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Pope Francis - We Need to Break Down Isolation and Stigma of Autism

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posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 12:29 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

I thought folks here would like to see what Pope Francis had to say recently while speaking at a three day conference on Autism.

He stated that the care for people suffering on the Autism spectrum is not only the responsibility of family and Christian communities, but also the direct responsibility of governments and institutions. He discussed how proper diagnosis is often difficult and that people need to have accessible health care to help manage the Autism. He spoke about the solitude that many people in the Autism spectrum feel as well as how their families feel. It's a cross to carry and we can all help lift the weight of that cross for those burdened with it.

Vatican Insider - We need to break down isolation, a stigma of autism


We need to break down the isolation and in many cases the stigma that burden people living with autism spectrum disorders and often their families as well.” Francis said this during his speech to participants at a three-day conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care titled The Person with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Animating Hope. He also remembered Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, the first president of this dicastery, who passed away last night at the age of 98.

Autism spectrum disorders “constitute a fragility that affects numerous children and, consequently, their families,” the Pope said during his audience at the end of a busy morning schedule in the Paul VI Hall. “They represent an area that appeal to the direct responsibility of governments and institutions, without of course forgetting the responsibility of Christian communities. Everyone should be committed to promoting acceptance, encounter and solidarity through concrete support and by encouraging renewed hope. In this way we can contribute to breaking down the isolation and, in many cases, the stigma burdening people with autism spectrum disorders, and just as often their families. This must not be an anonymous or impersonal accompaniment, but one of listening to the profound needs that arise from the depths of a pathology which, all too often, struggles to be properly diagnosed and accepted without shame or withdrawing into solitude, especially for families. It is a Cross. Assistance to people affected by autism spectrum disorders would benefit greatly from the creation of a network of support and services on the ground that are comprehensive and accessible. These should involve, in addition to parents, grandparents, friends, therapists, educators and pastoral workers. These figures can help families overcome the feelings, that can sometimes arise, of inadequacy, uselessness and frustration.”


Now on the topic of the Autism spectrum (but not about Pope Francis), I thought you all might find this interesting. My guy Dan Aykroyd has Aspergers and had this to say about it -

The Guardian - Dan Aykroyd "This Much I Know

My very mild Asperger’s has helped me creatively. I sometimes hear a voice and think: “That could be a character I could do.” Of course there are many different grades, right up to the autism spectrum, and I am nowhere near that. But I sympathise with children who have it.


11 Famous People With Some Form of Autism
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, James Durbin, Daryl Hannah, Tim Burton, Andy Warhol, Dan Harmon, Marty Balin, Lewis Carroll, Courtney Love, Temple Grandin, Dan Aykroyd



As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.




posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 12:56 PM
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I love me some Dan Harmon but I admit I always just assumed he was just an ass.
Plus a lot of these celebrities seem to have self diagnosed via internet tests.

But whatever, the point about breaking the stigma surrounding autism is important. It's a crummy disease that leads to much suffering in the world.



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 01:01 PM
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a reply to: Unresponsible

And how. I was professionally diagnosed at 15 and I don't know why society has to make fun of it with Assburgers. We're told not to make fun of those with physical disabilities and although we're high functioning, we're still technically disabled. This is one of the few things I agree with this pope on.

I wish people would realize it's no laughing matter and when society focuses on people like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, they don't realize it truly affects people, and most don't have the opportunities and the means to be social.



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 01:07 PM
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originally posted by: Yeahkeepwatchingme
I wish people would realize it's no laughing matter and when society focuses on people like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, they don't realize it truly affects people, and most don't have the opportunities and the means to be social.


Sheldon is supposed to have Autism? I didn't realize that. I knew he was Obsessive/Compulsive with some other social issues and misunderstandings, and that he had an eidetic memory (photographic memory), but I didn't realize the character was supposed to be in the Autism spectrum.



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 01:16 PM
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Sheldon Cooper Wiki


Despite speculation that Sheldon's personality traits may be consistent with Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive personality disorder and asexuality, co-creator Bill Prady has repeatedly stated that Sheldon's character was neither conceived nor developed with regard to any of these traits.

Some viewers have asserted that Sheldon's behavior is consistent with Asperger syndrome. The writers have stated that they did not use Asperger syndrome as a basis for the character, but instead thought of his actions as "Sheldony". Series co-creator Bill Prady stated: "We write the character as the character. A lot of people see various things in him and make the connections. Our feeling is that Sheldon's mother never got a diagnosis, so we don't have one". Prady also told Alan Sepinwell of the New Jersey Star-Ledger that while Sheldon shares traits with people with Asperger's, he was uncomfortable labeling Sheldon as having Asperger's.

In an interview, Jim Parsons noted the writers' response, but added that, in his opinion, Sheldon "couldn't display more traits" of Asperger's. Parsons, who plays Sheldon, has read John Elder Robison's memoir Look Me in the Eye about his life with Asperger syndrome, and said that: "A majority of what I read in that book touched on aspects of Sheldon". He also stated that "the way [Sheldon's] brain works, it's so focused on the intellectual topics at hand that thinking he's autistic is an easy leap for people watching the show to make".



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 01:33 PM
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a reply to: FlyersFan




He stated that the care for people suffering on the Autism spectrum is not only the responsibility of family and Christian communities, but also the direct responsibility of governments and institutions.


Gee thanks Captain Pope Obvious! LOL

My question is, How is passing off the responsibility of any of society's woes onto governments and institutions anything the Pope should be concerned with? Isn't the Pope's God strong enough to deal with the sick and needy? When did Jesus ever ask for Caesar's help or suggest that Caesar take responsibility for ailing people?



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 01:34 PM
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I don't know how to respond except to say "yes." I am the primary caregiver for a child with severe autism. I'm told that the vast majority of families would have given up and utilized a group home or institutional environment for an equivalent child, and kept him there. It is extremely hard. I am struggling. (We had him in a two year program to help him, which was excruciating, and he is back now - we are grateful for all the help we have received, however!!)

I can say that unless you have borne this particular cross, there is no way to communicate its burden, but it is carried with love and lightened by the slimmest shards of hope.

I believe in him. I KNOW there is more locked inside him than he can let out, and that he deserves people that believe this about him. (See my signature.) He deserves the dignity of being seen as fully human, not simply as "disabled." He deserves people fighting for him and advocating for him, not to mention giving him a sense of belonging and family. There is no "winning" here and no "normal," just loving and surviving. I love my son.

It is extremely hard to be him! He suffers. Forget my struggles as his mom, he bears a cross himself that I can never understand, I just try to pick up a bit of its weight to help him along. As long as I am able, I will be his caregiver.

Any good thoughts anyone wants to send our way would be extremely welcome, and so the Pope's encouragement is important.

peace,
AB



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 06:15 PM
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Now if they could only do something about...pedophilia.



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 07:14 PM
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Lifelong lonesomeness. As an Aspe, the stress of inter acting with a non Auts, how alien and challenging it was, and the resulting shunning of me from a group or prospective LTR, made me often ideate of final exit.
My older sister told me somewhat recently, that she and her friends excluded me as young teens, because it was never a two way interaction with me, just a one way from her or them.
Ouch!
I withdrew after my late 30's, (gave up) into a somewhat solitary confinement sentence of comfort zone. In more recent times, I socialize with my blood kin. I feel more normal, in advancing years. But it would take an earthquake now, to bust me out of my routine.
I think I'm traumatized by decades of heartbreak.



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 08:19 PM
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originally posted by: AboveBoard
I don't know how to respond except to say "yes." I am the primary caregiver for a child with severe autism. I'm told that the vast majority of families would have given up and utilized a group home or institutional environment for an equivalent child, and kept him there. It is extremely hard. I am struggling. (We had him in a two year program to help him, which was excruciating, and he is back now - we are grateful for all the help we have received, however!!)

I can say that unless you have borne this particular cross, there is no way to communicate its burden, but it is carried with love and lightened by the slimmest shards of hope.

I believe in him. I KNOW there is more locked inside him than he can let out, and that he deserves people that believe this about him. (See my signature.) He deserves the dignity of being seen as fully human, not simply as "disabled." He deserves people fighting for him and advocating for him, not to mention giving him a sense of belonging and family. There is no "winning" here and no "normal," just loving and surviving. I love my son.

It is extremely hard to be him! He suffers. Forget my struggles as his mom, he bears a cross himself that I can never understand, I just try to pick up a bit of its weight to help him along. As long as I am able, I will be his caregiver.

Any good thoughts anyone wants to send our way would be extremely welcome, and so the Pope's encouragement is important.

peace,
AB

at
I have a daughter with moderate autism and missing part of her brain. This put her at moderately retarded and brings her age from her physical age of 19, to a mental age of 8. When she was 8 years old, my cousin took us out to dinner once. My daughter operated on a 4 yr old level at the time. She dropped her crayons off the table by accident. Because she crawled under the table to get her crayons, I was told to put her in an institution and I really shouldn't take her out in public anymore. It was "unfair" to her. Considering, with the exception of the crayon incident, she was very well behaved, I think she did very well. She now lives in a group home with 3 other girls. She visits me on weekends as often as she feels like. She would be living at home, except she had become incredibly violent because her father left and she didn't know how to deal with it. Since moving into the group home, she's been doing very well violence wise. She'll have an incident or two, but not as often as it used to be. It used to be 4-8 times a day! And all her violence was projected onto me because she was mad at him and I was closest. She couldn't access him, but she could access me. But as I said, she's doing much better now. She's reading on a 8th grade level, she's looking at colleges and her future. As long as she continues to do well, I will continue to be there for her and try and help her succeed.



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 08:50 PM
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I'm not religious, but i have serious reepect for Pope Francis.

I'm glad that people are looking for something good out of autism
a reply to: FlyersFan



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 09:02 PM
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I tip my fedora to you Pope Francis. Your contributions to the autistic community have been immeasurable thus far.




posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 09:11 PM
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Havent got time to read the entire op and links, just posting to point out that Dr Wakefield said "people with autism are being swept under the rug because if they weren't we'd have to look more closely at whats causing it", Or something VERY similar to that, and look what happened to him!



posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 09:13 PM
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a reply to: VoidHawk

I was given a vaccine as a baby and hours later my temp spiked over 100, nearly died. After that I was a different baby, the crying, eating, sleeping all messed up. If the vaccine didn't cause it, it did something to my brain that made it more susceptible to autism or reawakened something to cause it.

Tired of hearing it's not caused by the activities of TPTB. They're doing this and people are being harmed.



posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 07:44 AM
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a reply to: AboveBoard

You sound like my own mother, an absolutely amazing woman. I hope he loves and appreciates you as much as I do her.



posted on Nov, 27 2014 @ 12:12 AM
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a reply to: CretumOrbis


I don't know who you are but please accept this virtual ((HUG)).

Thank you.

-AB




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