“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.” ~ Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993); Actress, Humanitarian
30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.
© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2012)
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i am a member of GRASP. this is a response to a father’s request for help for his adult son with respect to confidence building. what we do with our toddlers, school-aged, teens, young adults will have significant affect to how they cope as older adults.
[Is your adult son in relationship with other ASD people/ his ASD community ?
This i believe, from years of working with now hundreds of ASD people , is almost always essential as a first step if confidence is to develop , as it must first develop through the practice of authenticity ,self expression and disclosure ( to self and others !) and this is only possible , i have found , in his own community .
It is arrogant to suppose that there is only one society and therefore ASD people , their performances and needs , are assessed against the standards/ assumptions of that one society .
There is indeed an ASD society and hence it has its own set of ” social skills ” .( i dont have time to elaborate here , sorry , but it includes literal expression , focus on info exchange , rather than methodology or political interests of self expression ) .
There can be no practice of , nor indeed , even awareness of authenticity without awareness of self , and part of this flows from seeing aspects of self both reflected and not reflected in those around us .
With many ASD individuals ,( except maybe within ASD communities like silicon valley or some uni campuses, and a couple of electronics firms i can name ) unless you re balance things , theres a massive over representation of the unlike people around one .
This causes a traumatic confusion around identity and purpose , leading to issues of anxiety , depression , existential angst etc . These all relate to the persons situation of alienation not ASD !!!
The finding of self through reflection of likeness within a community , acts as a launchpad into other societies ( for any outsiders).
Thats when the social skills education of the other society can begin.
There is no point exchanging the alienation of self due to estrangement from the society one finds oneself in , with an even more pernicious alienation from self (because one is living only in awareness of the external , including ones ” social ” behaviours , which are redundant to and alien to , ones needs and ones own society .. and ultimately oneself .)
Because my time is very restricted i am only able to respond here to the emailer who raised this matter .. so no other correspondence possible, except from that poster . sorry . . ]
I just found Audrey’s quote on your post – so inspiring. We are big Audrey Hepburn fans, and I have a 5 year old diagnosed in the Autism Spectrum. This quote and the image made me break in tears.
Wish you the best in your blog