Every month A LOT of information on autism is posted around the internet and as such it’s easy to miss the riches which are hiding amongst the rubbish. That’s why I thought it would be a great idea to end every month with a look back at the weeks that were and highlight some of the news and articles which you may have missed.
These are the news articles, research announcements and all around important stuff which came to light in September 2017 (links to the full stories can be accessed by clicking on the bold red in the bullet points):
Developing stories within the autistic community:
- 56% of Online Autism News is not researched: This information comes as part of a Buzzfeed article (I know, the irony is not lost on me either) which takes a deep look at the world of online ‘autism cures’. It’s a fascinating post which I would highly recommend checking out, however, I do find it a bit concerning that only a small number of sites were analysed for the article…
- Matthew McConaughey for Autism: off the back of the ‘McConaissance’, Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey has teamed with Kiehl’s cosmetics to bring out a limited edition version of their Ultra Facial Cream. The new product now features an awesome autism themed packaging which I would 100% buy if it wasn’t for Kiehl’s somewhat controversial charity: Autism Speaks. Though I plan to go into what makes Autism Speaks so controversial at a later date, for now, let’s just say that the $1 donation Autism Speaks will receive for every share of the advert makes me want to stick to NIVEA .
- First actor with autism to star in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: For those that don’t know, the curious incident of the dog in the night-time is a fantastic mystery novel, written by Mark Haddon which in 2012 was adapted into an equally incredible stage play. Now 5 years later, in 2017, Indiana Repertory Theatre’s production has cast Mickey Rowe to star as lead character Christopher who, like Mickey, also has autism.
- Chances of inheriting autism could be much higher than previously thought: New research suggests that the actual chances of inheriting autism from a parent are now thought to be as high as 83% (not 50% as previously thought). Although this doesn’t conclude whether autism is solely genetic or whether there are external factors at play, it does make me excited for the possibility of a child that will share my obsession of dinosaurs and trains.
- Asda trials ‘Happy Little Helpers’ initiative to encourage autistic shoppers: Asda is hoping to make shopping more fun (and by extension more tolerable) for children with autism, by giving them an interactive shopping list, which they can use to distract themselves from the busy/distressing shop atmosphere. I would assume (hope) Asda makes these available to adults too.
- Autistic & Unapologetic launched: Last month the world was treated with the launch of Autistic & Unapologetic, a new autism awareness site which has left many people wondering ‘has humanity finally peaked?’
The Autism News ‘that happened’ (and I have nothing else to comment):
They say that ‘today’s new is tomorrow’s fish and chip papers’ and though I don’t always agree with the sentiment, I can’t help but feel it is an accurate description of the articles which follow. Though each piece of information is important in it’s own right, I believe there is little else to say that hasn’t already been discussed and so, with that glowing reference done, here they are (once again, links can be accessed by clicking on the bold red in the bullet points):
- Autistic coming of age show Atypical has been renewed by Netflix for a season 2
- A 12 Year old autistic boy had his (and my) dream come true when he was serenaded on stage by Lady Gaga
- The Good Doctor: a new show from the creators of House, featuring an autistic lead character, began airing to mixed reviews
- Special Citizens Futures Unlimited, the AAS and Nationwide Children’s Hospital unite to help prevent suicide in people with autism.
- Clarks launch autistic friendly school shoe range (this has been included here because technically the news is from august, however, most articles reported on it at the start of September)
Naming and Shaming Articles on Autism:
As with anything that doesn’t have a set answer, you will always find people out there trying to fill in the gaps with utter nonsense. Here are the articles which have been published this month for apparent reason other than to attack, confuse and disgust people in the community… enjoy?:
PETA stands by their decision to link autism with drinking milk: This week see the resurgence of a 10 year old ad campaign by PETA stating that to ‘find relief’ from the ‘devastating disease [autism]’ parents should stop giving their autistic child dairy products.
Originally this ad was pulled in 2008, due to the offensive nature of the language used (no surprise there). However, at the time, PETA chose to keep the information from the study on their site. The original claim has now been disproved in a number of academic papers and, as someone who did have their milk taken away as a means of autism treatment, I can also confirm it does not help either (although you won’t find me arguing that reducing dairy product may well help with stomach and bowl problems).
The main story here though, is that despite new research proving PETA’s claims wrong and despite 10 years of having the post associated with an offensive ad campaign AND despite one of their own writers for the site (autistic chef Jack Monroe) complaining that she wants her recipes removed due to the article, PETA have remained silent, kept the page up and deleted all of Monroe’s work.
What’s to come for Autism in October 2017:
That’s everything from September, now it’s time to look forward to the weeks to come:
- Autism Hour: due to the timing of this post being released, Autism Hour is drawing to a close. For those still unaware of what it is, I have done a full article on the event, which can be found right here.
- Pablo, a new CBeebies show starts: on October 2nd CBeebies launches Pablo, a children’s animated show, starring a lead character with autism. CBeebies have also made the impressive choice to cast only autistic voice actors in all the roles.
- Kingdom of Us will launch: On October 13th 2017 a new documentary from Netflix is released, which follows a mum and her 6 autistic children dealing with the suicide of her husband. The show is described as ‘brutally honest’, but the family at the heart of the show, hope this will give autism awareness a well needed boost. Colour me intrigued.
Carry on the Conversation:
That’s about it for this week’s, but before I finish, I have a request: as those of you who follow me of Twitter will know, I have had MAJOR laptop issues this month and as result most of the articles I had saved for today’s post have been lost to viruses, crashes and pretty much any other mishap software can suffer. I have tried my best to salvage what I can and not let these errors affect today’s post. If you do happen to notice that a story which should be there, isn’t, then I encourage you to comment below and I will aim to include it asap!
If you like what you have seen on the site today, then show your support by liking the Autistic & Unapologetic Facebook page. You’d be surprised how much of a difference it will make.
Thank you for reading and I will see you next Saturday for more thoughts from across the spectrum.