I usually don't like to shine light on the media that dislike or disapprove of when it comes to Autism. Because by saying something, I'm giving them what they want. I'm giving the attention. However, after this week, my feelings have never been stronger and I just had to share.
I am not really a Facebook person other than to share my blog posts, but more recently I have been reading some of the articles others have posted or are advertised, especially if they have something to do with Autism. I started with Sesame Street's new "muppet" with Autism. Julia. I can't stand the thought of her.
Honestly, I really tried to go into it with a positive outlook. I wanted my response to be, "Wow this is great for awareness" However, the more I "got to know" Julia, the more I couldn't stand it. Props to Sesame Street for the good old college try, but you didn't do to well. For one, Julia is a girl. Autism affects 1 in 42 boys. They are 4 times more likely to have Autism than girls. So, sorry Sesame Street, but this isn't an accurate or relatable muppet which based on all the articles, "is what they're trying to achieve." On one hand, I saw people's comments about having a female Autistic is rare so it makes it extra special... however, I started to think if we are going to start throwing words like rare around with Autism, isn't that going to be misunderstand? Instead of knowing that 1 in 68 children are affected by Autism, you see rare. So untrue.
In addition to the story of Julia's Autism being told from only the point of view of Elmo, which infuriating me. The majority of people with Autism cannot speak so why not give her a voice? Let her speak for herself! Let her tell everyone what Autism is FROM AN AUTISM POINT OF VIEW. The more I learned about Julia, the more I realized she was just a media ploy. She isn't even a real muppet. She isn't a puppet. She is a story book, in animated form. Making her "not real." A lot of people with Autism are seen as "not a real person" and are pushed to the back of the crowds. So, by what they're doing with Julia is just like what they do in real life. So, Sesame Street - I guess it is a little relatable. Their whole goal was to help parents, individuals with Autism, and help others understand. However, on their website there is nothing on there for individuals with Autism! What is even the point? PLEASE read this individual's point of view on Julia, the real Autism point of view.
To top it all off, this article was posted on my Facebook feed. I have had it with the vaccine gossip so I won't even comment on that. What astonished me is the statement where it says Autism attacks the brains of those depending on their religious affiliation. Are you kidding me?????? The ignorance of this article and the people who believe it baffles me.
Things like these aren't helping people with Autism. They're hurting them.
Autism from a sibling's point of view...
My name is Paige and I am 24 years old. I graduated from Towson University with a Psychology Bachelors Degree. I am now working towards my Master's in Education of Autism and other Pervasive Disorders at Johns Hopkins. I am also a Behavior Data Specialist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute Neurobehavioral Inpatient Unit. My younger brother, Sammy, is 19 and has Autism. He is completely non-verbal, unaware of safety, is not toilet trained, cannot get himself dressed, and has difficulty with everyday activities that we all take advantage of. He works harder every single day of his life than anyone I know and he always does it with a smile on his face. He is my true hero and inspiration and because of him, I have dedicated my life to advocating and creating opportunities for individuals with Autism. I hope that I can make him proud and this blog is just a small part of the awareness I hope I can create about Autism and support other siblings impacted by Autism. I love you Sammy - thank you for everything.