Why “Sensory Friendly” Isn’t always what it seems.

man wearing black headphones beside train rail

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I posed this question on twitter:

The response was overwhelming. It seems a lot of people tend to agree with me.

A number of venues will offer, what they consider to be “sensory friendly” events which they believe caters to those who are Autistic and yes -it does cater to some, but certainly not all.

According to AMC (who works with Autism Speaks) this is how they define their sensory friendly film program:

AMC Theatres in 2007 started the AMC Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with the Autism Society to bring a unique movie experience to our community! As part of the program the film showings have their lights turned up and the sound turned down.

 

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My thoughts on something where the lights are on and the sound is down: Terrible. Just awful. For me, not being able to hear dialogue and having bright lights in my face would not be sensory friendly. I function best when the lights are off or there is natural lighting.  Each and every person on the spectrum is different and their ways of mentally processing incoming sensations are all unique to each person. You can’t simply say something is Sensory Friendly and use it as a blanket statement. I believe a better term would be Sensory Aware and a disclaimer that would say something like “this isn’t sensory friendly for every autistic person or person with sensory processing difficulties” would be highly beneficial. It’s just another step towards inclusion or at least a better understanding of what Neurodiversity is.

photo of head bust print artwork

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Autism Speaks…..

…But apparently, they do not listen!

If you haven’t seen this, you should:

This whole thing is laughable at best.

I was interviewed by a local, community newspaper under the umbrella of black press media. The reporter was incredibly interested in my art, autism and my story.

I specifically told her about my disapproval of Autism Speaks and how their aim is to eradicate autistic individuals like myself. I told her how important this detail was in regards to my own journey.

Every so often, I find myself looking up the title of the article to see where it’s been posted.

To my surprise, a disgustingly sick feeling came over me, It has been posted on the Autism Speaks facebook page for all to see.

The VERY article that had this statement in it:

The goal, Wosk explained, is to help people become more educated about autism — that’s why she spends much of her online time being an activist for autistic people and protesting against organizations like Autism Speaks, which Wosk said spend more time looking to eliminate autism rather than support autistic people.

It had been up for 2 hours with over 40 likes and 2 shares.

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I don’t think any of those Autism Speaks supporters (or even Autism Speaks themselves) even bothered to read my article, because if they did, they wouldn’t have posted anything with an unfavorable mention.

This begs the even larger question of the importance of autistic opinions. I believe that when it all comes down to it, it’s that money rules and we don’t matter.

This was certainly not my first online encounter with this greedy “charity”. Nope. Autism Speaks Canada actually e-mailed me once trying to tell me all the things they do. TELLING me is important to note because they failed to read or even address anything I had said.

 

In conclusion:

Autism Speaks wants to replace and eliminate us. Our voices are not worthy or important to them.

CBC Docs POV Presents Love, Hope & Autism

Firstly, I want to say thanks to CBC for giving me the chance to view this incredible film before it even airs on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 9 PM.

Update: This has become my most popular post yet—but I have no idea where the traffic is coming from. Where did you find this post? Comment below and let me know, Thanks!

Love, Hope & Autism centres around fraternal twins Fraser and Hallee Fresco and their journey growing up. Their bond is beautiful. Fraser is Autistic and Hallee is not. The special connection Fraser has with his Cameraman Father is so unique and really amazing. I loved seeing all their adventures captured on screen. The fact that so much of it is footage captured by the Father during the twins childhood provides a fresh perspective like nothing i’ve seen before.

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I hope you have the chance to watch it and open the discussion of how diverse Autism really is and how it can bring some families together, much like it did for the Frescos. There is still a complete lack of funding and resources for adults on the spectrum and this film definitely brings it to light.

For more information, please check out:

@cbcdocs #CBCDocsPOV

 

 

Learning something new

I never could have imagined I would ever be lucky enough to have a job with an incredibly supportive environment. Yet, here I am.

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I’m not stressed out when I have to go to work. I’m not feeling like i’m going to be repeatedly in trouble, have my self worth continually diminished and feel like I am at the bottom of the food chain.

I’m FINALLY EMPOWERED. I am constantly surrounded by incredibly passionate individuals who are happy and are patient with me.

The lighting isn’t overpowering, the only smell is of vibrant and rich coffee, which I love. I’m learning so much. I’m allowed to be on the point of sale system, connecting with customers, preparing their orders & giving them an authentic smile.

I don’t feel like I constantly have to remind people that there are things I find difficult. Sure, my short term memory sucks, I’m having to figure out things in a pace that works for me but the best thing of all is really feeling appreciated, accepted and valued.

There’s something to be said for a place of work where customers and employees are valued. I think this is the key to success and the key to being profitable.

I am so fortunate to have a great work/life balance and have the opportunity to have my blog and go somewhere to learn and grow as a decent human being.  Thank you for joining me on this CRAZY journey!