My special needs reads #3

Back to what I’m reading!

Couple of old links I looked back on but great ones… This one is on popular special needs blog Love That Max, and shares results of a survey taken of over 300 adults who have siblings with disabilities. These kind of stories always interest me, to see what other siblings think or feel. Have a read!

Here’s one I have on bookmark – and it’s about honesty in special needs families. Much love to Lisa Domican for blogging about this; it’s titled “coming clean about that autism taboo“. It’s about being able to have an ‘off day/month/year’ when it comes to living with special needs. The media loves a feel-good story, but it’s not rainbows and miracles every day and families who live with special needs know that. We look on the bright side, A LOT, but sometimes, heck, you just want a rest. So it’s ok to feel annoyed, angry, upset, frustrated… this is normal. And Lisa’s post is very insightful on the matter.

This is a great post from Mashable which has five different simulation videos that show you exactly what people with autism experience on a regular basis in “normal” life experiences. To quote from the article: “To the extent that these simulations can illustrate how noxious sensory stimulation can be for individuals with ASD, they may help the general population to better understand the difficulty of living with ASD.”

This one is recent and topical – as a journalist myself, it annoys me no end to see media outlets shout out crap like “person with autism shoots XXX number of people” and “serial killer autistic” and stuff like that. Especially in the American media, the “journalists” seem to have a checklist… I imagine they go through it like this: “Shooting? Was he Muslim? If yes, let’s use the word terrorist. Was he white and not religious (ie Muslim)? OK let’s call him disturbed. Wait, was he autistic or have Aspergers or ANYTHING we can blame it on? OK great, let’s use that as the news hook.” WHAT. THE. F***. And what pissed me off even more recently was an “article” that shouted out that there was a “significant statisical link between mass murder and autism”. But buried in that article was a line that the study was speculative and anecdotal. Uhhhh. My thoughts summed up perfectly here by autism father Stuart Duncan: “Dear news media, this is how you fail the autism community so badly”.

A pretty comprehensive study that covered 2 million children from 1982-2006 (out of which over 14,000 had autism) was undertaken by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, King’s College in London, and Mount Sinai in the United States which states that “Autism risk half genetic, half environmental“. Have a look!

That’s it for this week … till the next time!

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