In response to: What questions do you have and/or hope to explore this semester?
I suppose I should start by saying that the only personal interaction I’ve had with autism was while counseling at bible day camp for several summers in high school. One of the boys there was autistic, and I did not know what specifically that meant, what differentiated autism from other disorders, or how to interact with him. I remember being surprised to learn he had autism – he looked like a normal kid. That was when I learned that autism has no physical characteristics, and also when I realized how little I knew about autism in general. Needless to say, I knew nothing about the cure debate, the medical disputes, the culture, or the controversies.
This class will be a prime opportunity for me to learn everything that I apparently don’t know and more. I want to learn specifically about the effect of autism on people who do not have it, but are just as closely involved – parents, siblings, caregivers. For some reason, their perspective interests me greatly. I look forward to reading about other perspectives as well – people with autism, medical researchers, campaign members with various viewpoints. Overall, this class will cover a lot of areas I’ve never thought about.