Like many people both Autistic and Neurotypical, I settled down to watch “Are you Autistic ?” the other evening.
I have waited for the dust to settle before giving my thoughts because I did not wish to rush to judgement and I am aware that the views I am expressing may be at odds with the mainstream community view.
I am not on Twitter at the moment. I have felt detached from the community for a while now and even a cursory glance at tweets shows, regrettably, that I have no place in the community at this time. These are very dark times and it is best that I avoid, for the sake of the little of my sanity that remains, being upset by a group to which I cannot belong.
Still, I digress.
The two Autistic presenters were, I thought, excellent. Good humoured, enthusiastic and informative. It was good to see Autistic presenters although I did wonder if someone diagnosed later in life would have been an interesting contrast.
Anna Richardson, with whom I am familiar, was a disappointment. I asked myself why, when she had an Autistic nephew, she seemed to have failed to read even the most basic stuff about Autism. In a way I found her superfluous and having the whole programme introduced by the young ladies would surely not have harmed ?.
Simon Baron Cohen was, regrettably, less than inspiring. I never get much of a sense of enthusiasm from him and his constant “I see” and “Ah..”, during the diagnostic interviews was, to say the least, irritating.
Irritation was, unfortunately, how I viewed the whole diagnostic process shown in the film. Two individuals who, it would seem, have not previously sought diagnosis are, thanks to the power of television, granted immediate access to, apparently, the leading authority on us, for the purposes of diagnosis. It felt horribly contrived and I felt much sympathy for those who have waited years for a diagnosis but who weren’t handed it on a plate through a television programme.
That is not to criticise the two participants but merely to point out they were very lucky. Or so it appeared.
I found how they disclosed their diagnoses to us was a little disturbing. It had a “Jack in the box” effect of each of them emerging from a door to announce “I’ve had my diagnosis and it’s X”. Wouldn’t it have been better to witness the actual moment and see how SBC gave them the result ?. It made me uncomfortable.
I felt there could have been more in depth explanations of how daily life affects us and more discussion surrounding traits and I think, overall, the programme needed a second half or part 2 to give a deeper insight into Autism.
So that’s it. My views. My opinions.
I shall now return to the darkness.