I’ve read things today which I have literally been saying for years. NAS isn’t fit for purpose. It has NEVER been fit for purpose. I am very sorry if by some miracle that they have been helpful to you personally… but in most cases they’ve not been helpful to the majority of those on the spectrum. I may be a little cranky right now because my flat smells of cat wee as Mister won’t quit spraying (everything is going to have to be cleaned during the decorating), but it has to be said. And, I’ve just heard him do it again as I am typing this entry.
NAS refused to even acknowledge Pathological Demand Avoidant type Autism until very recently after pressure from the parents of those with this form of Autism. I remember my Father ringing the organisation when I was at school before I got into major trouble. They kept passing him onto places and ended up going round in circles. The things that they have put into force e.g ‘The Autism Act 2009’ haven’t changed anything for us. Then there was the landmark case on ‘Psychological Distress being included in the PIP assessment’. The overshadowing of abuse in one of their care homes. Their campaigns are ineffective in general. I’m not saying this to put anyone that works for the organisation down. I’m sure that they work hard but their work isn’t bringing proper change. I find that those neurotypicals which work for NAS do not have the passion to connect with the public in their work. Why would they have the passion required when it doesn’t matter to them whether change happens or not. They fit into society designed for neurotypicals already.
Recently, NAS have got celebrities to support their public image. I’m sure that those celebrities are generally thinking that the charity is helping the majority on the spectrum. The truth is quite the opposite. They do not have the right approach to how they are trying to educate the public to accommodate Autistic people. There was a suggestion earlier that NAS is scrapped and a new organisation is created which does have the ethos of Autistic people rather than professionals in the field of autism and autism parents. That is a brilliant idea which I think should actually happen. I’m not a huge fan of the Autism conferences specifically designed for professionals. We should be educating the public as a primary objective. Yes, there should be training for professionals within the health care, criminal justice system, education system etc… however, conferences only attract those that want to attend. The ignorant minded professionals will definitely not attend those conferences. We need to tackle the ignorance which fuels the lack of understanding of autism and prevents reasonable adjustments for us. I also dislike the awards for Autism professionals. I don’t think it sends out a message of equality. The majority of those professionals do not have autism and many earn quite a decent living from the jobs that they are doing involving autistic people. In the meantime, most of the Autistic population aren’t employed and have to live off of benefit payments. This is what I mean when I talk about sending out a message saying inequality is perfectly acceptable. We have to deal with the every day issues of having Autism. There are no awards for being able to successfully do that task.
Maybe disbanding NAS and creating a new organisation with fresh new objectives is a viable option. It may be a risk but I feel that it’s worth taking because of how ineffective NAS has been for many of us on the spectrum so far. Although, one thing that has to happen in order for this to happen is everyone understanding things from the perspective of each other. This means Autism Parents and Autistic people not being in conflict with each others views. There is a lot of disagreements which are verging on bullying between Autism parents and Autistic people at the moment. This isn’t helping wider society understand Autism. If we can’t get on and band together then we simply cannot make progress in trying to make society accepting of Autistic people.