Think differently about autism


Today the National Autistic Society launches its “think differently” campaign. We want to spread the word that autism need not be so devastating and disabling if only  people would take the time to understand it and make the effort to adapt our schools and workplaces and public spaces to make them autism friendly.

To that end we have launched a website and established a presence on MySpace and Facebook.

Download the campaign pack and join us. And check out yesterday’s article in the Observer for some useful background information. And for some grim reading about why we need to think differently read yesterday’s blog that features a Sunday  Times article on the truly awful Judge Rotenberg Center in America.

7 thoughts on “Think differently about autism

  1. I downloaded the campaign pack last night and think it’s great stuff. I was a bit disheartened to see the use of the ‘devastating’ word, though at least it was explained that support can make a difference. From the opening letter;

    “Without the right support, it can have a profound – sometimes devastating – effect on individuals and families. The NAS is the UK’s leading charity for people affected by autism; with your support for this campaign we can make a positive difference to even more people living with autism.”

    I also wonder why the NAS always talks of ‘people with autism’ instead of ‘autistic people’?
    One more thing, it would have been nice to see home-education mentioned as a option in the school section.

  2. Well I made the point before the launch of this campaign that I for one do not approve of the language being used, it is no more OK for the NAS to talk of a “devastating” disorder than it is for Autism Speaks.

    And if Autistics want to have a go at the NAS over that, then you are all welcome.

  3. Larry,
    I think there is a difference between those who regard autism as intrinsically devastating and the NAS position that it need not be devastating if extrinsic factors are altered.

  4. Regarding the devastation rhetoric, yes, there is certainly a difference between NAS and groups like Autism Speaks in the way they use the language. However, it’s a word best avoided by anyone who would befriend the autistic population. Even a neutral or positive word (think about “articulate”) can become tainted to such an extent it raises suspicion.

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