How do you feel when you see programs about AS/ASD on TV?

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Bloodheart
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07 Nov 2011, 10:40 pm

AS/ASD seems to be a little like the flavour of the month, or maybe I just didn't notice it before.

Watching something on BBC3 right now - 13 year old aspie math genius.
Strange watching it as you can see some of the social awkwardness, although in his case his AS seems fairly mild. The fact it's a program about a child with Asperger's is strange just because it's a program about Asperger's...it's interesting to other people, but it seems almost like for NT's watching this show is a little like watching a science experiment, them looking into what we see as normal. It's also bazaar to see education - he goes to a school which can deal with kids on the spectrum, none of these when most of us were kids, although you still see some pushing for him to be more NT and a not ideal understanding from teachers.

This isn't a cometary on this program, I just happen to be watching this TV program.

Anyone else find watching TV programs about AS/ASD surreal?


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Ganondox
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08 Nov 2011, 12:17 am

Can you show a portion of the video?


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08 Nov 2011, 12:25 am

Usually I facepalm at it.


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Guineapigged
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08 Nov 2011, 2:51 am

I watched that programme. It made me feel bad about myself for not being a genius. Whenever they do a documentary about Asperger syndrome, the kid is always a maths genius or a chess champion or something.



Jory
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08 Nov 2011, 3:07 am

I like seeing them, but I cringe every time I hear the A word.



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08 Nov 2011, 4:43 am

I feel both excited and terrified, because it's my new obsession since my diagnosis.



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08 Nov 2011, 5:03 am

It depends on what the show is and how they portray autism. I've seen shows which make us look like complete retards, and I hate those, but there are also a few which focus on our personal development as we become functioning members of society, and there are those which show special abilities possessed by certain Aspies, like the one mentioned in the OP, and neither of those are things I have issues with.

The only concern I have with the whole "LOOK AT THIS MATHS GENIUS ASPIE!! !" thing is, the show needs to be clear that not all of us are like that, else we have another Rain Man scenario where everyone thinks we're savants.



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08 Nov 2011, 5:18 am

I usually watch anything about autism that I see advertised. My experience might be different as I don't have a diagnosis. Last week, my parents phoned to tell me to watch the Scottish news on STV, as they were going to be interviewing a woman with Aspergers. They thought I would be interested because my daughter is being assessed just now.

So, I watched it. The woman was recently diagnosed, had a family and career and was making use of autism services. The most striking thing was that she appeared to be much less obvious than me. It was a short interview, but I would never have guessed that she had any sort of ASD (only the topic of discussion gave me a clue). I felt a little bit upset that I haven't had the courage to seek a diagnosis yet, when I'm perhaps more in need of support/advice than the interviewee. My parents asked what I thought and I said she was more like me than my daughter.

It was also kind of like when I had a physical illness and no diagnosis yet (although I knew what it was). I was getting little sympathy because apparently I didn't have anything wrong with me (it was later confirmed that my suspicions were correct). The difference with the AS matter is that I've never sought a medical opinion.


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08 Nov 2011, 8:59 am

kinda pathologised. i feel like they are taking about a condition or a problem not a person and as much as AS is part of me and im not ashamed of it i feel really uncomfortable with the fact that it is always talked about in terms of a cure, treatment, prevalence, causes, getting "better". i just wish they could one day have someone who was a spectrumite and interested in anime or they are an artist or a sportsperson with a life that doesnt always revolve around autism as much as that autism always permeates a persons life. someone who just happens to be an autie. i feel that way when its talked about in class or with other people as well...



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08 Nov 2011, 9:21 am

I watch University Challenge every week and there's usually at least one contestant, out of eight, who I would say is probably on the spectrum - that's just my opinion. Last night there was a guy on it, with the most obvious ASD I've ever seen on that programme (I can say that without doubt). I was cheering on his team (even though it was Oxford and I usually cheer on the underdog). I didn't even mention to my husband what I thought, but I think he took a shine to that guy too.


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08 Nov 2011, 11:08 am

Guineapigged wrote:
I watched that programme. It made me feel bad about myself for not being a genius. Whenever they do a documentary about Asperger syndrome, the kid is always a maths genius or a chess champion or something.


This bothers me. The media seems to focus on the extremes - either savants or severely disabled. Which leaves the majority of autistics out of the story. I guess we're too boring. We don't have the wow factor of a super genius or the emotional impact of a low functioning person.

I guess we typical autists don't sell enough soap.


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ictus75
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08 Nov 2011, 11:54 am

It's good in many ways that AS/Autism is getting more publicity as of late. Whether this leads to a true awareness for the general public is yet to be seen. Unfortunately, being in the States, I didn't get to see the show mentioned, but I cringe that it was about a "13 year old aspie math genius." In many ways that reinforces the old savant stereotype. I'd like to see a show on someone like him who is 23, 33, 43 years old and what their life has become after becoming an adult. Does their "genius" ability help them at all? Do they have a job or live on their own? Or do they live with their parents and sit at home calculating pi all day long?

I'd much rather see something about Aspies at different functioning levels and how they've managed to become "successful" in life, both because of, and despite of their Autism. How about a show that focuses on everyday difficulties like having a job, shopping for groceries, dealing with NTs, dealing with transportation, and other everyday life issues that Autistics at all places of the spectrum have to deal with.

I'd also be interested in seeing something that looks at how high IQ Aspies with some sort of "genius" can use that in the real real when it's so difficult to socialize and network with others. What good is your "gift" if no one knows about it, or no one can help you use it?


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08 Nov 2011, 3:33 pm

What really bothers me is the reliance on common stereotypes (i.e. the math genius/savant with aspergers) and the fact that when someone has autism, no matter what the circumstance, it has to be mentioned, whether or not it is relevant to the situation. Too often, I see "X, who has asperger's", like that's the only thing relevant or important about them, in the media when covering something unrelated to their autism. If someone mentioned me in that way in a non-autism related article, I would file a complaint, as there is so much more to me than a label.

People still buy into negative stereotypes. There was a guy who was harrassed by a bus driver in my province who had AS, and when I went to look at the video, there were tons of people who commented that thought he was using it as an excuse for attention or thought that having AS was a doctor's way of saying "you're an a**hole". Many people even called him a r*****d, a word that REALLY needs to be gone from the common vernacular if we are going to get anywhere in having people fully accept those with developmental disabilities.

I dunno. I try to avoid stories on AS as much as possible. It is just frustrating how ill-informed the general public is on any kind of disorder.


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08 Nov 2011, 3:40 pm

Fictional representations usually piss me off, but I watch them anyway just to keep tabs on the stupid misinformation being doled out by ignorant Hollywood producers. You can't fight what you don't know, so I want to know what drivel is being served to the public. It gives me some idea of where people's misconstrued ideas come from and why they have them.

Documentaries, although they most often do focus on the more severe simply because it gains ratings, don't tend to piss me off so much. At least most of them are really trying to help people understand the truth about Autism. There have been a lot more recently that are focusing on higher functioning Autism too, and that's a good thing. The only problem I have with all of them so far is that they don't get in depth enough about it. But that's because, presumably, it's NT minds behind it all, and not enough input is coming from Autistics themselves. Some do use diagnosed high functioning Autistcs as advisors, but only one or a few. That's not enough considering how wide the spectrum is. Using only a few runs the risk of gaining only a very narrow viewpoint from those few.


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08 Nov 2011, 7:14 pm

anneurysm wrote:
What really bothers me is the reliance on common stereotypes (i.e. the math genius/savant with aspergers) and the fact that when someone has autism, no matter what the circumstance, it has to be mentioned, whether or not it is relevant to the situation. Too often, I see "X, who has asperger's", like that's the only thing relevant or important about them, in the media when covering something unrelated to their autism. If someone mentioned me in that way in a non-autism related article, I would file a complaint, as there is so much more to me than a label.

People still buy into negative stereotypes. There was a guy who was harrassed by a bus driver in my province who had AS, and when I went to look at the video, there were tons of people who commented that thought he was using it as an excuse for attention or thought that having AS was a doctor's way of saying "you're an a**hole". Many people even called him a r*****d, a word that REALLY needs to be gone from the common vernacular if we are going to get anywhere in having people fully accept those with developmental disabilities.

I dunno. I try to avoid stories on AS as much as possible. It is just frustrating how ill-informed the general public is on any kind of disorder.


I think I feel in a similar way re. "X, who has asperger's" - even if it is related to what is being covered, it's always going to be that this person has accomplished something because of or in spite of Asperger's. I'm of the mind that AS/ASD is a minority or a difference similar to difference in a persons race, I don't think I like where we are now...a slow recognition of those of us on the spectrum and issues we may face, yet still we're seen as different and almost something to be examined.

Saw that bus driver video - the comment that got me was someone saying 'Since when was autism an excuse to say whatever you want?' - I considered this as bad as the r*****d comments, my argument on this was 'since when was being an NT an excuse to say whatever you want?' in regards to the bus driver :roll:


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