Disturbing video about autism on diversity web site at work

Page 1 of 1 [ 6 posts ] 

GodzillaWoman
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Dec 2014
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 739
Location: MD, USA

26 Apr 2021, 3:58 pm

I'm developing the Diversity and Inclusion web site for a client in the US Government. One of the web pages has a list of books, documentaries, and podcasts about various minority groups (Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latin American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Disabled, Women, etc.). Now, almost all of the content is from the point of view of the minority person (Black History, Disabled People's Rights, Asian Culture, etc.) In the Disabled section, there is one YouTube video representing Autism: Autie: An Autism Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRibeoE8HDA. It's clearly meant to be from the point of view of the autistic person's family, as they do most of the talking. The autistic people have a say, but it's a minority of the time.

What REALLY REALLY bugs me is the overall negative tone of this thing. The overall theme seems to be how much of a burden autistic people are to their families (none of the people shown are functional enough to have a job). The theme song is a horrible cartoon puzzle piece singing about "the Thing Without a Name" and "The Horrible Thing That Crawled Out From Under a Rock." UGHHHGGH. Later in the video, one father talks about "the darkness" that is hidden under even the happiest autistic families, and then goes on to talk about an autistic boy who aged into a violent man.

I HATE THIS VIDEO. I want to say something about how there are much better books, documentaries, etc. (anything Temple Grandin, Steve Silberman's NeuroTribes, etc., Wrong Planet's web site).

I'm not out as having Asperger's at work (last job I was out, and was really bullied over it). My non-autistic wife says, "don't get involved, you'll catch flak for it." She was right about my last job, that coming out as autistic would lead to discrimination, so I take her seriously. I could just say that I have autistic relatives (true) without revealing that I'm one too. Is there a safe way to say something? Should I just say nothing?


_________________
Diagnosed Bipolar II in 2012, Autism spectrum disorder (moderate) & ADHD in 2015.


Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 62
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,665
Location: New York City (Queens)

27 Apr 2021, 5:02 am

I would suggest that you try to find a non-confrontational way to recommend better resources. You might find it helpful to read some tutorials on assertiveness.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- Longterm visions for the autistic community


kitesandtrainsandcats
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2016
Age: 57
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,232
Location: Missouri

27 Apr 2021, 7:58 am

GodzillaWoman wrote:
What REALLY REALLY bugs me is the overall negative tone of this thing.

I'm going to assert something without offering anything other than my feelings about what I've seen in life as backup for it; the average neurotypical member of the population Likes when things different from them are are shown to be negative, dark, because that allows them to feel better about themselves, it shows them that they are the light, they are the good, they are what is right and honorable; confirmation to the norm is safe, sustainable, comfortable; divergence from the norm is threatening, dangerous; those who conform are the proper and the good; those who deviate from the norm are a darkness and a danger who could potentially destroy the norm.
... and I'm not sure that's as much hyperbole as it might initially seem ...


_________________
"There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good."
Tom Mueller of SpaceX, in Air and Space, Jan. 2011


GodzillaWoman
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Dec 2014
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 739
Location: MD, USA

27 Apr 2021, 5:00 pm

kitesandtrainsandcats wrote:
the average neurotypical member of the population Likes when things different from them are are shown to be negative, dark, because that allows them to feel better about themselves ...


I agree, but that pretty much goes against the entire concept of a Diversity and Inclusion program--to be accepting and welcoming to all kinds of people, even when they are different or come from different experiences. I try to be charitable and imagine that the people who suggested the video had not seen it themselves. I'm sympathetic to parents who have to deal with a child that is in need of very extensive supports (like bathing and clothing themselves) or are a lot more challenging than any of the people on these forums (like being violent toward siblings), although I can't understand how complaining about how miserable one's lot is can help make one feel better about it.

The point is, my understanding is that most of the material is about welcoming employees from diverse experiences. This video is the anomaly.


_________________
Diagnosed Bipolar II in 2012, Autism spectrum disorder (moderate) & ADHD in 2015.


MrsPeel
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 1 Oct 2017
Age: 49
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,384
Location: Australia

28 Apr 2021, 10:41 pm

Oh dear, yes.
I watched about a third of that video and then switched off because I couldn't stand it any more.
If that's seen as one of the better videos about autism acceptance... that's depressing :(

A possible approach might be to see if you can find a video that has better representation of autistic people and what we can offer in the workforce, and offer that up as an alternative? If you don't want to be 'out', you might express it as a concern that the current video is not fully on topic?



cberg
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Dec 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,183
Location: A swiftly tilting planet

28 Apr 2021, 10:53 pm

Pm me if you want a copy of my ASD employee resource group's list of links.


_________________
"Standing on a well-chilled cinder, we see the fading of the suns, and try to recall the vanished brilliance of the origin of the worlds."
-Georges Lemaitre
"I fly through hyperspace, in my green computer interface"
-Gem Tos :mrgreen: