We seem to have more and more members joining the site who are on the autistic spectrum. This is great since, by definition, these are the very members of the disabled community who need help in navigating the tricky dating footpath. So I was very excited when the leading autism resource ambitiousaboutautism to contribute an article about dating and autism. I would encourage you to read it and share it with your friends and anyone who you feel might benefit from my comments.
I write for a quite a few of the main disability sites and if you check out the latest print version of Posability magazine you will find a piece from me on disabled holidays. The article will appear in online format very soon. I will then tweet it out and mention it her on the blog. I am just editing our next podcast which has same great stuff on it and I will be writing to you when it is ready to download.
I was reading a great article by Melanie Reid in today’s times newspaper. She is an insprational columnist and worth following. She is in a wheelchair following an accident and comes at the problems of spinal injusry from an interesting angle. Her article on rebranding the term ‘carer’ is a case oin point. I quote:
We need a new name for these people. A strong, proud word that will demand respect.
A rebranding. They need to be able to declare themselves minders, guardians, protectors, special forces. Not unsung heroes, because that’s sentimental, which is the last thing the job is, nor are they champions or buddies. Attendant is too close to lavatory, and personal assistant makes their caree sound like an aspiring CEO.
Care worker is diligent but dull, like sex worker, and while caregiver is popular in the States, I think I’d prefer a caretaker. In brown overalls with a spanner. How about floor manager? Concierge? Gofer? We could hijack the word caddy from golf, and start paying carers 5-10 per cent of our income.
Or get sponsorship for the profession from Apple or YouTube: create an iNeed or an iHelp; a YouMind or a YouVital.
Or how about a Selfish Pig? A few years ago Hugh Marriott wrote a magnificently mordant book called The Selfish Pig’s Guide to Caring, in which he blew apart the myth that carers are saintly, compassionate people and declared that it was perfectly normal to get guilty, angry and frustrated, and understandable to have murderous thoughts about the person you look after. Especially if you are one of the six million who do it unpaid, for a loved one, friend or neighbour, but even if you’re one of the one million-plus who toil in the adult care sector employed on the minimum wage.
I think this sets the case very clearly and I would welcome any suggestions from my blog readers on other terms to describe someone who finds themselves in this role – not through choice as a ‘devotee’ but through circumstance.
Have a great day
There is something wonderfully satisfying for young people who are autistic to find characters in books that share the same challenges that they do. i especially like the book ‘Delightfully Different ‘ by D.S Walker which is about a girl with Aspergers and sensory processing disorder. Ms. Walker found a delightfully different approach to portray the struggles of a young girl and those of her family arising from raising a child with special needs. Mia, the daughter, is partially based on the author’s child. While all the characters in her book exist only in the author’s imagination, Walker’s YA novel brings them so well to life that any parent, teacher, or young girl, dealing with the same issues can relate, learn and find hope.
The book ‘Screaming Quietly’ which I grabbed on Amazon is written by Evan Jacob. Screaming Quietly features a character with autism and his older sibling who has difficulty at first to accept the challenging behaviors of his autistic brother. Tweens and teens who have a sibling with any special need will be able to relate to Evan Jacobs’ novel for kids in grades 7 to 10.
Finally i would recommend a comic book called ‘Melting down that i was lucky enough to read the other week.
Melting Down is the 61 page fictional story of a young boy, Benjamin, with Asperger’s disorder and other additional challenging behavior. Benjamin tells his readers that whenever there was a change he got upset, he also had trouble getting along with the other kids his age, and he never understood the rules of their games. Then we follow Benjamin and his mom as they visits many doctors and therapists.
Nathan Lueth did an excellent job with the illustrations. The language used is easy for all kids to understand and with the true-to-life illustrations most children, tweens, and teens will understand Benjamin’s story and be encouraged by it.Youth with the same problems as Benjamin should be able to relate to Benjamin as he struggles with school, side effects of medication, and his uncontrollable meltdowns. These comic books are also helpful for all kids so they can understand what some of their classmates are going through. Understanding often leads to compassion and hopefully to less bullying.
Five Young Adults Fiction Books Featuring Characters with Autism