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 is crazy. I've known some people with Autism but didn't know most of this. The suicidal thoughts statistic hits home because I saw how badly people treated those I knew. People are so cruel. I'm so sorry things are this way for people.
Love this video! I agree with you! No one can define autism by just looking at someone! That's like looking at someone and saying hey don't you have a mental illness! Autism is not even a mental illness! It is a development disorder that has nothing to do with being mentally ill! And those statistics are scary! We need more acceptance in the autism community! Some people don't want to be cured! They love who they are and they wouldn't want to change who they are! Well thanks for sharing your story! May God continue to bless you in life!
I have an autistic grandson. He's 25 now. He works where his dad does and does the same thing which allows him to excel at the job.. It has taken him a long time to reach his current level. He will not learn to drive and never learned to ride a bike. It's not comfortable for him. He does have one friend who comes to visit, hang out, sleepover. Rarely does my grandson go to the others home. He has really grown since getting a job and is becoming a pleasant person to be around. He did graduate high school. Though he had a helper who made sure he understood classwork. Sometimes the way he was treated angered him. I'm proud of what he has accomplished.
She honestly is trying to tell that there would be people within the a spectrum who are not suffering from depression and anxiety? HOW? What do these people do to not get clinical depressed sooner or later or anxious? I mean do they have access to Marihuana from the start? Or how is it possible? Further more where did she get the graph from.?
Can we call it _____difference (as in social or learning) as opposed to “disability”?...we are all different - whose to say what is disability?...I personally believe the positives of Aspergers outweigh the negatives and that we are truly the future of humanity - for the better!...
I very much appreciated this information. My son was recently diagnosed with ASD, with a previous and still additional ADHD diagnosis. I can not argue that society needs to be more accepting. That is absolute...However, if there was a cure, I would take it for my son. If these statistics of anxiety and depression, bullying and job loss go hand in hand, I would do just about anything to prevent my son from going through that. I love him exactly how he is, but he comes with challenges for parenting and for himself, making friends, and learning in school. IF I had an option to just make all of that to be gone, and those challenges become simple, or at least to the same level as everyone else (non-autistic) faces, then I would gladly take that option. We have changed his diet, and different therapies (mind you mostly this has been for ADHD), but if there was a cure for that, I'd take it too.
😢. Thank you so much for speaking up for us. I would never be able to do it. This is the first of hundreds that I completely "identify?" with. It is very spot on and has much more depth than I expected. Hopefully this will create more of an understanding around the world. Personally I think there needs to be some sort of societal paradigm shift. If NT's would be less chaotic, listen, and think before they speak more we could meet on common ground. I think much of mainstream media is a big part of the problem. People you have many choices you can make in life. Make healthy, caring, unselfish ones.
At my job, my boss told me two things: (1) I'm a genius. (2) I get paid 3000,- a month and that should be my satisfaction.
He payed me *932,80* and the government paid 434,57 a month for 5 years long. Had 1600,- a month in my contract.
I’m sorry, but autism should be cured. Instead of adjusting to a mental disorder and accommodating inefficiency, we should strive for a society where we look to lower the rate of depression in people and lower the rates of suicide. If depression and suicide are even the most mild of symptoms that come from autism we should definitely manage it. You should stop pretending like we’re going to erase your identity when we talk about curing autism. You are autistic, you are not autism. We want you to be able to parse language with ease, we want you to find good jobs, we want you to be strong and happy. So we should want to cure the thing that is causing those problems right?
I have autism. It's not my disability; it's my superpower. I'm not the one who's broken. How is it that people who cannot bring themselves to make direct statements, and cannot take a direct statement literally feel that I am the one with the problem? I've had a first time conversation with someone for the first time, during which she told me that she told me a million times I have to stop being so literal. She thought I'm the one with the communication issue. The rest of society seems to think that I'm the one with the communication issue. I say what I mean. It's easy. Do not take my autism away. For what it's worth, I've encountered a couple of low functioning autistic people who supposedly couldn't speak. After spending some time alone with them, five minutes for one, fifteen minutes for the other, they both spoke. Their English was limited, but it wasn't that they couldn't speak. They didn't want to speak to the people who didn't want to take the time to understand them. I'm sure there are low functioning autistic people who really cannot speak. But I think there's a certain amount of it that's a rejection of the world that would not accept them even if they tried more - would, in fact, accept them less if they tried more.
Searching a lot on internet as i am really interested about a lot of things. So finding these videos and reasearching more i found a lot of the effect on me also. Believed until now that i am non-autictic person, until age of 25 maybe i didn't even heard of autism as a term, and finding a lot of this routines and thing's said about autistic persons in my daily routine also. I really don't care, as all we are humans so i don't find at all a problem of being autistic or not. We are all the same. I just remembered when i was young, my parents had friends or neighbours that also said that their childrens are like not listening to them and doing like stange things, don't start to talk even at 2-2.5 years, but everyone when talking between them they said.... Everything is ok... they are kids so they will learn by themself. And it was like that.... On that time there was no terms or words as Autism or Autist Persons, just that the childrens was slowly pregresing to learn and understanding things. Two boys same age 1 year old, will not progress when new born both the same. One will probably walk faster or start to talk faster, or understand things faster. This doesn't mean he is Autistic.
So with all of this said.... Maybe i am autistic also.... And even finding a lot of clues that i might be... i will not go to examine myself and find out that someone will give me a diagnostic that i am Autistic. I don't care. I am living my life and enjoy it.
Autism is not a disease.... It is just a different mode of living life and understanding things.
So who is listening and reading this.... Just smile, be happy, don't even think of this Autism thing as they call it, just live your lifes as normal, have fun, enjoy life.
Best Regards to everyone :D
This video was very hard to watch. Because as it went on, I remembered a moment back in high school, when I was talking to friends. We had just talked about morality of abortion and stuff in class, and I made the argument to one my friend, that 'if they could learn to identify autism in children before they were born, and they got the choice to abort them. That'd be good'. My friend argued against me at the time, saying they have a right to live too, even if it may be harder for them. I argued against that. *I argued against that*
I guess after a while I must have changed my morality and my perspective on things. Because years later in uni, when one of my friends told me she was autistic after I had told her I had ADHD, I simply thanked her for letting me know, and although I thought to myself 'she doesn't look autistic and probably has very mild autism'. I never changed how I looked at her, and I just kind of forgot over time, or didn't really think about it much. It's just now, after YouTube randomly suggested a video called 'What autistic women want you to know', and I clicked it remembering my autistic friend and wanting to better understand her, which led my down a rabbit hole of watching many videos about autism. Ending here with this one. That I now stop and think, think to myself that High-school me would have wanted to kill that current friend of mine before she was even born. The thought disgusts me. I hate my own ignorance in that situation, especially since I've grown up with ADHD myself, and have faced stigma, stereotyping, and general misunderstanding, from people I tell about my condition. I can't believe that even knowing what it's like to be different, and how hard it is when people do not understand that difference, I still had the bigotry and blindness to judge autistic people without knowing anything about them. I doubt I'll ever forgive myself for that.
We must get revenge on the people who make a fuss about us WE MUST GET REVENGE ON THEM THEY UNDERESTIMATE US AND I GOT MANY SKILLS! I can do stealth moves cause I did follow some kids who were making fun of me and creeped the freak out of them and the girl was saying swear words to me so I just ignored her whole dialouge cause I didn't even care and the 3rd time i said "Hi how are you doing?" and she was swearing more than usual and i told her "Is it cause I'm different!?" I do Eye contact, I have outsmarted adults before and Tricked adults I think us autistics are even more superior human beings
I am Autistic, and if there were a cure I'd take it. You can't speak for everyone saying that "We don't want to be cured" I know it can't be cured but if there were a true and safe way for me to be normal I'd take it. There isn't a day that goes by for me that I don't wish I could be normal. Be neuro-typical. It should be optional if a cure were developed. I hate that she makes such blanket statements like that. Like no autistic person will ever want to be normal she is speaking only from her experience and not considering other autistic peoples expirences.
My life is miserable, my existence is suffering, and its all because of my autism. all of the suffering ive gone through and still go through is because of my autism.
No. It's the people that surround you, the world we live in currently. Disability exists in the context of the enviroment. Your identity isnt a disease. We are surrounded by rot and it's killing us. They want to erase us with eugenics. That sounds remarkably dystopian to me.
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!
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.
+NSEasternShoreChemist the thing is... finding a cure ISNT easier for NT's.... it only looks easier than becoming more accepting because NT people are afraid to accept that anyones brain functions LEGITIMATELY different than theirs. And I emphasize the LEGITIMATELY part because, our brains do not function 'incorrectly'... our brains function in ways that make lack of social comprehension little to no problem. Our brains function in ways that NT minds could never. We have an advantage just like they have an advantage. This makes me want to gather everyone on the Autistic spectrum up to create our own communities and (maybe) society. NT people would only then see how much of an advantage over them we'd have. And unfortunately only then will they understand how theyve used their advantages over us in demeaning ways that only served to make them look better. If neurotypicals lived in a society that MOSTLY catered to the communication styles of Autistics, they'd be miserable too....... becuase our brains function in ways theirs could never.
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?!)
It's true that autistics cannot perform well in jobs that require communicating with people with normally low social skills. I only know one person who was fired for admitting that he was autistic, but then I work in IT, where such a thing is patently ridiculous. (I'm pretty sure the firing manager, for example, was also autistic.) That one story I know of has a happy ending, because I was able to help him into a better job at a better company. But entry level jobs are another matter. As an aspie, I found working as a bagger in a grocery store was doable. I think shelf stocking would also be readily doable. They're sort of in public jobs, but customer interaction is not as critical. Bussing tables could potentially also fit there, and washing dishes and cooking should certainly be doable. That said, that all depends on the company presenting an autistic friendly work environment, becuase if they don't, they won't have any jobs that work well for us.
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.
+C W if you are having trouble integrating with society and living a happy life, i would say a fix is something that should be sought after. seeking improvement is never a bad thing, provided it's done responsibly.
+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.