Recommended Reading for Wednesday, November 3
I’m sorry this is at an odd time today. I forgot it was Wednesday. (I forgot yesterday was Tuesday, so this makes total sense.)
Monday was Autistics Speaking Day:
Corina Becker at No Stereotypes Here: Preparing to be Loud
When I proposed Autistics Speaking Day, I merely thought that it’ll be myself plus a couple of others participating. However, it turns out that there are a lot of people who feel the same, and different names for it, from Autism ShoutOut! to our Autistics Speaking Day.
The name for it doesn’t matter. This is a day that is supposed to be about spreading Autism Awareness, therefore it’s OUR day. It doesn’t just belong to me, it belongs to all of us, and what matters is that we stand together to raise Autism awareness.
Corina followed up with The Success of Speaking
I will be honest, when I proposed Autistics Speaking Day, I thought that at best it would be myself and a few others, tweeting on Twitter and maybe putting up a few blog posts. And when the criticisms came in, with people saying that much wouldn’t happen, so why bother, I thought of two things. The two things that leads me to be active in the Autism and Disability communities.
Corinna and Kathryn Bjørnstad have made a very long list of bloggers that participated in Autistics Speaking Day. I recommend checking them all out.
Steve Silberman at Neurotribes: I’m Right Here: Rudy Simone on Life as an “Aspergirl”
Unlike autistic author and animal-behavior expert Temple Grandin — whose life was the subject of an acclaimed HBO biopic starring Clare Danes — Simone wasn’t diagnosed until she was in her 40s. Diagnosis in mid-life is common for women with Asperger Syndrome. Often highly intelligent and articulate, they’re able to mask their social deficits while leveraging their ability to focus intensely into achievements in school and the workplace.
Simone had a relatively happy — if eccentric — childhood, but when she hit adolescence, the social tide seemed to turn against her, washing away most of her friends. Suddenly, her trusting exuberance and hyper-focus made her weird in the eyes of her peers, and a convenient target for bullying and abuse. One day, Simone’s chief tormentor at school brutally beat her in front of a cheering crowd of older kids. Humiliated, the 12-year-old Simone stopped singing and laughing in public
The Untoward Lady at the Vibrating Square: Memories [Discusses bullying]
I expected to remember the bullies. I expected to remember the pain that had been caused. I had thought that the faces of my memory, the pain, would come and surface again as I looked at the rows of portraits.
MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING ON THIS ONE: Dave Hingsburger at Rolling Around in my Head: Curbing Anger: Daring Difference (TW for abuse of autistic boy)
What they did defies understanding. Maybe it just defies MY understanding. For three days they tortured a young 17 year old man with autism. The list of what they did is astonishing in its length, in its cruelty, and (it must be said) in its creativity. Here’s a brief survey of what a teen boy with autism suffered at the hands of his tormentors.
My very first instalment in my series on New Age perspectives on autism begins with the book and movie of the same title, The Horse Boy, the book being written by Rupert Isaacson, the movie directed by Michael O. Scott. At the centre of both though is Rowan Isaacson, son of Rupert and Kristin. He is the titular “Horse Boy” and he has autism. The book and film both chronicle his parents taking him on a special trip to Mongolia to consult with traditional Mongolian shamans, in hopes of “healing” Rowan from his tantrums and incontinence, as well as helping him become more social and less agitated by overstimulation. The idea is that the combination of riding horses and shamanistic healing will benefit Rowan emotionally and physically.
jholverstott: A Shade unDifferent: Latent Bullying and ASD, the Epidemic Grows
Most of what I have read in the literature suggests that anti-bullying campaigns are ineffective, at best, and potentially damaging, at worst. Kid with ASDs are a tricky audience, regardless. They are kind, too kind to stand up for themselves with the empowered and sometimes sassy words that stand down a bully. They are not equipped to recognize the savviness of cyber- and mobile-bullying, with its faceless and nameless tactics. They are primed targets because they want so desperately to believe in others, to believe in a friend, to have a friend. They are cyclical victims because of the flaws of the system that shields them; “tattle” and enlarge the target.