Understanding the Spectrum 8

April 6th, 2016, 4:32 pm

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Reply Theorah, April 6th, 2016, 4:32 pm

I hear alot of people misinterpreting or misusing the term ‘autism spectrum’. So for Autism Acceptance week, I decided to make a comic to help explain the term and how it affects things. Archie is one of the reasons I became so interested/knowledgeable in autism, so he’s the one presenting everything!
I'm uploading here 'cos of course Archie is one of the main characters in HC :3 It's never explained in the comic that Archie is autistic, and you havent really got to know him that well yet, that'll change in a few pages time XD

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Reply Theorah, April 8th, 2016, 4:35 pm

@Meemie7 I bet alot of people with similar problems can relate to that! I have alot of friends who mostly hang out online because of similar reasons too! :D
And I'm glad you could relate to the comic too! Although I made it specifically for autism, there's actually a particular area of researchers/scholars that think the spectrum covers all 'neurodiverse' labels. Neurodiverse referring to things such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, and PDD too!
It basically covers styles of learning or ways of processing information that arent the norm. The idea behind considering learning in this way is that schools and parents are kinda taught to 'teach' kids in a certain way, and not be flexible in how they teach or bring up kids. If we start to address that everyone processes information and communicates in different ways, then we can help people understand each other better, and also help kids not feel bad or go through emotional problems if they're feeling 'stupid' or isolated in schools. I actually agree with this particular school of thought, but its all very new so there isnt much to look into unless you read oodles of essays XD Which is probably why there isnt much on PDD online. I also think honestly, doctors arent very good at explaining things past giving a diagnosis ^^; It seems like they expect people to look into it themselves after they get given a label (this is with all mental health labels I feel) but most people dont know where to start!

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Reply Meemie7, April 6th, 2016, 9:31 pm

This is a really good way of thinking about it. I myself have Pervasive Development Disorder and, despite having it, I never really got a single definition or way to decipher what it meant for me. Most of the pages I found online were vague at best and nearly all of the personal accounts of PDD I found were written by mothers venting about their child's behavior and not people who actually have the disorder. I think the maid area I'm lacking in is language. Social interaction has always been a kind of struggle for me. I can read a situation very well, but it's hard for me finding the right words to respond with when it seems so natural for other people. That's why I like communicating on the internet. Messages and conversations are more premeditated.

Reply Chirurotsu, April 13th, 2016, 6:15 am

Lol I haven't posted in years, but just wanted to say thank you so much for making this, it has really helped my understanding of autism :) would be great if it would possible to share this? Will you post it somewhere else as well?

Reply Meemie7, September 18th, 2016, 12:06 pm

@Theorah: Reading it again because reasons and something came to mind regarding how schools treat kids with autism. I had the opportunity to interact with a special education classroom my mom was a long-term substitute teacher for while the usual teacher was on maternity leave. This classroom was made up of six children, all with autism.

I worked with one girl in particular who was known for escaping the classroom in stressful circumstances. She made it as far as the front door of the school on multiple events. We were working together on a writing assignment where she had to write a description of the classroom set-up. Yet, every time she made a typo while writing, she would dive under the table and tell herself that she was a bad student. I encouraged her that she was not a bad student and that typos can be fixed. It took a while for her to get the assignment done because she had so little faith in herself.

Once it was finally done, she was allowed a break to play with some toy kittens she kept which made her quite happy. But, I felt a lot of empathy towards her because I do the same thing. A lot of us do. We all criticize ourselves when we feel we've done something wrong or when we think we can't live up to social norms. I can't count how many times I've thought to myself "Geez, I'm so stupid" after forgetting something or performing poorly on a test. For this girl, the anxiety of failure was so great that she would feel the need to physically escape from it.

Later on, I asked my mom how many of the kids had depression. She sighed as she told me "all of them". Well, my heart just broke right there. All of them. Every single child there had depression to deal with on top of autism and it made me think the two were connected. Oftentimes, the treatment of kids with autism can be harsh. Teachers get frustrated with their behavior and can often lash out at them. Their peers make fun of them or avoid them altogether. Is it any wonder why those six kids have depression, why the girl feared failure? It makes me angry knowing that this is going on, sometimes with teachers not even knowing that the child is struggling with depression. I do believe that schools should introduce an additional screening process for mood disorders among children in special education or at least have screenings more readily available for the children. Students in special education are required, by law, to have their vision and hearing tested every year. Why can't that routine be applied to mood disorder screening?

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