When Awareness Harms

Let’s talk about needing green minds, eager thinking, waiting for butter to spread onto toast.  Let’s talk about excitable pink ideas, ah-ha moments of lovely surprise filling the cavernous space of other understanding.  Now we can behave differently.

None of wisdom’s stars ached for commonly held beliefs without questioning them all.

Have you asked yourself whether the awareness campaigns are helping?

What exactly have they made you aware of?

Does your newly found awareness help you understand an Autistic person?

How so?

What about Autistic neurology?

Do you believe you understand what the brightest minds in the world admit they are baffled by?

How about treating Autistic people the way you would hope to be treated?

I vote for love and laughter.

Laughing in Red

Laughing in Red

22 responses to “When Awareness Harms

  1. I just love “green minds” and “pink ideas”! And I’m absolutely joining you in voting for love and laughter. ❤

  2. Emma, the more I read your posts, the more I’m blown away by how incredibly brilliant you are. Your thoughts are operating on a level that is so much higher than my own that I can’t fully make sense of them. Every other line seems like a Zen Koan rich for mining. Case in point: “None of wisdom’s stars ached for commonly held beliefs without questioning them all.”

    Who wants to tackle that one with me?

    • I will! Let’s discuss. 🙂

      • Wisdom questions commonly held beliefs. This is most important to someone on the spectrum as we live in topsy turvey world. When I started reading about Aspergers, my world didn’t turn upside down, it turned rightside up.

        But before that I had long known I stood apart for being able to challenge ideas without judgement or bias. Accepting commonly held beliefs about our world never taught me anything and was quite dangerous, as I have come to realize is the reason I don’t accept belief without qualification. I’ve long argued that if what you believe can’t withstand reasonable exploration-based challenge, then it must not be a very strong idea.


  3. “How about treating Autistic people the way you would hope to be treated?”
    That about sums it up… Thanks Emma 🙂

  4. Some of my favorite “wisdom’s Stars” = Buddha, Einstein, Jesus, Paul, Father Richard Rohr, Elie Wiesel…just to name a few.

    Who are yours, Emma? Richard?


  5. This is the best!!
    Laughing & Loving in Red Solidarity

  6. You write so well about common beliefs people have. This really helps me navigate through the complicated tapestry of middle school social life to find the right person for a friend. I feel like I’m too smart, not academically, but about the world, for most 12 year olds.Thanks for your posts, as I have always had trouble connecting with people my age. I can’t wait to grow up. 🙂

  7. I think awareness= inaccurate information designed to make life harder for autistic people and muddy the waters. I hate it. So many myths I have to fight for the entire month! Like, I do not think most autistic people lack empathy for example.

  8. Yes Emma, when ignorance and awareness are synonyms we have a cavernous loss of the green mind. Your poetry is breathtaking. The poet John O’Donohue would love your wild mind. Your first book of poetry is eagerly awaited. You have such a gift for pulling wisdom out of the unbounded fields of your red mind and letting your words dance.

  9. Reblogged this on bunnyhopscotch and commented:
    April is THAT month of year. Let’s ditch the awful nausea-inducing blue of “awareness month” and move on to ACCEPTANCE and reciprocity!

    Please vote for love and laughter! Thank you, Emma!

  10. Melva Bucksbaum

    Emma you inspire me to be a better person. I remember, probably over 40 years ago, when the young son of a friend of mine was diagnosed as autistic. One lovely summer day I was sitting in the garden with Ronald and I imagine he was about two. His mother went into the house for a few moments so I decided to play a game with Ronald. I would ask him simple questions like: Where is the kitty, where are the flowers, where is the sun where are the trees, where is the car etc. Not to my surprise he nodded his head toward everything. His awareness helped me know there was a good brain in that adorable head. Today, while not as bright as you, he has graduated from college and is self supporting. His father, like yours, is an author and his mother was a few years ago Deputy Governor of Iowa. He was the first one to help me understand autism. Happy Easter Emma to you and your family. It is my birthday. Hugs beautiful Emma, Your friend Melva

  11. Love is All You Need

    Beautifully put straight to the point questions. Vital. Brilliant. ❤

  12. Simply wonderful, Emma Hope. It’s just that: honest, thoughtful, and yet you make these words appear like they were obvious all along. A great gift from a poet-activist.

  13. Pingback: How to Engage Someone…or how not to socialize | Inside Asperger's

  14. Hi, Emma! I’m an autistic blogger from Poland and your big fan. I’m writing an article about learning the AAC. I want to encourage parents to teach their children speaking for themselves. The autistic person’s opinion is the most valuable to me. Could you tell me how did you start typing? What is the best way to make a nonverbal person interested in alternative communication? Thank you very much!

    I also have to say that I appreciate your poetic style of writing. My mind is too “machine-like” to do it 😉

  15. Awareness does not help me know how to connect or especially whether connection is even desirable by other.
    My mother-in-law celebrated her 90th birthday this weekend past. One of her guests was her nephew’s 28 year old Autistic son. I wanted SO badly to connect but I had not the slightest idea of how to do so. I wanted him to know that I know just a little. I seldom want to connect ever, but this time I really really did and had not the slightest idea of HOW, IF at all 😦

  16. How about treating Autistic people the way you would hope to be treated?
    The perfect thought for Autism Acceptance Day (and Month), Emma. Thank you!

  17. One problem (that I can see): too many people are *strongly* invested in matters of dominance and hierarchy – chiefly in that they are convinced that by *gaming the (social) system*, they can ascend to the pinnacle of dominance.

    The unconscious – “where everything meaningful and worthwile happens – has a set of *rules* that describe ‘life’ in toto. This information – and the tools needed to *use* it – are said to be ***innate*** (U. frith, others).

    While most people do ‘magical thinking’, there is another, related form of (unconscious) thought that might be named ” magician’s thinking” – as in ‘everything is controlled by magic and every *person* is a magician’.

    When one does not think and act as if the above is true, then one is judged as being *wrong* – and when the reason for this failure is involuntary – then one is judged as being not ***human** .

    The point of the above is this: short of divine intervention changing humanity as a whole *from the inside*, those who gain by domination are

  18. Pingback: When Awareness Harms – Uniqueli Made

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