’Single-sourcing’ is a method of content management common in technical editing, and something I have used in various forms for years to manage my thoughts and notes, and (ultimately) any presentations or publications that come from them. The aspiration of single-sourcing is to have one document source which can be transformed (without further editing) into multiple output formats.
What do people write about when they are writing about “autism”?
Autism is the disease of our age. Susan Sontag introduced “Illness as Metaphor” in 1978, identifying tuberculosis as the disease of the 19th century and cancer as the disease of her own time. HIV and AIDS are the disease of the decade afterwards. Autism is a metaphor for current global concerns – all our fears of Pollution, Viral pandemics, Political aggression, Terrorism, Internet addiction and Natural disasters are encapsulated in ‘autism’ as a metaphor.
I have a history of psychiatric disorder – anxiety and depression – that did not respond well to the usual treatments, until a psychologist (thank you, Daniel Flynn) proposed a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. This is a part of the autism spectrum and came as a surprise to me because I thought I knew what autism was, and I have relatives with a diagnosis. Asperger syndrome provided me with an explanatory framework that suddenly made sense of so many aspects of my current life difficulties and of my life history, an explanation that has been a blessing.
World Mental Health Day 2013
World Mental Health Day was first celebrated by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992, so it is 21 years old today – with an appropriate coming-of-age theme “Mental health of older adults, addressing a growing concern“. Participants include the WHO, health services (the HSE, NHS), service users and advocacy groups (Mental Health Ireland, Aware, Grow).
A presentation looking at medical and other images of autism, from the perspective of having autism. This talk was first presented at Autism – from Adolescence to Adulthood, the Cork Association for Autism’s Irish Autism Forum in April 2013. This version was recorded at an Aspect meeting in June 2013.