Do you know about TED? You must if you don’t! It shouldn’t have surprised me to discover, on someone’s blog, Temple‘s on TED….The You Tube video, below, is is long. Eighteen minutes worth. BUT! It’s an amazing lecture followed by an important Q&A. A must for every “parent” and teacher working with our population. Click, turn up the volume and run while you file or do the dishes!
Bravo, Temple! Bless you and thank you!
I was moved during the Q&A when she was asked what is her passion. She answered: knowing that she would make a difference in the world. She cited examples of when a parent approaches her at conferences and said she is the reason their child is going to college. She added her work in slaughterhouses as also being her contribution. What a spunky woman, that Temple! I hope I told her when we spent time together in New York that she is the reason I pursued art with Grace….
On Saturday, someone pasted a link to Temple’s TED talk on my facebook page. Another affirmation to the refrain that’s been circling my noodle all week: high-functioning autism and Asperger’s is so in the news right now. Duh. It and all of the spectrum has been since 2000** and more so since the 2005 debut of the always controversial New York-based, highly monied Autism Speaks. Yes, media focus on autism has been nearly constant, but there are surges. And we’re in a bit of surge right now, not to mention that next month is national Autism Awareness Month.* This started out as a post just on Temple’s TED talk and all these developments have paraded before my consciousness since. Bear with me. Keep reading. This is Good Stuff. The current surge seemed to spring board with the movie, Temple, which premiered last month on HBO; this TED talk, above; national best-selling novelist Jodi Picoult’s new House Rules (which I intend to review here next week,) and the subject of the new, highly publicized and fascinating sounding read, The Big Short, about a man with Asperger’s who forsaw the mortgage lending subprime crisis, which I also aim to review here soon.
NBC ‘s new television drama, Parenthood, features a family whose son is recently diagnosed with Asperger’s. I caught the first episode by default as we were sitting at a sushi bar (you know it’s a Japanese restaurant thing to assume it’s customers want to continue to be plugged into the boob tube.) It was showing on the television furthest from me. (Yes, there are two at this otherwise quite classy joint–our favorite for sushi). I could tell the drama was intense, the acting, quality. It was only days later that I learned about the sub-Asperger’s theme. And heard again. And again. While folding my Mt. Everest of laundry Tuesday night last week, I caught the tail end of the third episode. What I like about what I’ve seen of Parenthood‘s depiction, and all these aforementioned portrayals of the disorder, is that they are candid. They are not glamorizing the many positive aspects of the disAbility’s higher functioning spectrum end. They are keeping it real. And, I am all about Real.
Also, National Public Radio is airing this program on autism on it’s Studio 360 this week. It may have already aired within your town, depending on your local station’s program schedule. It aired Sunday morning on Nashville’s WPLN.The 40-minute episode features researchers at UCLA-Davis, Yale and on art and autism, social and visual tracking, respectively, and You Tube sensation non-verbal and proud Amanda Baggs and the new autist’s empowerment movement. (Woo-hoo!) (Please watch this video. It’s a powerful message that we need to HEAR. Because of our “typie” prejudices, it may be difficult for some to watch. The reward is at the end.
**In 2000, congress passed the Childcare Health Initiative Act, finally getting more funds proportionate to the number of individuals affected by the disorder.