I have had a lifetime of falling through the cracks. Too smart for public school, too dumb to get a free ride with a more elite educational facility. Too poor to get the good things, too rich to get financial aid. Too far from anywhere with anything good, and too close to extant facilities to avoid horrible places. Pre-internet, there were only newspaper or magazine articles to inform us of anything that might exist. Even then, it was a roll of the dice to see if anyone in a position to help had heard of it or even wanted to attempt it.
In brief, I missed out on a lot of things.
Many of those things were being developed far, far away in countries I had only seen piecemeal on the television. I never heard of those things when I needed them, or… most of the time, they existed after I stopped needing them.
It seems like my entire life has the worst timing.
People can now be aware that Intensive Interaction (google it) is a viable and useful alternative to the tortures of Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy [aka ABA, aka That Bullshit] where an Autistic child is essentially tortured into obedient, ‘typical’ behaviour.
Awareness that Autism has many faces is spreading. Alas, many people still think that Autism is a strictly male affliction, but that’s slowly changing. I’ve yet to see any popular shows with a lady Autiste in there, but the change is coming. Who knows? There may yet be a mainstream show with an Autistic POC lady in there who’s not treated as a burden or a joke.
…I may have to have a hand in writing it, but by crikey, I want to see it happening.
There are books, now. Websites. Hosts of information at varying levels of understanding capacity and truthfulness. You could go on a wiki walk and absorb most, if not all, of what there is to know about Autism. Including the completely fake link between vaccines and Autism. Can’t win them all.
Nypicals can, if they want to, find the things written by actual Autistic people and get their opinions and views about all kinds of things. Though in the case of Autism Parents(tm), I believe they’d much rather moan about their “terrible fate” than actually learn about their Autistic kid.
Hell, Autistic people like me can pop up online and rabbit on about their personal experiences and what they believe are the broken parts of their brains. It’s a new world out there. Certainly one that felt like science fiction in the 70’s, when personal computers were only just beginning to pop up for executive use only… or in the 80’s when all the memory ever needed was 64K.
Between the people who know their shit, the people who’ve experienced shit, and the people working on shit, we might actually have this shit sorted out in a decade or so. I can hope. Even though large portions of the world are sliding towards self-destructive ignorance, there is the hope that we can choose informed decisions.
Or it might all go to shit as Burden Porn and fear-mongering [the press is always quick to do an article about that one Autistic kid whose violence threatens the family. Never anything about the thousands of Autistic kids who hide in corners because violence happens to them] inspires the nypicals to outright attack anyone who “seems Autistic” lest we attack them first.
At this stage in the game? It could go either way.
If I could travel back to engineer the existence of these things [and give a passing kick to “Doctor” Andrew Wakefield’s bottom], I would. I needed all of this stuff. I needed more than this stuff too.
Starting with educating the nypicals surrounding me on how to be kinder and more sympathetic to people who are capital-D Different. Maybe a side-order of how prejudice is wrong and how to stamp it out.
That would be very nice.
We’re still working on that bit, though.