Daily Archives: July 12, 2006

Autism Every Day, or Autism Staged?


Thierry told her subjects not to do their hair, vacuum or bring in the therapists. She showed up with her crew at their homes sight unseen and kept the cameras rolling as a mom literally wrestled with her son to get him to brush his teeth, as a 9-year-old had a public meltdown, as a 5-year-old had his diaper changed. And, as moms revealed dark and uncomfortable truths about living with autism. The result is a window into an exhausting world of interminable work.

That’s from an Alternet article that still seems to view doing the above as a good thing. The article even justifies and glorifies the quote in that video from the woman who considered killing her child. Apparently it’s “brave” to say something like that, and that makes it okay. (I don’t think so.) Apparently, also, nearly all parents of autistic kids have fantasized about killing us at one point or another and would know that if they looked hard enough. I’m not even going to dignify that last idea with a response.

But aside from the cultural shift towards basically “the courage of emotional honesty” being enough in what’s obviously a propaganda piece, read that paragraph I quoted from the article. They artificially made themselves and their houses look more unkempt than they were, and they kept the supports they normally use out of the way in order to get footage of autistic people — who were forced into this situation by the people making the film, mind you, which is beyond exploitative — doing things that made people feel sorry for the parents.

This was, as expected, not really a “slice of everyday life” from these parents’ lives, but a deliberately engineered take on the worst they could make things look. Why aren’t more people complaining?

Just imagine being an autistic kid and having your parents screw up your routine and make themselves look worse off than they are in order to talk about how miserable your presence in their lives is and how one of them has even thought of killing you. So that this can be shown to an entire nation. Yeah, doesn’t sound good to me either.