Today is April 2nd, International Autism Day. It's a day of awareness. To me, enlightenment is creating interest where there is little. By interest I mean curiosity, an inner need to know, experience, understand or listen carefully.
Nášho syna unschoolujeme, čo v praxi znamená, že sa v učení riadi primárne vnútornou motiváciou. Ide za tým, čo ho zaujíma, na čo je zvedavý, kde cíti potrebu spoznať, pozorne si vypočuť, nie za tým, čo je ročníku primerané a „má sa to“. Obdivujem jeho silu a jednoznačnosť. Vidno, že dokáže mať záujem, hlboký a zvedavý, má tú schopnosť a vytrvalo ju trénuje. No aj tak sa objavia situácie, kedy jeho záujmu, snahe pochopiť alebo empatizovať potrebujem pomôcť. Napríklad, keď ho niekto nahnevá, alebo keď je niečo dôležité pre nás, a on musí participovať, aj keď nechce.
I know what definitely doesn't work in that case: informing.Information has no power over dislike and disinterest. It flies through your head without any response, like a clean shot. What can work in the short term is scaremongering, shaming or inducing remorse. Information has no power over dislike and disinterest. It flies through your head without any response, like a clean shot. What can work in the short term is scaremongering, shaming or inducing guilt. alebo vyvolanie výčitiek.
Something like "even if it doesn't affect you, it might affect you and it will be too late, autism will take your child, your family and your finances." (Autism Speaks awareness campaign from the 90s)
Or something like "They are here among us, they are suffering, and you won't help them? won't you lend a helping hand? Aren't you ashamed?" (communication standard in the topic)
Zaberie to, no z dlhodobého hľadiska vyvolanie výčitiek, strachu alebo hanby naruší vzťah a vzájomnú dôveru, čo v dôsledku vyvolá ešte väčší nezáujem, vyblokovanie a odpor. Časom už nepomôže ani pritvrdiť, odozva nepríde.
What really works?
I won't please you it's laborious, but it's humanly possible.
Active mutual relationships. Not informing but sharing, speaking and listening, contact, interpersonal communication, everyday. Down here, among us, in the block, in the family, in the classroom, in the interest circle. We will not replace the creation of mutual relations with general information. That is why I consider community support and field work with them to be key. Wherever there is one of us, people on the spectrum, there is enlightenment.
Stereotypes and totems. here is such a thing as a useful line of propriety, crossing which we provoke the exact opposite of what we intended - dislike, disinterest, at best anger (it is better because it is active, albeit negatively). By creating a reasonable abbreviation of meaning, we create a premise for interest. He may or may not come, but we gave him a chance. And this is related to the next point.
Art. Artistic means were created to convey an experience, a story, not just information. A film that I live with for a moment, a character that I empathize with, a story that touches me, a photo that makes me laugh or think, a dance that captivates me, a rhythm that moves me. No media campaign will do people on the spectrum as much a service as a single HBO series, such as Little Sheldon, will do.
It works the same way in our family. Since I started with that, I will add that Otis gets caught up in something that we live by, just as we get caught up in what he lives by. We have a relationship. When a situation arises that his interest in another needs to be helped, we use abbreviations, stereotypes, simplifications, ideal visualizations, that is, something like "totems" that can be grasped and put his interest into. And finally, we watch stories, on YouTube, in games, movies, books, conversations with people, in music, we give ourselves the opportunity to perceive, feel, experience.
Inšpirovala ma moja známa, Denisa, ktorá je tiež Aspergerka, včera zdieľala kampaň značky VANISH. Dávam vám ju sem. Nie preto, že by dokonalo spĺňala všetky menované kritéria, ale robí pár vecí dobre:
They use film-making, a relatable story that gives it plenty of space. It uses stereotypes, which means being on the spectrum, for activists is incorrect, but reasonable and functional. It uses icon, a soft sweatshirt that I wear until it falls apart, protects me from the world and gives me comfort, e.g. even when I rub her sleeve.
They have other activities related to the campaign connected to community, although I see that more can be done there. I love the accompanying traveling exhibition "Me and my favorite piece of clothing". It shows the stories of different people on the spectrum, and at the same time it is equally engaging for those who are not on the spectrum, because clothes are fun for all young people.
VANISH nie je značka vychádzajúca z vnútra komunity, aj také sú, napr. HikiApp alebo Loop, ktoré rastú z presvedčenia, čo je dobré pre ľudí na spektre, môže byť v konečnom dôsledku dobré pre hocikoho iného. No témy sa VANISH zhostil dobre pre všetky zúčastnené strany. Ľudom na spektre záleží na oblečení, ale trochu inak ako väčšine. Záleží nám v prvom rade na tom, aby naše obľúbené kusy oblečenia vydržali čo najdlhšie, aby sa nemenili, zostávali s nami a chránili nás. VANISH v tejto potrebe našiel svoje miesto. Klobúk dole.
Anyone who has read this far has shown interest. I am grateful for that, I know it requires time and energy.