#HAWMC Day 20 – A cure for ignorance

24 Apr

The 20th #HAWMC prompt was to come up with a cure for your health focus. The only thing was, I didn’t need a cure for my health focus! Yes, there is plenty of things I wish that I could make that bit easier for my son who has Aspergers Syndrome but I wouldn’t go as far as stating he needs to be cured!

With the above in mind I wondered what I’d write about instead, then it came to me… How about a cure for other peoples ignorance?

The majority of our society remains misunderstood when it comes to the autism spectrum. I hate listening to the remarks of others when speaking about something they lack a great degree of knowledge in. OK, ignorance isn’t always the fault of an individual, some just haven’t been exposed to autism, therefore not having any reason to discover and learn about it! Others are simply misinformed via the media or other sources.

Then we encounter them cases of wilful delusion, people who understand more than they care to admit but simply ignore it. Those that refuse to change a certain view or way of behaving regardless of how well educated they are on the subject. It’s my opinion that this kind of ignorance is often found within schools, you’ll find teachers that agree with the difficulties you state your child is experiencing yet fall to note the concerns or apply for extra funding so state there is no problems within school. From personal experience and through discussions with other parents of children on the spectrum, It would seem that many school who have a child on school action plus have failed to fully use its resources despite having received the funding so when it comes to you asking for a statement a school will sometimes discourage a parent from doing so advising them to leave it a few months and stating that there are one or two things they can offer in the meantime.

This is why many autism activist campaign for it to be made a requirement that all schools train and educate its staff in all of SEN and that of the autism spectrum.

You see, some people will claim ignorance to be immoral but how can one understand something if they haven’t been educated on? The fact that one person feels they have the right to judge another with little evidence to base their conclusion upon is that of ignorance in itself… after all evidence can only be formed if those collecting it look for it and therefore learn more about it!

I’m guessing almost if not all parents of a child with autism or aspergers syndrome have been on the receiving end of ignorance at some stage of their child’s life. The parent of the child who really struggles with everyday experiences such as shopping will know all to well what its like to be stared at and judged just by looking at their fellow shoppers! Yes, it get does get easier with time, sometimes I fail to even notice those stood around staring, the whispers or continuous head shaking motion and tutting sounds many make and though you know its there, some days you’re just to tired to care!

Nonetheless, Regardless of how accustomed to it one may become this is somewhat besides the point! People need educating but sadly you will always find not every ones willing to step forward and learn! Of course we can’t make people think before they judge, only they can do that. Plus we all do it in some form or another whether it’s in relation to autism, mental health or something else altogether. However, it will eventually still grind you down, OK, not everyday, but those that do are enough to drive you into a state of depression, insanity or both!

Parents of children who have only just received a diagnosis or even those of undiagnosed children can find ignorance much more difficult to contend with (I know I did back in the earlier days). What’s more ignorance can also be an extremely upsetting experience for the child on the spectrum, especially those considered more high functioning. Again I feel many assume that because it’s documented that children on the autism spectrum are in their own little world they therefore often disregard the child’s feelings simply thinking they lack the intelligence needed to understand.

Well its a fact, no one wants to be judged, especially when it relates to the way they bring up their children. The child with autism is often labelled a menace to society, the child heading for an ASBO by its 5th birthday… no one wants their child to be thought of in such a way! It’s this part that most parents find the toughest overall.

Of course we as parents can’t spend forever worrying what others do or do not think of us and I for one don’t seek the approval of society on how I parent. I don’t need to be told whether I’m doing an efficient job or not, I don’t seek any ones approval apart from that of my own. It’s took me a long time to be able to actually feel this way, yet there will still be those days I slip and break at a strangers glare or ignorant comment whether it’s in a week, a month or even a year.

So here’s my final thoughts to wrap this post up! Ignorance is actually a state of unawareness which can in fact be cured with a little bit of educating! Those that receive that education but chose to ignore it don’t only become intentionally ignorant but are also filled with a degree of stupidity. Bottom line… We don’t need to find a cure for ignorance because there is already one available in that of education! What we do need is a cure for stupidity to finally fix the problem!

Image credit to the fabulous Chato B Stewart who blogs at PsychCentral.com an activist for mental health who uses a bit of healthy humour within his work

Post 20/30 in  the Wego Health #HAWMC 

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