I watched the entire talk and I found it very interesting. I had no trouble attending and getting through it. The focus was on how the things we think and the messages we process can positively or negatively affect our brains. It also explained how when we meditate on a big idea – whether it is God, or kindness, or peace – our brains are also changed. The connections between what we think, the messages we process, and the changes in our brains (the big concepts behind CBT and cognitive behaviour strategies) were made visual. I love that!
The connection for me to Autism would be how the brain is changed when faced with negative messages. It has me again wondering how much responsibility we need to take for the constant barrage of negative messages we give to those who are not a part of the neuromajority. (BTW… that is rhetorical: of course we need to give this more consideration and alter it!)
I look at my boy and reflect upon all of the times he has been treated as though he is bad or misbehaving by others because of his processing differences, and then the connection is that these these have had an ongoing negative impact. This can be changed – and we need to support the positive perspectives of his differences. Autism needs to be seen as a set of differences instead of a set of deficits. I suppose the connection I make to this video is that the deficit-based perspective is further disabling – but that we can work to positively change this.
Additionally, the thread on Karla’s page regarding this video, is a lovely example of multiple and differing perspectives – and the way in which all of our understanding is enriched when we can be involved is such respectful discourse.
Reading Karla’s thread deepens my understanding of the difficulties in connecting to content and ideas based on format, as a number of people who responded found that the intent and content of the Ted Talk was challenging due to the format and design, and lack of what Karla refers to as cliffs (I am assuming Cliffs notes).
Karla states: “Here is the kicker (and for others to hear/learn). IF you want me to comment or be able to follow on a video or something like this, PLEASE give me the “cliffs” of it along with places in the video that are meaningful to the points YOU want to discuss. Otherwise I get lost in an ocean of connections that never tie together. This has nothing to do with me not working hard enough… It has to do with me getting lost in an ocean of points that never tie together.”
As a parent of a child with autism/autistic child, wife of an Autistic person, and special education teacher – it always helps me to understand and be reminded of the connection between format and accessibility of content!
And too… I can’t help but notice that sometimes the neuromajority really lacks the perspective of others. I always appreciate the insight of another perspective (or two or ???) to nudge me into considering things outside of my own experience!!
If you have 20 minutes to spare, I would very much encourage you to check out the link to Waldman’s talk. If you do watch/listen to the talk, please consider leaving a comment here with your impressions afterward, as both Karla and myself would be interested in your perspective.
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)