People generally think that people with autism and other disabilities as do not have functioning brains. To prove this stereotype wrong, Rosie King gave a speech about how she had an extremely active imagination. In her speech, she said “One of the things I can do because I’m autistic — it’s an ability rather than a disability — is I’ve got a very, very vivid imagination. Let me explain it to you a bit. It’s like I’m walking in two worlds most of the time. There’s the real world, the world that we all share, and there’s the world in my mind, and the world in my mind is often so much more real than the real world. Like, it’s very easy for me to let my mind loose because I don’t try and fit myself into a tiny little box. That’s one of the best things about being autistic. You don’t have the urge to do that.” She talks about how she wouldn’t trade her imagination for anything and how her autism has made her feel free. She has also made a BBC documentary about her autism and is currently writing a book. Another example would be the short story, Movement, by Nancy Fulda. In this story, Hannah is a young girl with temporal autism. On page 58, she thinks “They do not know I’m listening. They think that, because I do not choose to respond, I do not notice they are there.” Hannah talks about how people don’t understand how complex she is, and how she sees everything in a deeper way. Another quote is “I am evolving, too, in my own small way. Connections within my brain are forming, surviving and perishing, and with each choice I make I alter the genotype of my soul. I think, that is what my parents fail most to see.” She constantly tries to express that she is more than what her parents think of her. My last example is Jason from the book Rules by Cynthia Lord. On page 47, Catherine offers to make more words for Jason’s speech book. Throughout the book, Jason wants more words so he can talk to people easier and expand the limits of what he can say. Jason wants to do things other kids can do, like run and go to dances. To conclude this paragraph, people with autism have fully functioning brains and should be treated as people, just as much as anyone else without a disability.
Although people with autism like Jason and David tend to think differently than people without autism. It doesn’t mean that they live a less important life. One of the characteristics that I saw David and Mac have, is repetition. In Cynthia Lord’s novel “Rules,” David replayed the same movie over and over and over again. For example, David’s movie that he replayed is a movie about some trains. An example of that is on page 77, and it says, “David stands at the T.V., remote in his hand. He loves rewinding the trains backward up the tracks and speeding them ahead to almost crashing, over and over.” During Grace Bourne’s presentation she talked about how her brother Mac had a lot of repetition also. Mac watches the same movie over and over just like David. But Mac also has too eat the same breakfast every day. He likes a waffle with syrup on the side and a piece of sausage. Grace said that if they run out of sausage one day, then it’s almost impossible to get him to eat anything else. Another reason is, people with autism need to be reminded of rules every once in a while. These rules are life rules. Most of them are simple to people without autism who just pick it up like common sense. But people with autism have trouble getting these “rules” in their head. An example of this is when every chapter is a new rule, and on page 10 and 11 Catherine wrote David some rules. Some of them were, “You can yell on a playground, but not during dinner. A boy can take off his shirt to swim, but not his pants. It’s fine to hug mom, but not the clerk at the video store.” There are many more but those were just a few. Another example is about Mac. Grace was talking about how she has to remind Mac of rules also. For example, one of the rules is, “close the door when you go to the bathroom.” For people without autism that would just come naturally, but for people like Mac and David it doesn’t. People with autism have different affinity’s which means they like different stuff, or like Rosie King, she’s very creative. In Rosie King’s ted talk that we watched, she said that she is very creative and has a wild imagination. She said that she takes this to her advantage. For example, if there is something boring she imagines something else to make it more fun.
Another connection is movement written by Nancy Fulda. Hannah was non-verbal so it was very hard for her to talk. Her parents wanted to do an operation on her so that she would talk, but Hannah didn’t want that. To tell her parents she didn’t want it almost took two weeks. She told them she didn’t want new dance shoes because Hannah’s mom also wanted to get her new dance shoes. But she was referring to the dance shoes as the operation. In conclusion everyone is different and everyone should be treated with respect. They should also be treated kindly. And just because people can be different from you it doesn’t mean they should be treated with less respect or she be made fun of.
In Cynthia Lord’s novel Rules, Catherine’s relationship with David is a typical relationship between siblings with autism. Firstly, Catherine has to watch over David. The reason this is because Catherine is seen watching over David and babysitting him throughout the book. This similar to when Gracie Bourne said that she watches over Mac and goes to his doctor’s appointments. Another reason their relationship is typical is because Catherine is defensive of people with autism. In the book, Catherine defends David when people tease him. This is similar to how Rosie King is defensive for when people try to generalize people with autism. The last reason is their relationship is typical is because Catherine feels sometimes that she doesn’t get as much attention. During the book she sees David get more attention with him getting to go where he wants to and given things while Catherine doesn’t get what she wants. This is similar to how in real life Gracie Bourne said she felt the same but it didn’t bother her as much. That is why the relationship between Catherine and David is very similar to real relationship between siblings where one has autism.
Reading fictional books such as Rules by Cynthia Lord help people better understand people with Autism. One reason is the perspective of who is telling the story. I believe people seeing the story through the eyes of Catherine can make the story easier to relate to than anyone else. The beginning is a good way to ease more ignorant people into the idea of Autism. They can relate to Catherine as she talks bad about David and talks about her dislikes. Catherine is the best person to tell the story. Readers watch her understand Autism better and accept those with Autism for who they are. Secondly, the reader sees multiple forms of Autism and how they act around people who do not have Autism. The book has Jason in the story. He is nonverbal and helps readers explore other forms of it. You see Catherine notice how he is not hyperactive and that he does care about discrimination against him. The character David represents the stereotype of Autism because he is hyperactive. He tries to be calm and you understand that he cannot help it. Another perspective is the parents. The author shows reader the strain and sacrifice to take care of David. Just like Catherine, they love him, but you see the impact of having an Autistic child. The mother moves from her office in the city to having a home office for her business to take care of David. The father gets David upset by being late. David likes having a consistent schedule. He also has to take him to the video store. Cynthia Lord does an excellent job at representing all forms of Autism in a manner that shows they are not, as the internet said, “Demons,” found out by Rosie King. This shows people that Autistic children are still people too.
Even though people are often hard on individuals with differences, they are usually harder on those with mental differences than they are on those with physical differences. For example, people are often hard on those with physical differences, but they can be really hard on those with mental differences. They can’t usually see mental differences, so they don’t really understand them. In the book Rules, by Cynthia Lord, there is a boy named Jason who is both physically and mentally different. On page 20, there is a quote that really stunned me when I read it. It said “Jason’s jaw is a little crooked, not as perfect as I drew. But if I draw how it really is, it might look like I made a mistake. In the presentation that Grace Bourne did she said her brother, Mac, is non-verbal and he can’t go to a regular school he needs to go to a school for special needs. Another example, mental differences you can’t see so it’s hard to know if they have it or not. In the book, Ryan teases David with an empty gum wrapper. When that happens I feel so bad because David did nothing wrong. Picking on someone with mental differences can mean a lot to that person even if it means nothing to the other. Finally, People with any differences should be treated the same as any person without it. I personally don’t think it’s fair to treat people so harshly especially people with differences. All people should be treated the same way with or without differences. Some people treated David poorly and I thought it wasn’t right. Just because someone has differences doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings about things.
Catherine does seem to want a treatment for David’s autism because being with him around other people makes her feel embarrassed. She wants a pill to make him, “Normal” on page 8, Catherine says “Sometimes I wish someone would invent a pill so David’d wake up one morning without autism” Catherine makes assumptions as to how people see David. On page 63 David gets scared of a bee and shrieked, and Catherine wants just to hide behind the fence because she was embarrassed by how he was acting. So she makes an excuse to stop talking to her new neighbor’s mom. People are worried about having to adapt to people with abilities, which Catherine has already done. Page 48, “HI, JASON” his speech therapist thinks he has hearing problems, but the only problem is his speech. So she is really loud. Catherine is bothered by his autism but has grown accustomed to it, but she makes assumptions as to what other people think.
In Cynthia Lord‘s book Rules, many characters’ views represent how people judge others with autism in the real world. One way the characters represent stereotypes is that they can’t function mentally. On pg. 23, the speech therapist treats David and Jason like they are “stupid” and can’t function mentally. When Gracey Bourne talked about her brother Mac, she mentioned how people would treat him in therapy like he is “stupid”, but really people with autism are quite intelligent. Another way people judge people with autism is based on their behaviors. In the book, David goes to the video store with Catherine and her father. While being at the video store, David looks at the back of other people’s DVDs to see the rating and the eligible age to watch a movie. People give David and his family weird looks and wonder why he is acting this way. David later starts squealing in the store because he had to be somewhere at 5:00. Again, people give David and the family weird looks and wonder why David is screaming in a store. People often make the assumption that people who are non-verbal think they don’t care because they can’t talk. In the book, there is a character named Jason who is non-verbal and can’t walk. So he has to sit in a wheelchair. Jason also has autism like David. During the speech therapy, Catherine starts drawing Jason assuming he doesn’t mind. Then Jason’s mother tells Catherine just because Jason can’t speak, doesn’t mean he doesn’t mind. When I read Movement, I was surprised about the main character, Hannah’s, behavior. Even though Hannah is non-verbal, she still acts like someone who doesn’t have autism. In conclusion, people shouldn’t judge other people with autism or people with mental disabilities in general. In fact try to be friends with them, your life might change.