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Reflections on April’s Awareness month

 

So that was Autism Awareness Month. It was the first one for us with a real diagnosis 
rather than last years suspicions. For us personally it hasn't made much difference but 
if it has spread the word about being more aware and accepting of autism then I suppose 
it will have a ripple effect.  

My worry is that these 'Awareness' months and days are all very well intended and 
hopefully raise profiles and money for charities, but does the awareness go past the 
people it affects?20130421-124747.jpgWe share statuses on Facebook and the odd person will like it (even share it if we're lucky)
but what does that do? My Twitterati are a fabulous bunch but they are probably 60% special 
needs parents, special needs adults and companies who work in the field. Do the other 40% 
re-tweet my autism related posts? Not often.

This week I was directed on Facebook to a page called "Aspergers is funny because they turn 
into murderers."  I was obviously sent there to report it by another Mum like myself. How 
are we meant to be positive about awareness and acceptance for our families when there is 
such utter stupidity and ignorance in the world?

Yesterday I went to look at a special needs school for my daughter as nursery is fast 
approaching. Her lovely mainstream pre-nursery group are doing wonders but eventually she 
would have to move out of the tiny group she's in now into the hardcore 3+ nursery group. 
(Hardcore might be a tad extreme but it is manic...too manic for her.)  If she didn't 
transfer up into that group it would mean trying to transition her from where she is now 
to reception, that's not going to work.abcA special school or a unit are the best idea, for now. Maybe after a year or two her 
communication will catch up with her intellect and the special setting won't be needed. 
Then again it was lovely and calm and considerably quiet. Mainstream schools aren't quiet. 
Mainstream schools don't have two sensory rooms and access to one to one support as well 
as Speech and Language and Physiotherapy when needed. Quite frankly after visiting the 
school I think it should be mandatory for all the idiots who liked the above page.  The 
school was great and the kids were happy, not murderers in the making (this makes me angry 
even typing it.) 

If I'm honest as a quiet child I think I'd have flourished in a school like the one I saw 
yesterday and I had no additional needs, who'd want to be in mainstream when this is on 
offer?
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One thought on “Reflections on April’s Awareness month

  1. Great post. I too have been trying to raise awareness this month sharing some of the stories of families I have worked with. Ignorance comes from fear, I remember being petrified when I was first told I was going to teach a child with autism. Over time however the children I have taught and supported have been some of the most amazing kids, all kids are different and pose different challenges. I wish everyone could have the experiences I’ve had. It’s hard for me to explain to my own kids how amazing these children are without a frame of reference but i’ll do my best.

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