Autism in the News?

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Autism in the News?

Post by Frenchie33 » Fri 19 Oct , 2018 2:00 pm


Just a thought,

What do we all think about Autism being in the media/ news lately?

I think its a good thing as its debunking the myths about Autism and what it is and most importantly what it isn't.

Recently we have had famous celebrities that have Autism ( Anne Hegerty From the TV gameshow The Chase,Plus Robert White from Britians Got Talent 2018 etc)

I have had lots more conversation with others wanting to know more about Autism or ASD now than before as its ( In my mind) Been given more exposure in the media.

Do we think its a good thing? Debate/ Discuss please :-)

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Re: Autism in the News?

Post by AlexRowley » Fri 19 Oct , 2018 5:26 pm

It depends on what kind of exposure we are getting. Considering most people have now at least heard of autism, I'm not sure that "no news is bad news" applies.

One example is the numerous criminal cases where the defence is citing autism as a factor, ranging from hacking to attempted murder and even rape. These cases seem to get an awful lot of coverage, and I'm worried that they will paint us as dangerous, despite our community being far more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. Or that autism will be seen as a "get-out-of-jail-free card". Not to say that autism can never be a defence, for example assaulting an overly hands-on police officer during a meltdown as depicted in Dog in The Night-time. But I think the potential repercussions for the whole community are important to consider.

Another thing that makes me uncomfortable is that all of the media attention -when not on crime- seems to be on the rich and famous with autism. This is understandable, it applies to people without autism too, but they live with a presumption that they will be able to lead everyday lives: get an education, work, get married, have kids. This life that's so ordinary for them often seems extraordinary and even unattainable for our community. Because of this, it feels incredibly unfair that the role models presented to us are in nigh-unreachable positions even for people without autism.

We need everyday autistic role models: working adults, parents, small-business owners, self-employed. People who have achieved the impossible, an ordinary life.
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Re: Autism in the News?

Post by Frenchie33 » Fri 19 Oct , 2018 6:51 pm

Yeah,That is a point Alex...

We have people like Dean Beadle who you know has Autism (He is an ordinary every day person)

Yes the media can highlight Autism but then its up to others to make up their minds as to what they then gather or glean from what they have heard about Autism.

Certainly,If we hear more of every day people that are Autistic then thats something we can be pleased or proud that they have achieved life goals despite their Autism.

We can then think "If they can do it,Then I can as well" Then we can see that those things are not so "unattainable" after all :)

I am off the mind that as long as 2 things happen with Autism in the News:

1. People's views change on ASD

2. That it inspires others with ASD to see that they can live independenant lives with the right support and guidance.

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