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NOT Born This Way

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By NatPal   |   
Published:
© 2012 - 2020 NatPal
An assignment for school...dedicated to Anthony...:heart:

Social Protest Art...Created Traditionally...Digitally Restored for Optimum Viewing...

My topic was "Autism In Society". My main focus was that there are 1 in 88 people diagnosed with Autism currently in America.
Autism Research, as compared to other medical conditions, receives the least amount of funding.

The first wave of people diagnosed with low and non verbal autism are reaching adulthood, and aging out of special education.
Many will not be able to live on their own, and will have little to no support services available to them.
This is the reality I face having a brother with low verbal autism, who I featured heavily in this piece.

Media portrayal impacts public awareness, which affects funding and research.
Commonly, the media will focus attention on the compelling aspects of high functioning Autism to define the condition.
This lessens public concern for medical research and treatment options.

I incorporated the graph showing increase in Autism, courtesy of Autism Speaks.
The tsunami wave is a metaphor for how unprepared society is to deal with this growing epidemic.

There are people with Autism who are verbal, and can live independently.
However, the majority are low and non verbal, unable to report their circumstances, or perceive danger.
These people with low and non verbal autism are ultimately dependent on family for the rest of their lives.

This is the reality that I face with my brother.
I want to finish school, and be successful working in film and animation.
I will need to support my brother when my parents are unable to.

This affects my entire life, and I will not turn my back on Anthony for anyone.

--

I shared my piece "NOT Born This Way" to Anne Dachel at The Age of Autism...

It resulted in a feature...

www.ageofautism.com/2012/04/na…

Everything you need to know about the art piece and what inspired it is in the interview. :heart:

--
:iconwuvplz:

Art belongs to NattieNatCat
Image size
2000x1500px 3.5 MB
Comments59
anonymous's avatar
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BluCheetahJam's avatar
Autism is not an illness, it is a mental disorder. Other than that, the poster is very good in showcasing the ignorance of people in society nowadays in regards to Autism.
NatPal's avatar
NatPalProfessional General Artist
The research statistics for this project compared funding for Autism research to the amount of funding for illnesses like Cancer and other chronic conditions. While Autism affects more people, Autism research receives the least amount of funding. In all the research and advocacy circles, they refer to Autism as a neurological condition that is sometimes paired with chronic illnesses such as bowel disease, reflux, type II diabetes, extreme food allergies, respiratory infection, or neurological characteristics such as vocal tics, obsessive compulsive disorder, and sensory overload. I prefer not to use labels and describe symptoms instead. My brother is low-verbal, and doesn't comprehend his own condition, but some on the spectrum are verbal with high levels of cognition, and I want to respect their feelings. 

Thank you for the compliment about my work. I did this because I want to advocate for my brother, who can't advocate for himself. I'm his only sibling and I will be his caregiver when my parents can't. :) :heart:
BluCheetahJam's avatar
As someone who is on the Autism Spectrum (I have Asperger Syndrome), I just feel as though "illness" implies that we need a cure, so I prefer to use "condition" instead.
Auua-Ytjoml's avatar
Auua-YtjomlHobbyist General Artist
Your title confuses me...
also ASD was first defined in 1944 and did not initially include High-Functioning/Asperger's so what do you mean by 'the first wave of people diagnosed with low and non-verbal autism are now reaching adulthood'?
Please explain?
NatPal's avatar
NatPalProfessional General Artist
You're right. Autism was first defined in the 1940's. The "wave" I was referring to was the increase from 1 in 2500 in the 80's to 1 in 500 in the early 90's when my brother was born. As for the title, my brother was born healthy. His autism was the result of a severe medication reaction. He never fully recovered and I will be his caregiver when my parents are gone. :heart: 
ornamentalArt's avatar
www.sciencealert.com/new-study…
So there is no tsunami, it's a little like with ADHD everybody heard about it (so many discution going on about the problem) so doctors also go with the wave and diagnose it.
I do not double that your brother is one of this that really have autism, from what you telling it seems that he is a hard case. But disorders like asperger's before we learn about it was somehow deal by family, and a asperger person was just consider odd. I know one guy who was diagnosed with asperger when he was 17, his mother just doesn't know about such a disease and doesn't go with him to any doctor.
And I have a friend who was diagnose with AUTISM when he was a child and for me he is perfectly normal (just a very private person). However he is 25 now.
Auua-Ytjoml's avatar
Auua-YtjomlHobbyist General Artist
Thank you for explaining. I understand your title now. I don't like the wording from the study you quoted (sp. "the first wave") because it was not enough of a non-sequitur for me to recognize it right away as an almost-metaphor and it wasn't specific enough in explaining exactly what they meant by 'first'... of course this is just a short excerpt so it may have been clearer in the full context of the paper. And of course, you can't include the entire paper on your poster.
This (my confusion here) is actually a really good example of what we go through during everyday social interaction. The whole paper would be analogous to a conversation with all of its verbal and nonverbal parts. Auties and Aspies can only access the excerpts while NTs can access the entire paper/conversation. Without the larger context we must interpret what information we /do/ get to our own understanding which often results in misinterpretation... just like people misinterpret statistics all the time because they don't read the papers explaining the context of the studies that created the statistics.
fineartbyandrewdavid's avatar
fineartbyandrewdavidProfessional Photographer
it was believed at one stage that i too might have had a form of autism and as  of  a result I ended up being institutionalized  from the age of 8/9 till 22 5 if that wasn't enough i also have a learning disability (borderline) too 
NatPal's avatar
NatPalProfessional General Artist
Thank you for sharing that with me. You have a beautiful gallery. :heart: 
fineartbyandrewdavid's avatar
fineartbyandrewdavidProfessional Photographer
you are welcome
virnagray's avatar
virnagrayHobbyist General Artist
Lovely composition :)Hug Love 
I love your passion and dedication!
NatPal's avatar
NatPalProfessional General Artist
Thank you :heart: 
virnagray's avatar
virnagrayHobbyist General Artist
My pleasure:)
AngelGhidorah's avatar
I'm a bit wary of anything regarding Autism Speaks, but this is a nice picture.
Love and light to you and your brother. :)
HDLMatchette's avatar
HDLMatchetteStudent Digital Artist
Please say no to Speaks. They treat autism like a disease which it isn't
AngelGhidorah's avatar
I would never say yes to Autism Speaks.
After reading what they have done, as well as seeing them promote the Judge Rotenberg Centre ( which does this to Autistic kids - be warned, it's hard to watch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAj9W0… ), I will be very happy on the day when both these institutes of hatred and discrimination are closed down for good.
HDLMatchette's avatar
HDLMatchetteStudent Digital Artist
have you ever heard of The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autism Women's Network, Autism Society of America, Autism Now Center, AutismHWY.com, GRASP (Global Regional Asperger's Syndrome Partnership), Autism Parenting Magazine, Council for Autism and Neurodiversity, Naturally Autistic ANCA, Autreat and The Golden Hat Foundation? all of those organizations are different from Autism Speaks because they all oppose a cure
AngelGhidorah's avatar
I have indeed. :)
HDLMatchette's avatar
HDLMatchetteStudent Digital Artist
you could like them all on facebook along with Boycott Autism Speaks.
AngelGhidorah's avatar
Sadly, I don't have a Facebook account.
NatPal's avatar
NatPalProfessional General Artist
I thank you for the kind words about this piece...my brother is low verbal, and will need lifetime care...I work very hard because I want to keep him safe, and I know I will care for him one day. I understand you being wary of Autism Speaks...I know many who advocate who feel the same way. Statistical data is very hard to come by for young adults with autism like my brother. He's 23 now. I appreciate your kindness...thank you. :)
AngelGhidorah's avatar
You're most welcome. :)

Something you may like: fav.me/d7a0tsz , www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHC0Fz…
NatPal's avatar
NatPalProfessional General Artist
I've seen this before, and it's very touching...you're so sweet to share this with me, thank you :heart: 
AngelGhidorah's avatar
You're most welcome, and thank you for the compliment. :)
:iconcuddleplz: From an Aspie to an N.T. :D
anonymous's avatar
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