Autism in the media

It is an open door ... And I had never hoped to dedicate a column here, but unfortunately the recent news reports leave me no choice. For the umpteenth time in a row, a drama has occurred in this world, where many victims have fallen.

Obviously, the media appears again as hungry wolves on top and again round up all sorts of speculations. Yes, the emotions speak for themselves, but what makes me worse at the same time is the fact that the perpetrator is directly told: "It's an Autist!". Yes? So? The tone from the media is so negative, that in one go a very special group of people and children is put away as dangerous, potential killers and ticking time bombs.

To avoid misunderstandings: I definitely do not approve of the deed and I think it is a complete drama that happens again, but to shave the perpetrator over one head with a whole group of special individuals is, in my opinion, very short-sighted. Research has already shown that people with Asperger Syndrome do not commit more murders on average than others. The fact that research has been done about this is too sad for words, but let it be clear in this case. The reason why they go to this kind of action is probably different and in many cases a "story" precedes. In this case I focus on the cause, because in my experience you still can not reverse cause and effect. It became known that the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik in the past was sexually abused by his mother. At the beginning of this year we were startled in our own country by the murder of 15-year-old Ximena Pieters from Nootdorp. It is no secret that the perpetrator Stanley Anschütz, in his youth, was often bullied and teased for his "being different". And then ... Adam Lanza, who got his shooting lessons from his mother. In my opinion, not really a lesson that belongs to the educational task that you have as a parent.

A bad childhood, little love, sexual abuse, bullied or harassed, it is in my opinion no excuses to go to such an extreme act, but that a disorder in the autistic spectrum always prevails in the media (and thus also in society) as being the deranged and derailed behavior of the perpetrator, goes too far. Every person or child with a disorder in the autistic spectrum is an individual in itself and should never and never be printed in one and the same corner.

Even if there is no question of a disorder in the autistic spectrum, perpetrators can act impulsively and calculating. Because once again, people with a disorder in the autistic spectrum usually do not kill more than others without a label.

In cases where an autistic perpetrator is involved, we also speak of 2 types: the impulsive perpetrator and the calculated perpetrator. The impulsive perpetrator is someone who acts on "the moment of", as eg Stanley Anschütz did. The calculated perpetrator is someone who plans his action extensively and amply from the previous one, as eg Anders Breivik did.

That the media has such a negative mark on the fact that the perpetrator is "an autist", I deeply regret. After all, society is not as open-minded when it comes to people who are different and think differently. And by providing the headliners in the media with: "It's an Autist", this will only reinforce the negative image about people and children with autism. It gives society even more reasons to walk around this special group of people and children with a big arc, because the practice already shows that we condemn and condemn people who are "different" with all (extreme) consequences. of that. In November, we were confronted by the drama surrounding the suicide of 20-year-old Tim Ribberink. As he says himself: "ridiculed, harassed, bullied and excluded ... all his life ...". I give it to you once again to think: do we accept & respect the people who are different and think differently, as we have expressed in silent tours, forums, petitions etc. in recent weeks? Or ... have we forgotten again after 2 weeks and are we happily picking up thread again?

Again, I do not approve of the actions - arising from someone's behavior and / or limitation - but cause and effect can still not be reversed. Mind you, there is a decent task here for parents and educators. Instead of choosing the easiest way and excluding people who are a bit different and thinking, you could also take the trouble to delve into "being different". In other words, open that proverbial "door" once ... perhaps another world will open up for you. A world that can not even be that crazy.

Video: The Good, The Bad & The Autistic! An Analysis on Autism in Movies & TV

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