30 Oct 2007

Think Differently About Autism

The NAS is running a new campaign to highlight the need for support, understanding and accommodations to help autistic people and those caring for autistic people. It aims to raise awareness of the condition and help discard some of the myths and misunderstandings about autism. I'd recommend that everyone who can, has a look at the website, and tells their friends and family about it too. You don't have to be autistic, have an autistic relative or even know someone with autism to want to do a bit to help everyone get fairer treatment and to be enabled to do their best.

There's a quiz where you can test your knowledge of autism, and a campaign pack giving more information. Please take the time to have a look and to share the link.



Sharon McDaid said...

I didn't want to be churlish and put this comment in my main post, but I wish the NAS had avoided the use of the tainted word 'devastating' in the opening letter of the campaign pack. It is explained that autism can be devastating without appropriate support, but it's just a word I don't like to see used about autism.

I also was disappointed that in all the extensive information in the campaign pack, especially about helping autistic children get the best education, there's no mention of the option to home-educate, which was worked out so well for so many of us.

Ed said...

Hi Sharon,
Sorry for being a U.S.American (and I mean that sincerely) but I have a question.
Certainly the ASA uses these tainted words and much worse in all their campaigns.
I have heard others say that there are hopes that the ASA will work (at least to some degree) toward becoming more like the NAS. I would hope that would be the case.
I wonder (since others have that hope as I do) in what ways if any is the NAS making it clear that they do feel differently about autistics, have different veiws, and a different agenda than that of the ASA? From what I'm seeing here I'm not seeing a real clear departure myself. ( I hope you don't just tell me we are in trouble. I already know that. :) )

Sharon McDaid said...

Hi Ed

Please don't apologise for who you are! The US is a fantastic place. After all, many of my favourite people are from there!

The NAS is a good organisation. They have been working hard in recent years to become much more inclusive of autistic people at all levels. I recently had to vote for some positions on the NAS hierarchy, and I was able to choose all autistic candidates.

The NAS gave me reasonable and fair advice when Duncan was younger, and their free 'EarlyBird' course for parents, was one of the most useful things I did at that time. The information in this campaign is also fair and if more people are made aware of correct information about autism, I think it's a good step towards understanding and acceptance of diversity.

I don't know much about the ASA, but what do know makes me very grateful to have the NAS to join, and not the ASA.

Casdok said...

The NAS are certainly improving and i think this is one of their best campaigns yet.

Sharon McDaid said...

I just discovered via Bev that the section on the campaign web site on 'insights into autism' still has only 4 stories, all from parents and some very negative. This is the 4th day of the campaign, and it's a bad show that they haven't seen fit to include any autistic perspectives in this section yet. I know that a few people have sent in their stories, and I think it's important that these are featured asap.