Crippen's introduction to the world of Asperger's Syndrome / 1 August 2009
I've started to create cartoons based upon people who have Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. This has mainly been due to the contacts that I've been making through Facebook and the new networks of Disabled people that I'm 'meeting' through this facility.
It's a difficult area to work in I'm discovering, as the various people involved in this area of impairment tend to have different points of view regarding their position in the Disabled people's movement ... or not! Obviously, those contacts I'm making from the States and other areas outside of the UK tend not to use the Social Model understanding of disability and therefore don't see themselves as being Disabled people (people Disabled by the barriers that exist within our Society). They don't relate to being described as Disabled people and especially not people who are Learning disabled.
Equally though, some people in the UK with Autism, Aspergers, etc., don't relate to the disability side of their impairments whilst still arguing that it is Society that creates the problem and not the way in which they function (so not a million miles from the Social Model understanding).
I originally created this cartoon for someone over in New Zealand and ended up having to cut out the reference to disability in the cartoon (I changed the punchline to "... doesn't he have an off button?"). I think perhaps the cartoon works better for those of us within the movement who are challenging the way in which some fellow Crips see themselves as being exclusively 'physically' impaired and therefore 'proper' Disabled people!
Hopefully this will highlight the issue that only by being inclusive, and understanding that barriers are more than the physical ones that we encounter everyday, will we attract people to the movement who can bring with them the creativity and 'out of the box' thinking that we need in order to survive.
Here are some links that might interest you.
Keywords: disabled people's movement,learning disability,politics,