Monday, 29 March 2021

Why I don't support light it blue for autism

Hey readers,

The 2nd of April is a day dedicated to Autism Awareness Day. Autism Speaks raised awareness for lightening buildings, landmarks or homes on the colour blue for Autism. I won't be supporting this campaign as I object to it.

Why I don't support light it blue for autism

Firstly, it is the colour blue. No problem with colour but what I do have a problem with is Autism Speaks admits that they chose blue because boys are diagnosed more than girls. 

To me this is sexist, it is almost as if to say that if you are a girl with Autism your condition is not as important. I may add that I am female and autistic and I know first hand the battle we female autistic individuals have to deal with!

Why blue? I mean it feels like it is targeting one type of person. We all know that is not the case with the condition. It is a spectrum and no one person is alike.  I like the idea of the association with autism with a spectrum of colour. 

It celebrates the diversities in the condition.
That leads me to my next point is Autism Speaks attitude is if people don't donate money to the organisation they won't be saved and then that will lead to being left hopeless and useless.

 Well, I sure as hell don't feel like that and I don't give money to Autism Speaks. I am not perfect and have my faults but I don't think I result in anything. I don't believe any human is nothing, I am a strong believer that it is good and bad in everyone.

Here's the thing with psychological research if you have the funding then you have more power of influence. It is more likely swung towards quantitative (numbers, questionnaires, tests) as a pose to qualitative (which is about people taking more about personal experiences and longitudinal studies which observed over a long period of time in the individual's natural environment). It is well known that qualitative wins the day most of the time. This is because it is cheaper, quicker and measurable. 

Compared to qualitative which takes a long time but hears the voice of the person. Therefore you can manipulate numbers and that has an impact on the power of research. Then trickles down to treatment and assessment. If it is based on certain criteria and that cuts of other certain behaviours that are less typical and more found in females due to the response from their background. 

This is going to sway what we perceive as Autism and therefore will only see the popular characteristics. This is not to say sex is separate it is to do with the way that gender is segregated and wrongly taught from an early age. Male aspies are more computer/geek but this could be argued that it is not down to their own natural personality more of a choice/opportunity.

 What the parents buy for them or what they see in their childhood through experiences can have a direct response to want impact s their behaviour. We all want to fit in and be accepted. Our parents most of the time try to adapt to the messages.  Not because they are being mean it is what their education or financial implications have on the behaviour. 

As a parent, you try and do your best for your child. With the times and what is deemed as socially acceptable, that will influence decision making and performance. I.e. It was acceptable in the 70s to hit a child. Whereas now the vogue thing to do is use positive parenting where the focus is listening to the child and allowing them to be a person with a voice. The chances are if you were hit you became more sneaky and lie better to your parents. 

You were less like to be heard and lore forced. Whereas the modern way the child may be more open and talk about issues. You can already see how behaviour can change due to standards and teaching. Hence why money is powerful and can easily sway judgement. 

It just reiterates the ideas of certain criteria to fit Autism. Is ticking the correct boxes and not seeing the contextual identity within making the assessment for the individual. If you are put in a room with a stranger how can you possibly see the real you? There are many factors that influence behaviour.

I'm not denying that Autism comes in all different manners. But I get the sense that Autism Speaks is narrow-minded. They have money to do the research. They also send out a strong message that Autism can be curable that somehow it is a disease that can be removed or treated. Somehow it will go away with treatment and be cured. Not denying that therapy can help and change responses. 

But it doesn't get rid of. It just provides coping mechanisms to follow. The downside to Autism is we are flexible and we can have a set formula but if a change is made or too many stressors that is where the problem lies.

What we need to do is not think of Autism as a problem that needs to be fixed. Rather there Autism has differences that need to be understood.

Just look at the logo for Autism Speaks. It has a piece that is separated from a jigsaw. It says you are a problem to a parent or a caregiver and that problem needs to be fixed.

I think we need to understand the condition and accept the person for who they are.

Cheers for reading X


  1. I have only recently heard of Autism Speaks and from what I have read I am not impressed with them. The more I hear the more I dislike their way of thinking. x