Autism Reality

I saw this video, called Autism Reality, on another blog — LBnuke (thanks for sharing it Lori :-D) — and I wanted to share it here too.

Autism Reality is a 10 minute documentary film about autism by Alex Plank. The film features interviews with Dr. Temple Grandin, Alex himself, and a handful of others including Alex’s parents. This film shows a perspective not often seen in autism media by portraying autism as a reality which is neither good nor bad, just a different way that some people are wired. Alex is the founder of WrongPlanet.net, one of the earliest and largest online communities for people on the autistic spectrum.

The film also features a brief interview with Dr Edward Hall, a Mohawk Shaman, which I found particularly interesting because of my interest in the connections with autism/Asperger’s and what is often termed supernatural, paranormal and psychic phenomena. Dr Hall said:

“To be autistic means you can become a shaman. Your autism is your license to begin practicing if you would decide to follow a Red Path. Red Paths don’t come quickly, they come through experience. When you stop seeking wisdom is when you begin to get a little wiser.”

I also found some information about Red Paths…

A Red Path or red road is not a physical road, it is the path to inner self. The Red Road is a path given to the First Nations people by the Creator and assures all the best in life and the capacity to make dreams come true. It is more than a way to walk in life, it is a way to feel in life. To truly ‘walk’ the Red Road, one must understand its relationship with thought. Red Road is about the fact that we are creators of the way we see the world, we are creators of our experiences, which we must understand or we risk letting negative experiences dictate the way our day, week or entire life will be. To follow the Red Road, one must also have faith. Faith that it is always there no matter how far we stray. Teachings describe the Red Road and love as being the same thing. Meaning, it is a beautiful feeling that is free of judgment and any hostile or negative thoughts. (From http://www.redroad-nl.com/)

I just wish there could have been more time devoted to this particular interview. The latest book by William Stillman, The Autism Prophecies, delves into this and related topics — see my blog Autism, Spirituality & Record Blog Stats!

Overall, I enjoyed the video, and I would encourage others to watch it and perhaps gain a new understanding of autism and to help spread the movie’s main message, which is…

“Autism is not good or bad …just different.”

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9 thoughts on “Autism Reality

  1. It is an interesting perspective, but please also remember Autistic’s like my son. He is in constant pain 24 hours a day. He cries that his head feels like Humpty Dumpty and that it has “fire burning” in it. He also says he has a firing burning in his tummy. He writhes on the floor for a good portion of the day. For him Autism is hell. On another note, a friend of mine just started blogging. She is an autism mom who has similiar interests to us in terms of the spiritual aspects. Thought you might like her blog: http://meaninglessmeanderingsfromasupermum.blogspot.com/
    As, always, I enjoy your great writing! Been a while since I’ve been reading anything though.

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    1. I guess the video does come across as biased towards people who are less affected by autism than your son, even though he and others like him are by no means forgotten. Autism covers such a broad spectrum of conditions and “ways of being” and I guess people tend to concentrate on the area within that spectrum that they are most familiar with due to personal experience, such as this film with Asperger’s Syndrome and “high functioning” (for want of a better term) autism.

      I think the message the movie is trying to get across applies equally to all areas of the Autism spectrum and that is that people in general need to be educated to develop a more tolerant and understanding view of anybody who is different to them and lose the often prevalent judgmental attitudes which infer that “different” is the same as “wrong” or “bad”. If that was the case there would be far fewer cruel “get your kid under control” stares and comments by the general public who happen to witness an overwhelmed Autistic child (or adult) having a “meltdown” in a public place. At the other end of the scale there are some individuals (based on comments I’ve seen on various websites and forums) who would urge us to believe that Autistics/Aspies are somehow superior to the NT population …that attitude also needs to be tempered with the idea that autism is neither good nor bad, just different.

      I read your blog and was shocked and horrified by the difficulties you’ve encountered in trying to get medical help for your son. I’m amazed at how uncaring some of the medical practitioners appear to have been. I sincerely hope you are able to find answers/solutions to his autoimmune/inflammatory problems.

      I also had a look at your friend’s blog …I’ll definitely be going back to read more. 😀

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  2. Jenwytch,

    Even your comments are so beautifully written…..you really have a gift with words! You are right about assumption and understanding. Guess I have been overwhelmed lately by comments on friend’s FB pages by Neurodiversity people saying there is no subset of kids with GI issues & I’m like “whaaaat??!!” We can all get into the habit of thinking that the Autism we see in our own homes reflects all of Autism. It is hard for me not to see Regressive Autism as an affliction because that is what it looks like in my son. If it were only about Autism, being different, that would be the least of my concerns. I have NLVD myself, which is similar to Aspergers, so I get different.

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    1. I understand where you’re coming from with the “whaaaat??!!”. I guess it’s just harder for some people than others to acknowledge anything outside of their own limited realm of experience as being possible.

      Thanks for the compliment too …I just wish my writing was more spontaneous. I tend to take ages to think of what to say, then obsess over it, edit, re-edit, obsess and reread some more and tweak and fiddle with it again, before finally posting something …even a short response like this, lol. 😀

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  3. Okay, you just answered my question. Was thinking while at OT w/A that I wanted to ask you if your process is spontaneous, or more like mine (much as you described). I can crank out something that sounds okay, but the amount of time that goes into even that is beyond what I’m able to muster, which is why I go long gaps of time between writing.

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    1. The time consuming writing process is very frustrating at times, but we can always console ourselves with the old saying, “quality is better than quantity”! 😀

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  4. Go to you tube search engine: type in: “Behaviorally and Medically Challenging Cases in Autism” This is a very rare look inside the challenges of autism and self injurious behavior seldom seen

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  5. i really appreciate the comprehensive range of information. i now understand my six year old son far more, and his behaviour. i have endlessly researched aspergers and now understand him much more. thank you

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