27 December, 2006

Inertia And The New Domain

As an Autistic, change makes me nervous. In fact, I would go so far as to say that change is probably the greatest cause of stress in my life. My mind is seemingly governed by Newton’s first law of motion. For those that may not remember physics, Newton’s first law was that “an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalancing force.” This law is used to describe inertia and can basically be summarized by saying that an object resists a change to its state of motion. Similarly, I have an overwhelming resistance to changes in my state of existence. That is part of who I am at the core. Now I have realized, as I developed, that the resistance can be a very serious limitation. Therefore, I have come up with ways to develop sufficient “unbalancing force” or to translate outside events into an “unbalancing force”.

One of my greatest enjoyments is having people visit my blog. I keep track of statistics and am amazed by the number of people that stop by and read my writing. What is also truly amazing is that the people visiting my blog are from all over the world. Last week I was reminded of just how important it was to me that there are people reading my blog.

I participate (somewhat infrequently) in several mailing lists, news groups, and forums. On one particular news group last week, there was a post that really upset me. Someone was attempting to hype their e-book on Autism. Now, I have nothing wrong with people who write books on Autism. In fact I have considered it myself. But what I do have a problem with is when someone publishes an e-book with claims like:

“Give Me 17 Minutes And I Guarantee To Reveal The 31 Signs of Autism, Plus Proven Strategies That Show You How To Awaken The Maximum Potential Of Someone With Autism”


“You Too Can Learn The Carefully Kept Tactics That Give You The Advantage Over Autism!”

And finally:

“[Title removed, as not to give the author any free press] Will Answer All Your Autism Questions!”

Although I am troubled by the author’s attempt to paint their book as a panacea for all the challenges and troubles of Autism, what truly bothers me is that the author directs this snake oil towards the unsuspecting and vulnerable parents who are just starting to be introduced to the world of Autism. The introductory text at the very top of the web site for the e-book states:

“Are You Worried & Scared That Someone You Love Has The Signs & Symptoms Of Autism?”

As I have mentioned before, one of the main reasons I created this blog was because my wife and I felt very alone when we were first trying to get a handle on just what Autism was and how it would change our lives and I wanted to help prevent others from feeling that despair. (See my blog entries entitled “Let There Be Light!” and “Let There Be Light! Part II”.) Seeing someone who is clearly trying to prey off of the vulnerability and feeling of being alone is everything I am against.

So, the “unbalancing force” created by my anger at this author built within me. A change in the state of my environment was inevitable. Now I should mention here that one thing I do to mitigate the turmoil and stress caused by change is to identify things that make the change seem extremely desirable. In this case, it was the potential of reaching a much larger audience and, in theory, overshadowing the snake oil vendors that simply want to take the $37.77 (yes that is really how much the author is charging for their miracle book) from people who really just need to know that they are not alone.

I set a course and just needed to find a path. One step in that path is to make accessing the Autism: Deal With It! blog simpler to find… and that step is where we are today and why http://autieblog.blogster.com has been moved to http://www.autismdealwithit.org. More changes, some behind the scenes and some rather obvious ones, will be coming over the next month or so… So update your bookmarks and stay tuned!


Anonymous Sandrissimo said...

I hate those books, it makes me feel bad that in the beginning, I tried all these things hoping to "cure" my son...

It's a good thing people like you are writing their stories on the internet! In this way you give other people more insight in the mind of those they care for.

I think it also gives courage to young people, because you show that having autisme is not something that prevents you from having a full and happy life.

It would be so nice if everybody would just accept the fact that we are all different and that this is an asset to society.


31 December, 2006 09:24  

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