Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Disturbing Trend or Society Trying to Understand?

Over the course of my blog I've seen this come up on the keyword screen and haven't taken that much notice. You see, I am able to see how people find my blog, or rather what they put into Yahoo or Google to find my blog. Yes, I had this search come up a couple times, but the past month it's been at least every other day. What is the question?

"Are autistic children spoiled?"

After seeing it once, as I said, I didn't take notice. Maybe I should have, but I thought that perhaps it was an isolated incident. Now, after more thought since it's becoming more common, I don't know whether to get angry or get content on the fact that at least someone is doing a search in hopes to find the right information.

With the awareness on the rise we still have a battle on our hands. I mean, I wonder who is doing those searches. I'm going to assume it isn't a parent so is it a neighbor? Perhaps a neighbor? Or maybe extended family?

I once heard a person make this claim, straight to my face, in a early presentation in my career. After that day I had a new conviction within me to try and raise the voice of autism. Of course, I'm just one person but nevertheless I am getting more and more worked up trying to figure out why a person would do such a Google search.

Okay, if they are doing the search then I guess they do want information, so that's a good thing, right? But... what if they find the wrong information? What happens if their first introduction to the autism spectrum isn't a good one and tells them that, in fact, autism is nothing more than a bunch of spoiled children? Is there a site like there out there? I sincerely hope not, but what if there is? Now, what happens if this person is someone that eventually comes across a person on the spectrum? Will they be going in with an open mind, or will they be going into the situation intolerant because, after all, it must be a spoiled child?

I hope you can tell that I am worked up and passionate on this issue. I am glad people are trying to get the information, but if they are doing that exact search then there must be misconceptions out there. In a perfect world all would know that, "If you've met one person with autism you've only met one person with autism" and that, "Autism isn't a choice. We can't turn it on and off at will. It is what it is; sometimes it's a gift, sometimes it's a challenge, but I'm still me regardless."

Maybe I'm looking into this too much. But then again, what if I'm right? If I am we still have a long way to go to raise the awareness and understating level to a point that there won't be these preconceived notions that people on the spectrum are "spoiled rotten." You can think what you want to think, but for me, today, as I wrote this, multiplied greater than I can put into numbers or words. It is beyond critical that the right information is out there and I hope I can do my part to crush the preconceptions because it is from those misguided thoughts that one will believe that "autism spoiled children are spoiled" and in my opinion one person is one too many!  


  1. The First thing that comes to mind, solely because of the wording and immediate labelling / judgement of a person 'they' don't understand; is Bully. Autistic children are More often beaten and bullied than they are "spoiled" .. **Aspergers is a prime example.

    We Still live in and Promote a society where "different" is not ok.

    kinda sad if you ask me ..

    Elle Eh

  2. I fully agree with you on the bully aspect. In fact, tomorrow's blog post, in a way, will be a story that happened to me just the other day. Granted, nothing bad happened to me in the end, but because we on the spectrum can either A. have a hard time saying no or B. can be too trusting we make for easy targets.

    As for different not being okay; I think we are getting closer and closer to a level of understanding about the autism spectrum. Are we there yet? No. I still hear horror stories from parents about what their school did to their child, and one story is too much, but we are headed in the right direction and the schools I've been to really want to know what I've got to say so they can be better equipped. So yes, we aren't there yet but I do think we're on our way.

  3. I believe we must fully define "spoiled". The person who replied before me has a very good point. I don't think the true nature of the word, "spoiled" fully describes an autistic person. mummy

  4. When mine was young, I was asked if I was sure she wasn't just "extra naughty?" And then after I figured out that punishments didn't work with her, but the promise of something good if she behaved reasonably for a week (and yes, it had to be a material thing...not just extra kisses) then I was told she was being spoiled. My answer to all the judgemental people was "No it's Aspergers."