I ended my last blog with: “As a society we care too much about other people’s ideas of what is and what is not appropriate, rather than the effect our actions and behaviour will have on the ones we should love and support the most.”
For all my life I have been a strong advocate of accepting others – regardless of sexuality, ethnicity or religion. This also extends to those with disability.
I question why there are always media articles and press related to the causes of autism, ADD and ADHD, such as articles about new research that suggests there could somehow be a “cure” for these conditions.
I recently came across an article about autism, in which an individual commented that it’s like what happened with homosexuality – people were (and some still are) trying to find a cure! Homosexuality is now more widely accepted, though I acknowledge not totally, as part of human diversity. So I ask: why is autism, ADD and ADHD not seen in the same light?
Why are we constantly making these individuals feel as if there is something wrong with them and that there is something to cure? Why do we not simply support them and make them feel comfortable in their diversity, and nurture the strengths and gifts they have to offer?
As well as a general lack of acceptance is the guilt that is dished out via the media and social platforms to mothers. I recently read an article that there are direct links between vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy and autism. At the time I thought, “Do mothers really need anything more to feel guilty about, or to worry that perhaps they could have prevented their child having autism!?”
At times it appears that we are too quick to criticise and chastise those with these “conditions”, rather than accepting them and giving them the support they need to feel like valued members of society. We make them feel that they have a “condition” to be cured, rather than just accepting their differences.
When these reports come out in the media, I see individuals with autism whose self-esteem and self-worth is strongly affected. It further adds to their feelings of inadequacy and belief that they are a burden to their families. All these media reports do is fuel the idea that these are conditions to be cured like diseases.
When you consider that individuals with ADD, ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia and other similar conditions have a high propensity for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, why is it OK to make them feel more inadequate, anxious and depressed with these reports?
These individuals need to be given the support they need to feel empowered; to know that they are valuable members of society with much to contribute through their strengths, rather than focussing on their weaknesses.