A Modern Day Fairy Tale: Shattering Stereotypes {Autism & Ignorance}

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Shattering Stereotypes {Autism & Ignorance}

Perhaps I'm a little biased when I say this, but MY SON IS PRETTY GOSH DARN AWESOME!! He's incredibly intellegent, teaching himself to read when he was only 2 years old. His memory is astounding, remembering events that happened a few years back, every word to his favorite movies and exactly what each logo he loves looks like- down to the last detail! (Can't forget that 'circle R'/registered symbol in the byline!!) He's charming, and funny, and just downright AWESOME! 

He also has Autism.

As a mother, it breaks my heart to think that anyone would ever see him as anything less than the amazing kid he is, just because he happens to have that diagnosis. You can imagine the heartbreak I felt two days ago when I discovered this article. I will not go into full detail of what it says (as I do not want to unintentionally drive traffic to my blog from people searching for the words mentioned), but you can read the article for yourself to see what was so devastating. The basic story: a certain phrase typed into the Google search engine regarding Autism was coming up with some extremely hateful auto search options. The article is discussing Google's move to work on having them removed, but the fact that they showed up anyway means that someone had to have been searching such phrases to begin with. Absolutely disgusting!

From ideas that people with Autism are not intelligent  to ideas that they can never be successful, should somehow 'look different' or cannot function in a day to day life...to ideas that  individuals with Autism are all Rain Man, or cannot speak or be around people at all. Or even that it is something entirely made up as an excuse for bad parenting. In recent months, it's that individuals with Autism are dangerous and commit mass murders like the Colorado theater shooting or Newtown. There are a TON of misconceptions and stereotypes about Autism that are completely untrue. Though Autism awareness and knowledge have grown tremendously in recent years, the fact that these stereotypes are still so common, and that these searches have been done prove that there is still a long way to go too.

On this blog and in our daily life, I have made it a personal goal of mine to do everything I can to shatter these stereotypes and show that people with Autism, like my son, can be pretty amazing. Of course, I am only one person and know I cannot change the attitude of the world, but if I can teach just one person something about Autism, then I will have done something great. My biggest prayer for my son is that he will be given the respect and understanding he so deserves, and not have to face the ignorance and hate in this world shown above.


  1. Most children who are "labeled" autistic are sometimes extremely brilliant-like your son. I have an autistic nephew who when he was young preferred the company of computers to humans--He thinks he actually has a mild form of Asbergers-whatever-he is now a computer GEEK who holds down a very well paying job! As for the people who say or look up hateful type ideas--I hope they remember that Karma is a bitch!!

  2. {{{{HUGS}}}} My daughter does not have autism, so I have no clue what you go through. But, everyone is made in God's image, including Autistic people. I went to the webpage you linked to and tried for myself typing in that phrase in Google. The article was right-at least two of the phrases mentioned showed up.

  3. For starters, Shaun is absolutely precious!! You should be proud of the wonderful young man he is becoming [as Im sure you are]! I can tell you from experience that people with Autism CAN and DO grow up to be fully functioning adults in today's society. They may have to work a little harder at some things, focus a little more, but anything and everything is doable. My friend's older brother is almost 30, lives by himself in an apartment where he cooks and cleans and completely takes care of himself. No at home care or anything. He has a drivers license and drives himself anywhere he wants to go, and holds down a job. He goes to the gym every day! Goes to meet up groups at his church! Nothing different from you or I. The only thing "different" about him -- a diagnosis.

  4. Personally, I think kids and adults with Autism and other similar ailments are truly gifted and understand a little bit more about life's meaning than other people.

    We (as the majority of people who don't suffer from these types of ailments) just need to take the time, effort and have the patience to understand these beautiful souls and what they have to offer to society!

    Ignorance definitely does not help that cause o.O

    You're son is an absolutely wonderful person, inside and out, and whoever can't see that is just too close minded!

  5. That's horrendous that people would even think that way about autism. It also shows that they've never actually met anyone with autism. In college, one of my classmates had autism. Michael had an entire hymnbook memorized. You could name a song number, and he could either play the song on the piano or he could (at the very least) tell you what the title was. He was also one of the nicest people I've ever met. My first year of teaching, I was blessed to have two bright young men with Asperger's in my classroom. They were both very smart, sweet boys.


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