Autism stories frequently make the news these days and they always seem to focus on people searching for the cause and/or the cure.
What I would really like to see more of on the big news networks and websites are stories about working with people that have autism. Not hypothetical ways to cure them but things like classroom techniques that are being tried, ways to help people with autism learn social skills, stories about people that help a kid with autism that happens to live in their neighborhood or go to their church or play on their football team, stories where they talk to kids with autism about what kinds of things make it easier for them to go to school, church, play on football teams, hang out at the mall with friends, go to concerts, and chat with friends on the Internet.
But definitely stories that make kids with autism sound like kids instead of funding projects and prosecutors in class action lawsuits and definitely more stories where they actually talk to the people that have autism instead of celebrities.
For example, the Daily Herald had a great one recently that I think I might have already mentioned about a kid with autism who caught a TD pass in a football game and how it all came to be because the coach of the other team thought it would make the kid’s day. That’s a nice feel good story. That helps people understand how easy it really can be to make a difference in a person’s life.
I would love to hear stories about kids that started off in special education classes and later mainstreamed into regular classrooms. What kind of steps were taken during each transition and how did the schools, parents, and kids know they were ready for the next stage? As adults do they live on their own or in group housing or with their family? How do they get jobs and get to work? Are their any incentives for companies to hire people with autism? What do people with autism do in their free time?
The list could go on and on.
Considering how often I hear about autism in the news, I’m shocked that they don’t dedicate more time to these actual human interest stories that could go a long way toward making society actually understand autism instead of just realizing that it is something that needs a pill or shot invented to cure it.