There has been disagreement among researchers and diagnosticians about whether the two diagnostic labels really represent distinct conditions since Asperger syndrome first became its own recognized and "official" diagnostic category. There are multiple sets of diagnostic criteria for Asperger syndrome, but recently the criteria put forth in the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual have been thrust into the spotlight. A proposed change to the upcoming DSM V would consolidate all of the diagnoses on the autism spectrum under a single diagnostic label, "autism spectrum disorder." In popular discourse and mainstream media outlets, the other conditions on the spectrum—childhood disintegrative disorder and PDD-NOS [pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified]—are completely erased. The focus is solely on "classic" autism and Asperger syndrome, and the proposed consolidation of the two labels has given rise to fierce controversy and even panic.
In honor of the recent wave of support for transgender inclusion in the Girl Scouts, let's delve into the history of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low. You might know her for leading a life of activism and creating opportunities for women, but did you know she spent the majority of her life with severely impaired hearing? Although trans activism like the recent support for the GSUSA cookie drive most likely was not on Gordon Low's radar, she fought for the inclusion of girls of all abilities in the Girl Scouts of USA.
Jane Campion's biopic An Angel At My Table feels far more epic in its devotion to writer Janet Frame's small moments than courtroom scenes that turn history into playacting and battle sequences that turn soldiers into figurines. These are the films women should be making. They are often the films I want to see, particularly if they fail to receive Academy recognition.
I'm about to wax rhapsodic about a cheesy, transparently manipulative martial arts film. But seriously: Prachya Pinkaew's 2008 movie Chocolate is the best film I've ever seen that features an autistic protagonist. And it's the only piece of media I've personally encountered that features a nonverbal protagonist.
If Hollywood gravitates toward a "sexy" disability for male characters, it would have to be blindness. I was recently mulling over how the big screen portrays men of color and with disabilities and realized that blind male characters in movies often aren't dehumanized or marginalized. They're downright hot.
As a mentally ill musical theatre fan, depictions of characters who share that trait with me typically fall into one of two categories: they a) don't exist or they b) make me rage. next to normal comes closer than most shows to getting it right, in a lot of ways. But where it fails, it fails hard.
In the process of creating a "movement" to end street harassment, we must interrogate the full scope of the problem that ableism brings to the issue itself, the way the issue is shaped by ableist anti-street harassment activists, and the holistic effectiveness of solutions. If who might be left out of an anti-street harassment movement's framing and tactics fails to be a central concern to activists who say that all people deserve equal access to the streets, then it ain't gonna be a true revolution.
People with disabilities have long had difficulty accessing video games for various reasons and with varying degrees of limited accommodations. Game play details ranging from color schemes in darker settings to story lines and fight scenes that can overwhelm cognitive understanding have left many games out of the question. Controllers have been too difficult or impossible to use, and the mechanics too fast or the quest chains too long and tangled. The canyon of hardcore games almost seemed, at times, to bar disabled gamers from their guild.
This week on Grey's Anatomy: problem storylines galore! Pregnancies, relationships, everyone telling everyone else what to do, and not a whole lot of anyone listening to anyone else. Grey's wants to set us up for sweeps with a bang, apparently, and we've got a lot of thoughts about it after the jump.