Saturday, 20 September 2014

Cashing in on Autism



The aim of our blog from Ryan & I has always been to offer an insight into living with Aspergers and to help just 1 person on their own journey by offering support, guidance and advice. I have been, not quite bombarded, but certainly encouraged strongly to place adverts within my blog to make money from people reading our story and it got me thinking. Should we cash in on Autism?


Now I will be the first to admit that money is tight. It always is and I am sure every single person reading my blog will relate, however setting up our blog was never intended as a way to make some extra cash, however much I sometimes may be tempted.  We want to share our story and pay it forward. I am a big believer in karma.


However I am certainly not against money making ideas especially those that fundraise for charities. The National Autistic Society’s excellent marketing idea of jumping on the Loom Band’wagon’ is genius and I have happily ordered my fundraising pack to make some bracelets in NAS colours to ‘cash in’ and raise much needed funds for an extremely worthy cause.


I have also purchased items from websites that raise awareness of Autism by buying necklaces of the awareness ribbon and tshirts. This money does go into the pocket of the person running the online shop but this not a bad thing in my opinion as they are helping to raise awareness of the differbility. 


I do feel sometimes though that we (I include myself) can focus too much on the AUTISM and momentarily forget about the wider picture. I am guilty of obsessing over the diagnosis the ‘label’, but it does annoy me sometimes when this is not put into context. It also annoys me when the Autism is used as an excuse or is cashed in on to get sympathy or used as a way to get something.


I fully understand how difficult it is for a child with Autism that has sensory issues or finds it difficult to understand situations such as queuing in a shop, school canteen or a line at a fairground ride. Is it fair then that Autistic children can go straight to the front of the queue to save on the anxiety of waiting? Would it not be fairer to teach that child the lesson of needing to wait and explaining why? There is more work involved in this approach and in the short term more anxiety but long term all children can learn the important life lessons, can’t they?


A quick Google search on Autism just returned over 70 million hits, no wonder people are confused.  12 years ago when I began my journey there wasn’t this myriad of information available. I was literally left alone to flounder and only by shear bloody determination on my own part have I managed over the years to find snippets of help and information. I am in the process of setting up a website to try and collate all these years of research and discovery into one easily accessible place, but am I just adding to the already possibly overloaded cache of material available? 


The aim of this post is supposed to be thought provoking and goading with the questions and statements to open up a discussion. The more these subjects are openly discussed and talked about the more taboos/myths/misconceptions/ignorance we can eradicate and more positive awareness is created. Do you agree? 



1 comment:

  1. Two points
    1. Advertising. Go for it. Just because something is advertised on your Blog does not mean that money jumps out of MY pocket.
    2. Sympathy. Autism doesn't generate sympathy! The autistic person looks too normal to a casual observer - invoking the reaction "They are just being bloody awkward". Lack of sympathy is THE problem and this is an offshoot of lack of understanding.

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