Monday, 30 April 2012

Reality

I'm guessing most other teachers and other people working with students with Autism have already given mention to the Louis Theroux documentary broadcast recently on the BBC.

What I've found particularly positive is the awareness and recognition it has created for those parents and teachers dealing with the most global, complex forms of Autism - it hopefully dispels the 'Autism = Slightly Odd but with Amazing Superpowers' myth perpetuated by the A Beautiful Mind movie and more recently, the Touch drama series with Kiefer Sutherland. This is not to say Autism is a bad thing, but it is about working towards a more realistic middle ground when it comes to public understanding of this identifiable cluster of differences and difficulties - ideally where Autism is viewed simply as another distinct aspect of human diversity, presenting both possibilities and challenges to the person affected and those around them.

I've also enjoyed reading Louis Theroux's own thoughts on interacting with people identified as Autistic and how it has perhaps changed the way he produces his documentaries, and more specifically, the portrayal of subjects within them. The Independent published a lengthy interview with Louis Theroux around a fortnight ago, whilst the The Sun published a shorter, snappier version last week. Both are recommended reads.

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