Autism blindness (definition)
Very sarcastic and written when I was in a bad place – please forgive me.
Autism blindness is an affliction suffered largely by primary school teachers who, despite normal intelligence, are unable to see a number of autistic traits when they are present right in front of them. These traits may include; reactions to change, inability of a child to accept the blame when there is a group (rather than individual) disruption and difficulty in processing information due to anxiety.
It is common for those suffering from autism blindness to blame the child’s response on: ‘bad’ behaviour, poor parenting, learned behaviour, or to describe it as ‘normal’, in order to prevent the need to ‘see’ the autism. Autism blindness is compounded by an innate fear the sufferers have of developing a relationship with the child. It is widely believed that this fear is due to a subconscious belief that they may in fact be w.r.o.n.g about the child’s difficulties, the consequences of which can be devastating to the mental well being of those afflicted with autism blindness.
The aetiology of autism blindness. Autism blindness is largely believed to be the product of a system that teaches teachers that they only have to help a child with a problem that they can see. They have a duty to provide an education that meets the needs of the child, but only if they can see the child’s needs. A key secondary factor is thought to be that the sufferers need to block the realisation that others, including parents and health professionals, will also ‘know’ the child well; perhaps as well as they do. For some, this is feeling can be very threatening, even overwhelming, and result in the blocking of a number of their pre-existing attributes and their communication skills.
The consequences of autism blindness are far reaching. The child will inevitably not get the education they are legally entitled to. Their parents suffer stress and distress similar to those in mentally abusive relationships, siblings witness untold preventable distress and the friendships, health and social activities of the entire family will deteriorate.
It is essential that autism blindness is prevented by a healthy culture of genuine multi-professional working, and respect and acceptance of the parents’ inevitable expertise in the subject of their child.
OK, OK….. so it was made up by me in complete and utter desperation and disbelief about what was going on around me. It was more than a couple of years ago now. I think many will relate. I realise it may sting a little, especially for those who are, or who know some of the many teachers who work hard to understand, help and to get things ‘right’ for all of the children in their class. I know these people exist and I also appreciate that the system is crippling for them too.
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