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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Going Micro.

I subscribe to the philosophy 'think global, act local'. Despite this, access to the internet and an international audience has somewhat diluted my focus on doing just that via this blog. While I've in some small ways connected with autism families locally, my sights have been set on a broader international autism community as a consequence of having followed and befriended many bloggers, most of whom are not in Australia. This has been overwhelmingly positive, allowing me the opportunity to interact with many clever, funny and experienced parents of children on the spectrum. Furthermore I've been able to develop online friendships with autistic adults who shared their thoughts thus allowing me greater insights into my own kids. I'm really grateful for these things and hope via the blog list here I've extended some of my favourite writer's readership, and concurrently connected parents to useful and supportive web sites.

One of the unintended yet inevitable consequences of joining the online ASC community is exposure to the politics of autism. Perspectives of parents, autistics, disability advocates, researchers, therapists and of course outright arseholes within the broader community are in perpetual antagonism. As is my want, I got amongst it for quite a while, evidenced by my many posts on vaccines, toxins, alternative treatments, research, anger versus advocacy blah, blah. I had posts published over at Thinking Persons Guide To Autism and Wired, I was quick to jump into the online fray, propelled by my compulsion for social justice (I am a social worker by training after all). I was a johnny-come-lately loud mouth. More than that I was fixated on learning everything about ASC's in a bid to better comprehend my kids and to share that knowledge. I was also fuelled by my tendency to obsess on a topic that takes my interest....sound familiar? Eventually however the online stoushes began to feel like an act of arrogant masochism. So much so that I temporarily quit blogging . But of course back I came, never one to stay quiet for long.

Recently though I've decided to focus more on the local and a little less on the global. And this will be reflected in the ongoing content of the blog.  I've reached a level of despondency so entrenched I won't   continually engage with people who choose to see their autistic children as sick or diseased, and I'm disappointed when witnessing over and again the mean spirited dismissiveness of those who, though I often agree with in point, are unsympathetic and hostile to others. What pisses me off even more than those things are the ambulance chasing 'professional' types jumping on the autism gravy train, and I'm tired of feeling sad as I see parent after parent be led down those dead end garden paths by snake oil peddlers. These parents want to believe, are addicted to hope, they don't want some smart arse telling them they're being deceived. They'll hopefully work it out for themselves in their own sweet time.

The upshot of all this is I don't have the stomach for the 'autism wars' anymore. Instead I choose to focus on my little Aspie tribe. And to extend myself a fraction more locally to support parents where I can. I've agreed to speak to families of newly diagnosed children via an organisation we've  been involved with since Harri's diagnosis three years ago. Ive participated in an interview of parents of autistic kids to the same end, educating newbies. Ive decided to become an active member of the P&C at my children's school in an effort to give back a little, as they've been so good to us. I'll continue to attend conferences, read blogs and ASC research, but I'm trying to move in a direction that doesn't make autism the entire focus of my days. Or at least reduce the head fuck that comes from reading the same arguments ad nauseam with no resolution in sight.

So at the risk of becoming boring I'll be talking more about my mob, and less about other people's business. I want to focus on showing those who come here that while our life isn't all beer and skittles, for the most part it's a pretty cool adventure and maybe even offers ideas and hope for others. If anything I say here provides practical or emotional support to another, then I'm a happy camper. Those who have the fortitude to take on the bigger fight have my admiration, but for now at least I want to drill down, step away from the politics of autism, which I understand is a luxury I have as an non autistic person, and preserve myself for the inevitable challenges that will throw themselves in my path in years to come.


  1. Smiling here. I'm exhausted with #fuckwittery too. My latest post was inspired by micro events in that I know the people personally and I'm fed up. But you are right, you can't nail jelly to a wall and they will either catch on & forgive you or hate you for making them feel stoopid.
    Being micro is good for the soul. xx

    1. "Being micro is good for the soul"
      That's what Im thinking LisaMaree. x

    2. Couldn't agree more. The Autism community screams for the world to recognise diversity, yet defends their own positions and views to the tedious death.

    3. Hi Corrie,
      thanks for stopping by.