A message to Parents of children with Autism

Hello All!

I’ve dedicated this post to the parents of children who are affected by Autism, because I feel that it’s important to offer some insight and encouragement.

For some of you, you may already well accustomed to life with a child on the Spectrum, and for some of you this is an all new journey

Well, whatever stage you are in, I wanted you to know that this journey is just as crazy (hopefully, in a good way) and unpredictable for the ones on the spectrum as it is for you.

One of the most powerful things you can do as a parent of a child on the Spectrum is to learn how to accept both the child and their diagnosis, and the same can be said for the child as they grow older (depending on their level of functioning of course). Too many times I see parents of special needs children saying things like “Oh Autism, how I despise you,” or “Autism you’re such a burden to our family.” I understand and respect that being the parent of a child on the Spectrum is really hard, but these type of posts could do a lot of damage to your child if they come across it one of these days, especially once they’re old enough to understand their diagnosis.

Now I’m not going to sugarcoat it, there will be challenges and there will be hardships, but the one thing that never goes away is the fact that there is an absolutely beautiful connection that exists between you and your child, and the fact that the child is on the Spectrum will only make it stronger. Please don’t ever lose sight of that, because one day your child will go on to do amazing things in this world and they will give all their thanks to you. Who knows, maybe your child will be the next Einstein, create a video game that is just as big as Minecraft, or become a successful actor or actress. Many people on the Spectrum go on to have successful careers, and the possibilities are endless!!

Finally, it’s ok to take time for yourself and to have a break every once in a while. No one wants to experience a complete burnout, and you are not selfish at all for taking a step back.

Be patient, have faith, and everything will turn out okay.

Bye for now,

Shana

 

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Media Representation and The Spectrum

Hello all!

Like most of you probably are, I am an avid consumer of social media. I spent constant time connecting with my friends on Facebook, following celebrities on Instagram, and browsing online stores looking for the latest trends.

Recently I came across an article on Facebook,

Netflix’s “Atypical” Was a Major Disappointment for Autism Representation

For those of you that haven’t seen Atypical, it’s about a teen on the spectrum who decides that he wants to start dating. It’s for the most part heartfelt and comedic, however, as the author pointed out, there were some parts that I felt where the main characters’ symptoms were either over exaggerated or used as a joke by the creators. This lead me to question, is there really a perfect representation of Autism?

One of the things that makes Autism so intriguing, is the amount of complexity that is attached to it. No two people on the spectrum are going to be the same (but that’s the case for anyone really), and it’s important to note that many of the people that create these shows are neuro-typical. This in absolutely no way undermines their credibility but I feel that there could be more depth and dimension in developing the authenticity of their characters.

There are many films and tv shows nowadays that are creating more opportunities for actors of diverse backgrounds and various disabilities (i.e. A Quiet Place providing a role for a deaf actress, Coco having an all latino cast). This made me think, what if we could provide roles for actors with Autism to play characters with Autism, or allow the production to be directed by someone on the spectum?

If not that, how about we create a tv show or a movie that focuses on females with Autism? (we need a lot more representation than a muppet on Sesame Street folks).

I think that it would be amazing to see individuals with Autism come together and make a film or tv show because I feel that it would add such a genuine and authentic element into the effort to represent Autism in the most realistic way possible.

No representation is perfect, but I believe that bringing people of a similar background together could make for something truly exceptional.

Bye For Now!

Shana