2009 edition of Autism Awareness Month
So far, the coverage hasn’t been too extensive, which is understandable. Obama recently finished his G-20 meeting, the NCAA wrapped up their men’s tournament and flooding is still a problem in the Red River area. However, I was directed to a useful aggregate site from one of my instructors last year as I wrote a series of papers on autism. I figured I already had the know-how.
CNN runs the site and updates it whenever a new autism story is published. So far, I haven’t come across anything I hadn’t heard before. The theme this year seems to be revisiting the obstacles explored last year when the U.N. launched World Autism Awareness Day, such as finding a cause, answering the vaccine controversy, parents’ plea for understanding (they’re still subjected to ridicule from others who aren’t aware of autism spectrum disorder. This goes back to the fact that autism isn’t physically detectable like Down’s Syndrome or cerebral palsy are, so those in the dark often believe autistic children are acting like brats when children really don’t know any other method to express their emotions). Of course, one strength autistic people often have over the rest of the field is attention to detail, like a story CNN did on a vineyard in Japan where autistic “students” craft fine wine, wine well-received by critics from a nation that isn’t regarded for its wine-making (see photo). I liked the story, but not because it didn’t recycle other ideas, but it provided a global perspective to the issue. Much like the economy, autism isn’t limited to the United States. International stories obviously won’t get as much coverage unless the impact is great (like the Italy earthquake), but hopefully people will understand that the rest of the world has to combat autism like we do.
I’ll continue to post my thoughts on stories as they come in, although I’ve had some difficulty finding motivation right now; I don’t get much traffic, so I feel like I’m just typing in thin air. But that’s another story.