the original intent of the video, I really don't see where schools try to exclude kids with autism.  I've always had the opposite problem, which is getting schools to address my son's (Bubby, because he is more like the girl in this video) autism.  That's another post for another day, though!