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Welcome to Holland

I just found this poem which apparently is world famous, I never heard of it but I really like it

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability — to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this...

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, ‘Welcome to Holland.’

‘Holland?!?’ you say. ‘What do you mean, Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.’
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland, and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills.., and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, ‘Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.’

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things... about Holland.
©1987 Emily Perl Kingsley


I am Monster

A little follow up to the previous post.
If you going to make autism look like a monster than do it right.

I'm autism, I will raid your fridge, I will steal your credit card data and use it to buy on-line porn and when your loved one finds out your marriage will be over.
I'm autism, I will eat your cat and sexually molest your daffodils and spray pant obscene graffiti on your car.
I'm autism, I'm everywhere, just like McDonald's, I will leave my skate board lying around so you will break a leg.
I'm autism, I will make you listen to Celine Dion until you jump out of the window Alex DeLarge style.
I'm autism, I know where you live and I have the key, I'll use your toilet and won't flush.

Believe me, nothing I can come up with is more offencive than the original video.

I am Propaganda

After reading about the video "I am Autism" for several days I decided to take a look at it because I believe you should get to know something before you pass judgment. I was shocked on several points.
  • It's badly made.
  • It's completely from a Neural typical perspective.
  • It portraits autism as a monster.
To a lot of people the quality of the video isn't that important but I'm a Film and a Potter nerd and Alfonso CuarĂ³n is the man who made the best Potter film to date. For him to make something what can only be described as a lazy montage of home movies with a voice over is embarrassing. This is the director made "Children of Men", one of the best and most moving Sci-Fi films of the last five years. Billy Mann on the other hand has produced the likes of Take That and The Backstreet Boys, so to be honest I'm not that impressed by his track record.

It's completely about the parent/brothers/sisters/loved ones of those with autism and not about those who life on the spectrum themself. Granted that it can be difficult for a lot of people within the spectrum to express our feelings, especially those with more severe forms of autism but that doesn't mean you shouldn't ask. If a walking person would make a video like this about being in a wheelchair people will performer hit and runs with their chairs.

The most offencive part must be the portrayal of autism as a monster. I'm not making this up, here are a few quotes

  • I am autism. I'm visible in your children, but if I can help it, I am invisible to you until it's too late. I know where you live, and guess what? I live there too.
  • I work very quickly. I work faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined.
  • And if you are happily married, I will make sure that your marriage fails. Your money will fall into my hands, and I will bankrupt you for my own self-gain.
  • I will make it virtually impossible for your family to easily attend a temple, a birthday party, a public park, without a struggle, without embarrassment, without pain.
  • Your neighbors are happier to pretend that I don't exist, of course, until it's their child.
  • I will plot to rob you of your children and your dreams. I will make sure that every day you wake up, you will cry, wondering 'who will take care of my child after I die?'

This kind of rhetoric makes autism sound more like the mob or a child molester than a neurological condition. Just the act of explaining why all this is insulting seems insulting to me.

As I'm diagnosed less than six months ago and Autism Speaks not being active in the Netherlands (as far as I know) I have very little knowledge of this organisation but the more I read about them the more suspicious they seem. (update, done some reading, AS is bad people)

If you're still op for it here's the video.

Some other replies on this video.

LeftBrainRightBrain response
autismherd response
Cat in a Dog's World response


Spring cleaning in the autumn

I always thought I was messy but maybe it has to do with Autism, just been bagging about 30 kilo of old newspapers, my back hurts but my toilet is getting cleaned.
Doing household chores is just one of the things I might need help with. It feels a bit weird to admit I need help with these things, almost as if I'm being betrayed by autism. But if it helps getting my life better organised it will be a positive thing.

I guess that this will probably be one of the biggest changes/challenges that the spectrum will bring me


Drog 4 - We'll make great pets

The last one I have, I will draw more soon.

One little request, I'm a bit dyslectic so please forgive the spelling and grammar mistakes

Drog 3 - Eyes

A problem I have all the time.

One little request, I'm a bit dyslectic so please forgive the spelling and grammar mistakes

MMR video

A short video with Dr Ben Goldacre on the subject of MMR and autism, clear, short and entertaining.
His book Bad Science is a fun and informative look into medical science in all its forms and contains a chapter on MMR and Dr Andrew Wakefield.

And here we have the good doctor ranting on the BBC Radio

Yes, you can always shout at us.

Neurotypical is so 2008

Sometime during 2008 I stopped to think of myself as a Neurotypical.
So today I made a little logo to symbolise that.
A small version is in my sidebar but I decided to show it in all its crappy glory.

It was fun to do vector graphics again after a long time.


Drog 2 - Indigo Rain

Some parents decided that their kids are really special, not the “my kid is the cutest” special but “my kid is the next step in evolution” special.
We call these parents idiots and the kids Indigo Kids. Some of these kids are just normal kids and the most harm they will ever encounter is a deep sense of shame toward their parents(this is something most kids encounter).
On the other hand there are also indigo kids who are not indigo but have real issues like ADHD and autism.
In these cases the indigo label can do harm because most indigo parents have a mistrust of mainstream medicine. They take their kids off proper medication and therapies and are an easy prey for quacks.

One little request, I'm a bit dyslectic so please forgive the spelling and grammar mistakes.

Drog 1 - SCAM

The first Drog, the more I read about autism, the more I encounter Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), ranging from the hippie (crystals), the proven to be wrong (homeopathy) to the “You must be kidding” (nicotine patches) categories.
As far as I'm concerned it should be called Silly Complementary and Alternative Medicine (SCAM).

One little request, I'm a bit dyslectic so please forgive the spelling and grammar mistakes.


Mary & Max

Just found this, being a big animation fan and having doen a few attempts myself (my biggest achievement animation wise is a dinosaur origami short).
I was very pleased to come across Mary & Max, the trailer looks great and I can't wait to see it.

On a similar note I'm also looking forward to seeing Adam.
Having heard the interview with the writer/director Max Mayer on the Creative Screenwriting Podcast I feel that they really tried to understand autism. Unfortunately there is no Dutch release date yet.

And any film that gives Forrest Gump the finger is alright by me.



I ordered "Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure" by Paul A. Offit last week on Amazon.

They told me it would take about six week to ship to the Netherlands (October 5 was the expected delivery date) but it came today. The few times I ordered at Amazon the delivery has been very fast.

So now I have some heavy reading to do and hopefully writhe an in dept post about autism and vaccination soon.

Drogs comming soon

Maybe I got inspired by the Travis Ford article and maybe I just missed doing it but yesterday I bought a notebook and I already drew 4 blog entries.

These are a little less polite than in tone than that of my other entries and probably a lot more personal. Also because I'm sort of dyslexic and draw without a spell checker there will be a lot of spelling and grammar errors, please cope with that.

The ones I've done so far have nothing to do with pop culture but are more for my own enjoyment/therapeutic value.

The last problem is how to name them, I combined the words drawing and blog into drog (I considered drag but it felt a little to silly). Now all thats left is to scan them.


Branford cartoonist Travis Ford draws from his daily struggle with autism

Cool story I found, but to my regret I haven't been able to find any of his cartoons online.
Branford cartoonist Travis Ford draws from his daily struggle with autism