Tuesday 27 December 2011

Christmas is tough...

I have read so many blogs about autism in the last few years. The general consensus is that for families with an individual with ASD..  Christmas is quite a difficult time. There are so many reasons why autism and Christmas are a complete disaster

1.       It is something that only happens once a year, its completely out of the regular routine of everyday life.
2.       It involves the concept of a spiritual story which a lot of people with ASD have a difficult time getting their head around
3.       The excitement which revolves Christmas from the shops, the rush of people, overcrowded areas and just giving and receiving presents can be completely overwhelming for an individual who just struggles to cope with an everyday situation without getting stressed out
4.       And number four Christmas is complete sensory overload, blasting music, crowded streets and flashing lights..In even find it overwhelming.

Every year me and my family greet Christmas with a sense of anticipation and a little bit of dread. We have been quite lucky the last two years and have had quite calm Christmas’s with my brother. But then we have thrown ourselves into making it as calm and routine as possible. We have schedules and rules and calendar events posted all over the kitchen. Every Christmas we follow the exact same routine from the time we get up to the time that we go to bed at night. We don’t put up many decorations – a tree and a crib is the extent of it and we just keep our fingers crossed.

I have been asked so many times to come to friends on xmas day and i think people really don’t get how important it is for me to be home with my family to help my parents. Especially since i am an only sibling my parents really need my support. This year was quite calm and i was even able to go to a Christmas party (although late that night when i was sure all was well) so hurrahJ

So my message to every family who reads this blog and has a family member with ASD , i hope you have a wonderful, calm, safe Christmas with few meltdowns and outbursts and I hope you have a peaceful new year!

Monday 19 December 2011

A Little Bit of Controversy for Christmas Week


So one of the whole points i started this blog was to have give honest opinion about being a sibling with autism. Obviously that involves giving my opinion on certain topics. I think one of the responsibilities of having a blog involves not being afraid to shy away from certain controversies and autism is unfortunately full of them. Also, I’m sure everyone who does read this is hopefully aware that this is just my personal opinion on topics and my own outlook I never wish to offend anyone and i completely respect every one else’s perspective. 

This video that I posted is hardly scientific but I do think that it is interesting and it involves one of the most controversy theories of what is the root of the recent surge of autism – the MMR. Despite the fact that officially the MMR has been cleared as safe and not linked to autism, it is still a topic that remerges again and again. Many parents still feel that the reaction that their child suffered due to getting this vaccine led to their child’s autism. I completely empathise with these parents. Maybe there needs to be more research to ease parents mind because unfortunately at the moment measles, mumps and rubella are at a dangerous level.
I think posting a video like this allows people to think about such an important topic that has such relevance for so many families.

Disclaimer: this link does contain a loooottt of offensive language and a lot of offensive Botox (Jenny McCarthy!)

Tuesday 13 December 2011


Ricky Gervais is getting in some trouble over his new TV show, as disability campaigners have accuses him of exploitation. This is not the first time that Ricky has come under the spot light of disability campaigners. However, my opinion on this...  I think that Gervais is a fantastic comedian and a very clever one. I think the way that Gervais handles disability in his shows is in quite a sensitive way. Throughout the Office, Extras and his new show I think Gervais jokes don’t make fun of those with a disability but the ignorant people around them. Like that classic scene in the Office where Garath points out to a girl he has just been introduced to “hey, you’re in a wheelchair” while everybody in the room puts their head in their hands. In my opinion Gervais uses the ignorance and miseducation of disability as the joke and not the person who is disabled.

However, i am completely aware that comedy and disability is such a sensitive thing. That’s why i love Gervais because the majority of comedians choose to make the person the disability that joke and I find that so upsetting and disrespectful.  I feel really stricken with the whole linking of comedy and disability sometimes, and yes i think that to promote inclusion that  we  do want people with disabilities to be included. Maybe they should be a part of the comic aspect just like every other member of society. However, my main issue is when it becomes disrespectful and mean. Comedians like Frankie Boyle and in some aspects Ben Stiller i think have clearly something missing inside them where it comes to empathy and understanding of other human beings.

Ben Stiller is an old enemy of mine. I have not watched Tropic Thunder, despite the fact that i have heard positive things about the films treatment of disability, making fun of ignorance rather than the disability again. However, after seeing “There is something about Mary” when i was 12 i just can’t bring myself to watch a single thing that Stiller is in, he has become so aversive to me he’s basically like a phobia at this stage! For anyone who hasn’t watched it, there is a horrible sterotype of an individual with a disability.

 The thing that does bother me about disability humour is that my brother can’t defend himself. Pretty much every other group can, they can issue a statement or take the piss back. Now i know there are a lot of people with disabilities that are well able to give as much as they get, but my brother is not one of them. The fact that nasty jokes are being made about people with autism, really cuts me to the core and the fact that my brother cannot defend himself is what makes me feel the worst. It is a vulnerable group.  When comedians argue the point of comedy is to push boundaries yaddayaddayadda guess what those theories are manmade! Mostly what i see are a bunch of insecure people, desperate to be shocking enough to make it into the papers and sell a few tour dates. If you don’t believe me, follow Tommy Tieran’s career- controversy- tour, controversy – tour and etc!

So again that’s just my opinion about a really sensitive matter. Again i don’t think disability humour should be not included. It allows people to become aware and hopefully discuss the disability. However, it does of course depend how it is done. Ricky Gervais you a winner in my book. Franky Boyle is worse than the worse biggest fattest playground bully picking on the smallest kid in the classroom.