Have you stood in the check out lines at the supermarkets lately and noticed the number of headlines that are highlighting famous people that are claiming to be on the spectrum?
Have you noticed in articles about people on the spectrum how the author uses examples of the high achieving celebrities? Dan Akroyd sound familiar? How about Steve Jobs?
For the NT reading these articles, they are getting the impression that people with Asperger's specifically, must be geniuses. Hmm, but what about their cousin Beth who sits at home, always with headphones on, won't make eye contact and can't keep a job? She must be lazy because she CLAIMS to be on the spectrum but she's sure not accomplishing what these others are doing.
I don't know the percentage of people with Aspergers who are high functioning, but I bet it's a low number. The media is doing a disservice to the rest of us that fail at relationships, fail at retaining employment, are under employed, are on meds for depression because we aren't able to cope with the expectations of society...sometimes the expectations of our own families.
How about this for reality: A reality program that follows 3 people on the spectrum (at least one has to be a woman!), who live in middle America (or Canada, or …), who are low functioning. Viewers need to spend a month inside the heads and lives of these three people and see the lack of understanding and resources and hope there is.
In my instance, people see an attractive white lady, who's often grumpy but does very helpful kind things for people she's often around (ie: coworkers). Who has kind of a crappy, but stable, full-time job but who has a history of quitting or getting fired for a variety of reasons. Who has gone to school for so many different careers but never stuck with anyone of them due to not having done my homework about whether I was capable (ie: programming) or could financially support myself (ie: travel industry)...just for starters. I haven't had close friends in 30 years, and although I miss having friends with similar interests, I find maintaining friendship now to be frustrating and overwhelming.
I've never been without hope though that someday, the right circumstance will come around or I'll meet someone with amazing intuitiveness, who will present to me the possibility of finally being at peace with myself or maybe even improve my brain functioning.
I've been practicing mindfulness for a couple of years now, understanding that it has been proven to help re-wire our brains for the purpose of improving focus, calm and acceptance. I've had some exposure to binaural beats but I need to do more research about it and I hope the fact that I am deaf in one ear doesn't disclude me from benefitting from it. Lastly, governments are enhancing financial help to healthcare in the study of brain sciences.
My dream is that one day science identifies disabilities in children and cures our brains so that no one in the future has to live a life of marginalization due to a disability of their brain functioning.
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