Friday, September 01, 2006

Tag, everyone! A new meme to consider...

I looked up meme at wikipedia, & now that I know what it means, I'd like to attempt to add to the sharing of cultural information...

I was thinking that one of the purposes of many blogs I read (& certainly my own) is to provide an antidote to the messages in the popular culture that autism is a "death sentence" or a "disease" & something to be "combatted". In an attempt to add weight to the opposition of these ideas, I'd like to propose a meme to describe at least 4 ways (or as many as you can think of) that autism has positively affected your life. This is not a Pollyanna proposition, or meant to elicit "lemons to lemonade" responses, but a challenge to look deeply into our lives. I may be presumptuous to propose this & it may already have been done (I've only been at this blogging thing for 8 months- exactly!), but I think it would be worth doing, to contribute weight to the proposal that autism is, essentially, just another way to be. So, to respond to my own challenge:

How autism has positively affected my life:

#1. kid, obviously, is the most positive way that autism has affected my life. His amazing, quirky, beautiful way of perceiving the world & sharing his perceptions are essential to me. I wouldn't lose his autism for the world, for fear of losing who he essentially is. We will continue to give him the assistance he needs to accomplish what he wants to do with his life- but as much as possible (he is still only 10), he's driving the bus...

#2. ...through the other like-minded people I have "met" online, who give me information & support that I don't know what I'd do without. I'd like to single-out Zilari here, because she has opened windows into B's behaviours that I may never have caught. Our family is happier thanks to her insight & friendship- thanks!

#3. I look at the other families I know that are dealing with autism (in varying ways) very differently now that it affects me too. I feel more compassion (& less pity) & also feel the need to reach out, network, & support other parents as much as possible. I know how much my connexions with more experienced autism parents have helped me, so I want to give back.

#4. Learning about all the ways that autism affects people has taught me a great deal about human diversity & given me an appreciation of this diversity.

#5. Indirectly... I have finally worked through the writers block that has plagued me my whole life. If I did not have an autistic child, then I would not have started a blog, & I would never have written as much as I have in the past 8 months & come to feel so good about the process of writing (finally!).

I tag... anybody who feels up to the challenge & wants to do this. :)


At 10:08 PM, Blogger Zilari said...

The concept of memes is one of the most powerful bits of philosophy to emerge in recent generations. I suppose I think of blog-memes (the ones where people "tag" others, etc.) as being a subset of memes in general; however, things like language and cultural practices (and even family practices like passing down a cookie recipe through generations) might be thought of as being transmitted memetically.

I often think of the myriad of discussions surrounding autism as a sort of memetic complex. I was just thinking today how the pro-diversity, acceptance-focused meme is perhaps less popular right now, but with enough concerted effort it could become more dominant (over the "autism is a disease we need to cure!" meme). And I think that would be a lovely outcome.

And wow, I am very glad to know I have been able to do something to help you and your family. :)

I will answer your book tag soon, hopefully this evening or tomorrow.


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