In her heart-warming talk, Monique will speak about the alienation and isolation experienced by individuals with autism and the stereotypes that plague the diagnosis. Having autism herself, she wants to raise awareness of the challenges faced by individuals who are on the autism spectrum. Monique challenges society’s perception of autism and urges a change in the way society interacts with autism as a whole.
Monique is a postgraduate student in the University of Surrey Psychology department who has worked with children with autism for a number of years as a Social Care worker. Having autism herself, it has given her an interesting perception on what autism is with regards to communities both locally and internationally. Now studying psychology, her dissertation focuses on the stress of being of being different faced by individuals on the autism spectrum and how it affects their lives.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
This was hard to hear but so powerfully put and so brave. Thanks so much for helping raise awareness and let’s work together to try and make this world a better place for our autistic brothers, sisters, daughters sons and friends... enough is enough things need to change. Kind regards (and well done! 👍 👍) Rob
The whole eye contact thing is that if you look at them they can see you, and you don't want to be seen, because you feel uncomfortable.. and staring could be that you want so badly for them to see you, because its someone you like. I highly suspect that i have asd, and i am female. This is just my perspective.
There must not be an actual audience. I think she is relatable and funny but there is no response from the audience. I am undiagnosed asperger's and my son is diagnosed mildly autistic. I am 10x more aspie than him. The great thing is we can understand each other when no one else can.
I know people that have autism, so it's so nice that I can just hear how it is. I have an amazing friend that has High-Functioning Asperger's and she is like, the best. She tried to explain how it is, so it's so nice to hear it completely explained. And it's even better that people are opening the perspective of what it is. I'm sorry, I don't know if I'm explaining this right, but I'm just so grateful for this.
Eye contact is so hard. So extremely hard. Growing up through elementary (90's), my teachers would get angry at me for not looking at them when they spoke to me, so I learned to "look at them" by blurring my eye focus. So I would just be staring at a massive blur, and it helped. But due to that, it was hard to concentrate on what exactly they were saying.
I have a son with autism and I actually diagnosed him myself ( I am a nurse) when he was in elementary school.1980's He was not recognized by medical as having autism until his young was having issues. I told my daughter in law what I thought and sure enough my granddaughter was diagnosed and because she was diagnosed so was my son. I too was eventually diagnosed, after a lifetime of misdiagnoses of chronic depression. I am 67 and just diagnosed.
I'm autistic, and I suffer from depression, anxiety, and passive suicidal thoughts. Thank you for helping me feel less alone. I wish there was a way to make this narrative replace the other discussions our society has about autism ("why can't you be normal," "how can we cure it," all the facets you touched on).
@Kourtnie McKenzie Hope you're feeling better and are still around. I'm also autistic (still getting used to that "label), and I know exactly what you're going through.
I'm now 31. My first suicidal ideation was at 10, after 2 years of unrelenting "migraines" (now know they were social in cause), and growing up in a VERY mentally abusive home. My first attempt came at 12. My last (some would say conscious) attempt was 6 years ago, but the thoughts remain. Only through my new family (wife and daughter, plus "siblings" I've chosen) and my OCD regarding taking care of OTHER people am I still around.
Long story short: you're never alone. Mathematically speaking, someone is always going through the EXACT same experience at the exact same time. Thanks to the internet, it's easier to find others in that place (hole, Trench, etc.) for support. Like here and now! Anywho, best (unwanted) advice I can give is to be kind to yourself. Let yourself be you, even if only a little bit at a time, or 20 minutes a day. It builds up your resistance to the world, and builds your coping skills. It helps me, in any case.
I hope I speak for all of us when I say we're always available for you, even if we don't call to check in. Just reach out. Be it the autistic community, the chronic pain community, random fanbases, the people you may need are always there.
Great talk! I feel a bit angry at the way such interesting people are put in a category as though they have a problem. Maybe at least part of the problem is with the people who decided that this group of people have a disorder. The best people I know fit into this category.
Prefacing everything what I'll ask here, I'm part of the autistic community, a girl diagnosed at 3.
Where...did those pie charts come from? She just sticks them in without saying what study it's from. I'd kinda like to know.
I haven't been officially diagnosed but even as a little girl I've known that I have Autism. I'm scheduled to be evaluated the 20th of this month. Any interaction I engage in outside of myself in the world causes anxiety. All I've ever wanted to do was fit in and function like everyone else. But in the same sense, I don't want to fit in and function like everyone else. Being diagnosed officially will bring a type of closure and clarity. It sounds crazy but I will feel like I belong to something.
I keep walking around this old and empty house. So hold my hand, I'll walk with you my dear. The stairs creek as I sleep it's keeping me awake. It's the house telling you to close your eyes. Some days I don't know if I can trust myself. It's killing me to see you this way. Though the truth may vary this ship will carry our bodies safe to shore...
I think there is insufficient research on comorbid mood/personality disorders among people on autism spectrum. I didn't realize just how common my comorbid diagnoses were until I started reading personal accounts from other autistic people. Depression I guess I expected. OCD I did not. There are so many autistics with comorbid OCD.
There are three main sides to Autism, one which fits easily with anxiety/social anxiety (communication issues), one which fits entirely with Sensory processing Disorder (sensory issues) and one with fits easily with OCD (reliance on routines, needing to have things a certain way, repetitive behaviours, obsessions etc.) so it's easier than normal for Autistic people to develop anxiety and OCD as a result
I don't want to be 'cured'. I love being me, even though it hurts. If they 'cure' us all, who will make the breakthroughs in science, medicine, industry... who will be the great writers, the artists? They need us.
We the best music! Another one! DJ Khaled! You stick out of the crowd, baby it's a no brainer! Him or me, be for real, it's a no brainer! Whoa oh whoa oh whoa oh whoa oh! Yeah eh yeah eh yeah eh yeah eh!
Though the truth may vary this ship will carry our bodies safe to shore! Don't listen to a word I say! The screams all sound the same! And though the truth may vary this ship will carry our bodies safe to shore!
Yeah, yeah! Quavo! I'm the one that hit that same spot! Hit it! She the one that bring them raindrops! Raindrops! We go back, remember criss-cross and hopscotch! Hopscotch! You the one to hold my down when the block's hot! Hot! I make your dreams come true when you wake up! Dreams! And your looks just the same without no makeup! Yeah!
Women struggle so hard to fit in and not get noticed. So if you don't get noticed, you've got no one to blame except yourselves. If you know you're different - if you know you've got a problem, then the onus is on YOU to stop masking yourselves, stand up and say, "HEY - I NEED HELP!"
Pretending to be neurotypical - especially if you do it really well isn't doing yourself any favors. And don't blame others for sweeping you under the rug and overlooking you because, if you're doing nt really well, they have no reason to look at you because they see you as normal as all of the other nt girls.
STAND UP! WAVE YOUR ARMS AROUND! SCREAM OUT, "I NEED HELP!!!""
It's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. Better still, go see someone, anyone, EVERYONE until you get some satisfaction.
The world is controlled by NTs. If you want to be able to sustain yourself without leaning on the resources of family or friends, you need a job. Which means that you need to learn how to fit in with NTs. There is no choice in this matter for people on the spectrum.
If anyone even listens to us, they don't believe we actually need help.
And you are so uneducated on this! Until very recently (and it still happens in a few select places), if anyone autistic DARED to "wave their arms around and demand help," they'd be institutionalised.
It must be nice to live in your perfect anti-autism bubble.
You are so infuriating I can barely form words.
This young lady sounds like a very caring, insightful and useful advocate for people with autism. Could I perhaps take a different stance and suggest that the human race is diverse and unique? One of the best marketing techniques is appealing to social proof. Many people tend to follow the sheep. Some of those sheep include fashion, political stances, popular music, ect. However, there are some who don't commit to being human robots. Does this mean they should be stigmatised and have a label slapped on them? Some people may have artistic hyper connections to information and stimuli, but push them away, and certainly never admit to having them because it's not how 'normal' people's brains work. So, basically we all hide our perceptions. However most of us don't admit it. There are some people who are more open about the way they see the world. Because they are open, does that mean they should be labeled 'Autistic' or anything else? Of course their are situations where a label is useful. However, saying that, would it not be more beneficial to apply sensory acuity as a default and treat everyone as a unique and equal member of society ,instead of catogorising them within the social model of disability?
Of course it goes without saying that anyone who falls under the medical model of disability should be treated and helped in a medical way. As this bright young lady states, prejudice and bullying is responsible for many of the mental health issues that people with autism face rather than autism itself. I can't help wondering whether, if more people dared to be honest about their perceptions, there would be less people clutching at their right to be labeled 'Autistic' and more people embrasing their human diversity and their right to 'simply be'.
I don't want to be cured, but I do want to get better. Having autism is like having some kind of hidden superpower. Often, I don't have to study for tests. I'm very reflective and sensitive, and I'm able to interact with the world, and other people, in a way that I just could not do if I were not autistic, because it would be seen as selfish and not genuine, but since I do have autism, I feel like my innocence and naivete are noticed and in many cases my behavior is excused. I get to see life through the eyes of so many who are disabled or maybe just young and inexperienced, yet I have experience and wisdom sometimes beyond my years. It's a wonderful gift in many ways. I would like to take all of the good I have to offer the world, though, and hide the bad in a nice little box.
That's the price you pay! Leave behind your heart ache, cast away! Just another product of today! Rather be the hunter than the prey! AND YOU'RE STANDING ON THE EDGE FACE-UP CAUSE YOU'RE A NATURAL! A BEATING HEART OF STONE! WE GOTTA BE SO COLD, TO MAKE IT IN THIS WORLD! BABY, YOU'RE A NATURAL! LIVING YOUR LIFE CUTTHROAT! YOU GOTTA BE SO COLD! BABY, YOU'RE A NATURAL! From Imagine Dragons.
Sure... a large part of the visual field is gone. There also isn't the overlap in the middle of the visual field that can cause funkiness when the pictures from each eye don't exactly match up. What are you getting at with this question though? That should be the same regardless of whether a person is autistic or typical.
Regardless of how accepting society is, those struggles won't just disappear, because in order for those problems to disappear we need to give those struggles to the majority without autism. A cure eliminates struggles. Unless you want to struggle, in which case I think that's idiotic but more power to you. If you don't want to be cured fine, that's for you to decide, but for those that don't want to struggle they should have a cure.
I don't think we need to solve the debate of "cure verses accept" in order to work towards leveling opportunities. We don't think its fine fire people who can do their job, or refuse to support them, if they need mobility devices, or vision aids, because we can imagine it. Can you imagine if we refused humanity to people with different body types until they were "cured", giving no effort to changing society instead... I agree that we could adjust imaginations and attitudes. Its a waste of time trying to convince people not to want a cure. Its better to try to see that there are valuable people not seen as they are. It should become obvious that it does not need a cure even if one might be preferred by some. Until we have seen what a new world full of peoole bearing less-stressed / supported for autistic traits would look like, we cannot seperate the actual experience from the current quiet horror of being seen as diseased, bad people rather than just unusually stressed or challenged.
I'm on the spectrum as well, and I love this ted talk so much! It's formatted beautifully! Personal experiences in combination with facts and stats. I often compare my way of thinking and social interactions to computer programming. I tend to automatically follow a script when interacting with others, and when something I didn't expect happens it's like a big error code in my brain functioning with social interactions and/or my daily plans.
I love this. I have been trying my whole life to fit in, to adjust myself and to act like a "normal human." I have accepted that it's me who is weird and not everyone else. So why can't they accept my difference and tolerate it like I have tolerated theirs?
As a mother of four Autistics and an Autistic myself (we are all high-functioning) I have to say that the bit in your talk where you made the point about NT's being more willing to invest money, time, and effort in 'finding a cure' rather than just adjusting even a little to being more accepting particularly rang true as did the bit about how much of the stress among Autistics stems from the anxiety related to how we are treated. One only has to listen to a few minutes of 'Autism talk' by NT's, to feel attacked. The things my children hear on a daily basis are enough to drive me batty. Thank you for this video--great job.
Good talk well done - wish people would have laughed at your jokes more but hey ho that's generally how people react to an autistic person telling jokes!
Would like to add that they (autistics, yes I am one) can't always do the work. I tried waitressing and Specsavers - awful awful awful! They might not believe that I was doing my best - but I was. They were nerve grinding jobs that had me crying myself to sleep at night and yes, wishing not to wake up in the morning (including shall I do something to stop me from waking in the morning?!)
When you say "why" to a cure for autism, I would offer a few reasons. First, not everyone is "high functioning". It would be a huge boon to those that are not neurotypical to have enough of a cure that they could communicate. Second, Monique's own statistics demonstrate that nearly half the autistic community suffer from anxiety disorders and nearly three quarters suffer from clinical depression. She also said that 64% of the autistic community have suicidal thoughts and 17% have suicide attempts before the age of 17. So YES, I want a cure for autism. Two of my children are autistic. My oldest has depression, anxiety, and has had suicidal thoughts. She has been in therapy for a few years now. So again...yes...my heart aches for a cure for my kids.
But my research also shows that the depression and anxiety isn't part of autism neccesarily, but rather related to how autistic people are treated by the world around them. Autistic people themselves, do not want a cure. Autistic people want acceptance. I feel you missed the point. Similarly, experiences of everyday discimination, expectation of rejection, victimisation, bullying, etc are what predicts a large amount of poorer mental wellbeing, and also inadequate social support from various social services (a way in which we regularly fail autistic people). Without experiences of discrimination, the rate of depression and anxiety reduces massively. That matters. You want a cure for your children, but from my research I gather the majority of autistic people don't. Similarly, please don't assume that being verbal now equates to functioning in childhood. That is a common misconception. Similarly, verbality doesn't relate to functioning as such. Some who are non-verbal still understand everything that is happening around them, and some who are verbal still struggle with some activities of daily living, and autistic community generally advocates access to supports for those people to make communication easier and also living. Also, the autistic community resent functioning labels on the whole because it doesn't accurately represent their experiences or feelings of what it means to be autistic or experience autism. I respect that you have a different view but felt I should clarify on those elements.
They are not trying to write you out of human genetics... because you are not autism.
you compared it to having brown hair. if there was no brown hair, would you stop existing? no! you'd just have different hair.
you would still have the same likes, dislikes, opinions and interests. but you would be able to communicate them better, and feel more confident in groups. you'd understand situations easily and have a much easier time navigating conversation.
i can hear your voice trembling when you say this, but you are understanding the goal wrong (you might recognize this as one of the problems with autism). they are not trying to erase you, they are trying to remove an obstacle to bringing you closer.
+Ashley ASHLEYM Your issue here is that your acceptance of people with special needs is attached to the fact that they entertain you, when no, autistic people, and other special needs people, have a right to exist regardless of whether or not it pleases you. And you accepting that it exists is not what we mean by accept, acceptance in this context refers to accepting that it exists and that that's fine.
MoBo5656 - I have mild autism and would be open to a cure if it were discovered. But first I would wait to see what other people who have gone through the cure say about how they changed and whether it was a net positive in their lives. I kind of like the ability to see detail and patterns that other can't. And my autism is mild enough that I have been able to learn to socialize at a NT level - although it is still mentally tiring.
Thank you so much for this wonderful talk! You are descibing me and many members of my family (and friends). I think living in this day and age is more difficult than it used to be when I was younger. I'm 80. The second world war had just ended when I started school. We were all a bit crazy then. Less judgemental. I'm glad we now know what is going on, have given it a name. ❤️
Dr. Morse on yt robertmorsend, PhD biochemistry naturopath and master herbalist 45 years. in his Florida Clinic he has cured many people of different things all because of the condition called acidosis and neuro- suppression. He, thinks this may be cured by detoxing lymphatic system and regenerating nerve and tissue. Start with "the great lymphatic system" video then watch his videos "autism" part 1 & 2 and 3. Also Q&A 141 where autism is one of the subjects discussed. He has so many videos that you may have to Google "YouTube Dr Morse Autism" or YouTube Dr Morse Q&A 141
So even though monique stated what causes autism and the fact she and majority of us do not want to be cured, you thought it acceptable to link a quack who will cure us, of what? Heavy metals? Intolerances and a sluggish lymphatic system? Really? Did you listen to this or just dismiss everything said as a symptom of a disease that needs eradicating? Next we will hear about swallowing bleach to cure us of the parasite living in us.
I found it specifically interesting when she spoke about not making eye contact, and said it is not about the autistic individual, but the other person. Jesus said the eyes are the window to the soul. The autistic person, who is basically a severely introverted person, has a subjective experience of the other. They see the person from the inside out. This is not a negative thing. It is a strength. Someone spoke to me recently about "indicative" symptomology, which points in a certain direction for the collective. The one-sidedness of extroversion in society is evidence of a collective under-development. Society is one-sidedly outward, superficial and neglectful of inward realities. The increasing prevalence of autism, to me, is "indicative" of nature's requirement that we finally recognize the reality of the psyche (Jung) and turn inward as a collective. The bulk of society is not "normal" but rather, INCOMPLETE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our superficial view of reality is the source of most of our great problems, especially the psychopathic takeover of our government by perversely false individuals, and climate change.
For what it's worth, the likeliest thing is that it's not that *autism* is getting any more prevalent, but that more autistic people are being recognised as such.
The causes of this are complex. At least part of it is to do with a society which is intolerant of difference in many ways, and which expects a number of skills as the bare minimum for participation in society which are often missing or weak in autistic people. We make up for it in other ways, but the way that society has grown to insist on quite high levels of competence in skills like self-presentation, ability to do paperwork, short-term flexibility and various other things has put autistic people at a huge disadvantage, and has a lot to do with how autism came to be pathologised.
Having recognised autism as a phenomenon worth paying attention to, scientists later broadened the concept a little - to take in people with very similar cognitive styles who did not necessarily share all of the same difficulties as Kanner's patients and others diagnosed as autistic before the 1980s. With this broadened definition, large numbers of people have been slowly realising in recent decades that they are also on the autistic spectrum.
So... I'm not saying you're wrong, but I think there's some very interesting analysis to be done of why the 'prevalence of autism' has apparently been increasing.
It's multiple choice and they all wanna test me! Ch-ch-ch-ch choosin' the squad! She tryna choose between me, Justin, Qua' and Asahd! She told me that she love that I make music for God! I told her that I would like to see that booty applaud!
I am 44 and have just been diagnosed. It hurts so much to think my life may have been different, so much less painful, had I been diagnosed sooner. I am glad though, that young women like Monique are are being diagnosed sooner and bringing attention to the difficulties of being autistic.
Same, I'm in late 30's and just got diagnosed. I try to move forward and claim my life positively now that I finally know. But at times it is hard not to feel a bit bitter since I feel I wasted so much of my life and youth being a misfit and struggling for no 'apparent' reason. I could have made more appropriate life decisions and sought better help if I'd known what the issue was. I feel I have so much to make up for.
Strange Angel I'm 48 and was just now officially diagnosed. I've known for years, but as recently as pre-Obamacare I was denied assessment based on age and gender (services were only available for children and males). I can so relate to that feeling of "what would I be like if I'd known 30 years ago?" Hope you're doing well.
You're amazing. I have Aspergers Syndrome and I feel like I can relate to you on everything you said. All of these things you've said have been circulating my brain but I've never said them out loud. My friends don't believe I have Aspergers and that I'm just doing it for attention. This makes me so depressed but hearing this has made me more determined to educate people on people on the spectrum. We're the future, just like everybody else. Thank you so much for your input in society, I bet your family are so proud of you, you've been incredibly brave saying all of that. :)
Excellent speech especially about discrimination and bullying by pupils, students and teachers as which I experience myself at school and university. I was diagnosed autistic when I was 30 years old and so far a bachelor of arts degree. The concept of onus is superb!
I find it ironic that people make such a fuss about kids and adults in the spectrum needing to fit in and be normal and ordinary.... yet no one would take it as a compliment if they or their child was called ordinary in a school report or a work performance update, or a work reference lol.
They go on and on about being an individual and standing out from the crowd.
As long as it's within the zone of currently accepted norms...
I am very valued by the Holy Office. There are so many code malfunctions out there, known to the Church as HERETICS, heathens, and impenitent relapsers. Malfunctions which must be identified and deleted. With ropes, hooks, The Wheel, and fire.
You don’t get it. There are people who are not ordinary yet they don’t also have a disability. The social difficulties cause extreme depression and anxiety. It sucks. It’s not the same thing as being unusual and celebrated for it.
im 45 , have Aspergers, hold a full time job Transporting Dangerous Goods (ten ton tandem axle truck) and yet struggle.....I have lost over 20 jobs in the last 30 years....and am routinely bullied. Despite my 200 lb muscle built frame and no holds barred attitude.
That is so sad. It is hard to be accepted. I'm 48 and only recently diagnosed. Ive lost more jobs than I can count, either being fired, or forced to leave. So much makes sense now I know why I am like this. Its great you have a good job now and I hope that you find happiness.
Great job! This video has a lot of important information that should be shared with everyone. Oh, and as a high-functioning autistic individual, I know what it's like. I am a borderline-genius rated in the top 5% of the workforce, and I am extremely underemployed. I have applied for over 5,000 jobs since graduating college, rarely to I ever get interviewed, and when I do they almost never understand me nor my abilities even though I am surprising bright at almost everything I do outside of social skills. The problem is, no matter what the job, they all require people to have similar social skills to the majority of people within their culture.