Susan Senator writes for The Washington Post about how her 22-year-old son autistic son Nat is showing a maturing interest in communication-- through Facebook:
“Hey, Nat,” I said, “you want to type on my Facebook page here?” To my surprise, he answered yes. I had no idea what to expect and sat back while Nat’s finger hovered over the keyboard, his thoughts slowly coalescing into words. He’d finally shout one out and I’d say, “Okay, type that!” Then he’d sound it out, using the invented spelling of kindergartners — but this was anything but babyish.
Seeing Nat’s words on the screen felt miraculous. One of the first things he typed was — not surprisingly — “look at pikerts” (look at pictures). I posted a note on my Facebook wall that Nat was typing. Moments later, responses began pouring in. It seemed like all my Facebook friends wanted to talk to Nat. I asked Nat if he wanted to say something back. He typed some responses, “hi” and “how you.” I wanted to shout, jump and kiss him all at once but I stopped myself. I had waited many years for communication like this, but my son is also a 22-year-old man. I encouraged him, but quietly, the way he needs it to be.
All people are equal, but autistic people are less equal than others.
Fun day on Facebook! The image above was removed because it made people so mad.
I still like it.
And the fun of having my own site is that no one else has to.
Birdhouse for Autism tells the sad tale of Melissa Fulton, a nasty Facebook troll who may not exist, but wonders: “What is with all the special needs kids in the regular park?”
She later clarified herself:
I think what I meant to say was that special needs kids do not belong in mainstream society until they can stop making weird noises and weird movements.
Matthias was the victim of bullies at his high school:
He was using a urinal boys' restroom in Westside when another, younger boy took a picture of Matthias’ bare bottom. The photo was sent to Facebook and several comments using the word "retard" were posted.
This is disturbing, but so is the attitude displayed toward Matthias by reporter Gary Smollen:
He is one of the most defenseless members of our society and was victimized in a restroom of a local high school.
Mark says Matthias is not fully aware of what happened or the ramifications of what happened, he just knows that now he enjoys a little less freedom at school because now he has an escort.
Visit OWL here.
The secret part of thAutcast is the Facebook groups. They are a way for me and other people to have semi-private conversations about things that we might not be comfortable talking about in front of people who do not understand.
I am starting two new groups today:
Autism Dads-- this is a group just for fathers of kids who have autism or Aspergers
Autistic Dads-- a group for fathers for have Aspergers or autism
I'm not a father myself, but I don't see a lot of places for dads who deal with autism, either because they have it or their kids do, to get support from each other. If you know a dad who might be interested, please pass this message on to him.
If you would like to join these groups (or any of my others), send me a message on Facebook and a friend request-- because they are secret groups, you need to be friends with a member in order to join.
The other groups I run are:
Aspergers School Help for Students
Aspergers School Help for Parents
Adults on the Autism Spectrum Social Group
LGBTQ Autism/Aspergers Group
Autism Mens Discussion Group
Sofa King Autistics (a group for frank and funny discussion of sex and grown up stuff)
And about the groups in general: I personally don't generate a lot of content for them. In some of the groups, people post, and talk to each other, and a lot happens. Others are mostly a vehicle for people to chat. Others are pretty dead.