I was on the mic again, except this time I’ll have a little more control over how my story is told. Like last week, I spoke for about an hour, much longer than I thought. However, it will help fill up my half-hour of time as I don’t plan on making any more appearances for a while. I haven’t looked at the tape yet, but I’m curious to find out how I’ve changed with presentation and articulation since the last time I was on camera speaking about autism.
I’ve learned a lot since I began the series two years ago. The first is that I could do this forever if I wanted; new sources and angles appear frequently for the reporting :-). I’ve learned a lot about autism itself too. The most noticeable observation I’ve made is a sense of optimism among parents. Granted, two pairs I interviewed may have been influenced by watching my earlier shows, but there isn’t this aura of doom that often accompanies families affected by autism (which may play a role in higher divorce rates with parents affectd by autism in their immediate family). On the research side, I was fascinated with alternative communication methods designed to help autistic children communicate such as signs and symbols. I remember being fascinated with them as a child and I still am to an extent as I have an astute memory for logos of sports teams, some colleges and other brand names.
Seeing autism exist in different forms outside of my own was an eye-opening experience. People with autism can do things like the rest of the world can, and while they may not publicly announce how successful they are, in some ways, I feel that isn’t necessary. To be regarded as just another group like people of color and the GLBT community, sometimes the best thing we can do is just be ourselves. If others aren’t willing to accept that, it’s their loss, not yours.
The series won’t be over, but I feel taking a different direction will educate myself and others about different facets of the autism spectrum. After all, I’m not alone.