Autism, Culture, and Representation

Archive for April, 2012

Some things never end…

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last blog post.

After my adventures of exploring Barnes and Nobles in pursuit of children’s literature for autistic kids, I requested a series of books online. I returned to the store excited to know that relevant books were waiting for me, but there were really only two of the children’s books that seemed to illustrate what I was looking for.

Elaine Larson's The Kaleidoscope Kid and I am Utterly Unique

These books in particular stood out to me, and these two books are essentially the reason that I haven’t been keeping up with my blog posts. Instead, I’ve been crafting an essay about these two texts, and I’m happy to say that the final draft is complete (for now)!

In preemptively thinking about this post, I felt the same way as I did when last semester ended. But now that I’m actually writing it, I realize that things are definitely different now. If anything, I have realized that if disability studies and autism in particular are things that interest me, then there is no reason why I can’t incorporate them into my life.

For example. I just realized that I never wrote about this, but my dance group at the University of Michigan, Salto Dance Company, guest performed at the EMU Autism Collaborative Center’s KIDPOWER Camp. This camp was designed specifically for siblings of kids with autism, and it was focused on celebrating these kids and giving them the attention that may be overshadowed by autistic siblings. After performing a few dances for the kids, we encouraged everyone to gather around and learn some dance steps themselves.

UM's Salto Dance Company guest performed and taught ballet to KIDPOWER participants at the EMU ACC.

You can always tell when kids are having a blast because their faces give it away. The kids were smiling, listening and watching eagerly and trying to mimic our movements. Even all the adults involved in the event were on their feet pliƩ-ing with us. We had a great time working with such an enthusiastic group of people.


Anyways. Slight tangent, but not really. At the end of last semester, I was worried that even though my English class had changed my perspective on autism and disability, I would probably forget everything and become reabsorbed into the neurotypical world. This time, though, I’m not worried. I’m too involved in disability studies now to ever regress to how I was before.

It’s great to think about how my English classes about autism this year have really changed my perspectives for the better and for the long-term. So this isn’t a good-bye post either. I already have a list of autism/disability literature that I want to read over the summer, so I’m sure that I’ll be back here soon enough.


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