The Autism Positivity 2012 Flash Blog is explained by one of its writers in this way.
Someone recently did a search with the words “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers.” One blogger felt it was incredibly sad and, as a result, a number of bloggers decided to light up the internet with Autism Positivity blogs and I was asked to participate.
Tweets carrying the hashtag #autismpositivity2012 tracked me down, and inspired me to add my voice. As I contemplated this event, and how I might contribute, everything became crystal clear.
In less than 24 hours, I was going to be attending what promises to be one of the most positive autism events ever held. The timing of this passionate effort to express the positive nature of autsim/asperger’s could not be a coincidence.
Tomorrow night, May 1st, 2012, I will be joining a number of guests in San Francisco for the premiere of the documentary “I Want to Say”. This film found its initial inspiration in the work of Hope Technology School, and is the product of a collaboration between Goodby Silversetein, HP, and Autism Speaks.
It tells the story of children with autism, whose families have used touch technology to give them hope. This hope has helped these children discover their value and purpose as people who happen to have autism.
I reflected on my personal involvement with this project and Hacking Autism, as I watched early segments of the film. What became obvious to me, is many families and individuals with autism need exactly what this films offers.
This is not an evidence based film making an argument about one therapy against another, but a heartfelt collection of stories about the value of those with autism. It is a film which resists the tendency to focus on the educational technique, clinical study, or statistical data point.
Rather than dehumanize it humanizes.
For all intents and purposes, “I Want To Say” is a bit like the movie Rocky. (Rocky III being my personal favorite). Rocky did not make an argument for or against a particular boxing technique, but told the story of one man, an underdog, who overcame impossible odds to make his dream come true.
We need more movies like “I Want To Say”, because everyday someone somewhere is wishing they didn’t have autism, which means they don’t understand the value of their life. We should make it our mission to let everyone with autism/asperger’s know their life has value, and their struggle to overcome inspires us all.
My son with autism consistently tells us, “I was born with autism to change the world.” He doesn’t wish autism away, because he is all to aware of how important his having autism is to everyone who needs hope.
Note: “I Want to Say” will not be available to the public for some time, but Autism Speaks sent this information out today:
When: Tuesday, May 1st. Event begins at 7pm PST, documentary will air at 7:45 PST
Where: http://www.hackingautism.org (the stream will run on the homepage where the hackathon video currently lives)
Q&A will begin at 8:15pm PST. All viewers are welcome to send questions at any time via Twitter @autismspeaks #hackingautism.