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Final- Travis May

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Travis May

Professor Foss

Final Paper

December 7, 2010

I Am Invisible, I Am Insignificant

Imagine a world where as soon as you wake up and go out into the world that barely anything is convenient for you. You try to communicate with others and they do not comprehend your language. You are viewed as less of a human being because your thought process is so unorthodox and everything you perceive is misunderstood. Ultimately, you feel “invisible” in a cold world that somewhat knows this exists but does not care to do anything to help you at all. “Up in the Clouds and Down in the Valley: My Richness and Yours” by Amanda Baggs is an extraordinary piece that expresses these everyday problems that so many people have to deal with every single day. Baggs is writing to the world to help raise awareness of the many injustices and obstacles that affect the autistic community, which at times is invisible to the rest of America. When injustices to a large social group exist like this, it is because America does not see that community. They are invisible because the rest of society does not see the autistic community as significant contributors to their communities.

“Check your stereotypes about functioning levels at the door” (Baggs). Most people see those who are autistic as those who are unable to talk, operate motor vehicles, hold prestigious jobs, play sports, and other activities. Those who are not autistic have that stereotypical image in their head of the kid in school who needed someone to do everything for them and was unable to communicate with anyone. Baggs is really working to tear down the misconceptions that non autistic people have of them by letting them know that people with autism are very diverse. Most of America does not realize this because they are blinded by their own views of what a person with autism has and that leads to most of America ignoring that group.

The lack of education alone about those with autism is part of the reason why the autistic community is invisible among the non autistic society. “What I am writing here is highly personal, but it is not unique to me. I have heard similar sentiments expressed by other autistic people, though they are not universal by any means. I should not have to say this, but in a world where an autistic person’s viewpoints are likely to be shoved into the twin oblivions of “But we’re not all like that!” (Baggs). She is expressing how each autistic person’s life is different. The fact that society is unaware that they interact with many people who have autism who contribute to society everyday is a problem in itself. All over the world, especially in America, are constantly concerned about playing a role in bettering the nation in which they live in but people with autism do not fit that category for most. Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of people who have contributed to society. Famous individuals like Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Beethoven, Van Gogh, Mozart, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Edison all had some type of autism.

Ultimately, the world does not see the autistic community because as humans we naturally only pay attention to things or people that benefit us. We are naturally selfish in that sense. If a group does not have anything to offer and bears no significance we bail out. “ The average human processes 13 to 30 cycles of brain wave energy per second in their conscious state. A child with autism can process up to 250,000 cycles of brain wave energy per second in their conscious state” (Braden). This is a proper representation that people with autisms are capable of thinking on a much higher level than those who are not. The famous names that I have mentioned earlier have thought to have the ability to think at that rate. This proves that they are significant and should be more visible to our society and maybe than the injustices that affect the autistic community will end.

Amanda Braggs piece is impactful because it gives the reader the opportunity to see the diversity of autism and get an understanding why society labels them and treats them as if they are invisible and do not matter. Braggs being autistic herself, relates to this problem paints a picture to help us understand her community. The only way that justice will be properly served and the autistic community will be recognized is that everyone needs to throw out the old and come with the new. What I mean is that we need to take that old stereotypical view of people of autism and properly educate ourselves by educating ourselves about the autistic community. A whole group of people subject to injustice because they are not being recognized as valuable is an injustice to everybody; especially sense one of the richest men in the world has an autism, Bill Gates.

Written by mayallday

December 8th, 2010 at 10:45 pm