I’m delighted to be once again taking part in RJ Scott’s Autism Awareness Blog Hop
First, a couple of autism facts:
- Without understanding, autistic people and families are at risk of being isolated and developing mental health problems.
- Autism is much more common than many people think. There are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK – that’s more than 1 in 100. If you include their families, autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people.
Source: The National Autistic Society
Autism is just one of over fifty different types of invisible condition listed by Disabled World, an independent Health and Disability news source. Others include digestive disorders, mental health issues and debilitating chronic illnesses such as ME, MS and fibromyalgia.
Unfortunately, the world tends to judge by appearances. People with impaired hearing–but who don’t wear a visible hearing aid–may be told they’re just not listening properly, and legitimate holders of blue badges/permits have been berated and even physically attacked for parking in spots designated for the disabled, simply because they don’t use a wheelchair, or are not using it on that particular occasion.
It can be incredibly frustrating and demoralising for someone living with an invisible condition to be continually told they are lazy, making it up, or a hypochondriac. Or even just not trying hard enough.
Invisible conditions can impact on all aspects of life, including relationships and employment/employability, and it can be hard for sufferers to get the medical treatment and/or help they need–as even medical professionals are not always immune to the automatic assumption that someone who looks well/neurotypical/etc has no special needs.
And this is why awareness campaigns are so important. The more people know about invisible conditions, the more understanding they will be. And the less people living with these conditions will have to hear “But you don’t look sick/autistic/disabled.”
Graphics are taken (with permission) from Molly’s Fund Fighting for Lupus.
Five of my ex-Samhain books are now back on the virtual shelves (with more coming soon). I’d like to offer an e-book of winner’s choice from these titles to a randomly-chosen commenter on this post:
To enter, just leave a comment wherever you read this post – but if you’re commenting elsewhere than on my WordPress blog, please make sure you leave an email address so I can contact you if you win!
The winner will be chosen around tea time on May 1st, so there will be plenty of time to enter. Good luck! 🙂
thanks for the great post. when he was alive my dad had aspergers and i have a variety of learning difficulties including add. and yes IT IS so frustrating to have everything you posted be tossed at me and being made to feel less than due to a lack of understanding.
Thanks for commenting, and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂
It makes me so mad when people appoint themselves the disability police and ignorantly assume they’re the best judge of someone else’s capabilities.
so true. in high school i had one teacher make the assumption that i wasn’t ‘up to’ taking advance biology even thou it was stated i wanted to work with animals and in order to do that i had to load up on the sciences including biology. i took the course and got a 60% on it. and the teacher had to eat crow basically
My son has Williams Syndrome – another hidden disability. Having this awareness raising is such a fantastic idea. Everything posted above is true of my son and those he goes to special needs nursery with. I love your writing and so glad to see your titles back on the shelves 🙂
Thank you, and best wishes to you and your son. Here’s hoping people will learn a little more understanding. 🙂
Thank you for being part of RJ’s Autism Awareness Blog Hop. A hidden disease is difficult to live with. I have fibromyalgia and all the things you listed above are at one time or other said to me. You learn to live with the fibro as well as all those meaningless and ignorant remarks, but sometimes it hits you hard.
So sorry to hear people are making your life harder than it needs to be.
Thanks for commenting!
Thank you for posting this. It’s important to remember not to judge by appearances. Is your blog on FB? Can I share? The Molly’s Fund graphics are particularly helpful.
My blog automatically posts through to my FB page (https://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow) and yes, please do feel free to share. 🙂
And the graphics I’ve used (and other helpful ones, all of which they’ve stated are free to use) come from here: http://www.mollysfund.org/2013/04/invisible-illness-but-you-look-so-good/
Thanks for this post and sharing those two lists from Molly’s Fund. It is hurtful when people judge by appearances or think you are overreacting or not trying hard enough because they have not experience what you are going through.
You’re welcome. 🙂
People do definitely seem to say the wrong thing sometimes…I don’t know if it’s because they get flustered, or what. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes you just have to wonder…
*nods* People definitely get flustered sometimes, but hopefully increased awareness – so they won’t be caught by surprise – will help with that. 🙂
Thanks for your post. I really appreciated the ideas of things to say.
You’re welcome! And yes, I found it helpful to have some examples, too. 🙂
Thank you for the interesting post, JL. I guess sometimes we say the wrong thing because we do not think, we just talk first and think afterwards. I am an expert at putting my foot in It…
I’m sure we’ve all done it – I certainly have. But hopefully with increased awareness, we can all react a little more thoughtfully.
Thank you for the interesting post and sound advice. People can be quite insensitive at times and I like the message you’re trying to convey about thinking before speaking.
You’re welcome. 🙂
And oh, if only we could all learn (me included!) to always think before we speak! 😉
I have a severely autistic, non-verbal, low functioning 21 year old son. Thank you so much for participating in Autism Awareness Month! It means the world to me!
You’re welcome, and thank you for commenting!
All the best to you and your son. 🙂
This is quite thoughtful and generous of you.
Loved the graphics from the Molly’s Fund. They need to be out there in the world for more people to see. I am trying to find them at the Molly’s Fund page so I can share them as well.
Thank you for the list of things TO say to a person with an invisible disease.
You’re welcome – and congratulations! The random number gods have smiled upon you, and you’re the winner of the giveaway! 🙂
I’ve emailed you re your prize.