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Donkey voices don't reach for the sky

Do you know the expression? No? The expression - donkey voices don't reach heaven, applies to when someone wishes us ill or says something unfounded or gratuitous with the intention of offending or upsetting us. Seeing this picture I couldn't help thinking about some of the things I've been witnessing lately, even though they are nothing new within autism. And since the use of the blue puzzle as a symbolic sign representing autism is still being debated, even though people in the autism community say it's time to change, it made me want to write this post even more. It seems that there are still health professionals who, when they get to know that their client has been assessed and is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, do not stop sharing in a seemingly careless way their displeasure and contrary opinion towards it, leaving their client crumbling. Several times we have seen and still see, the situations of children and young people who are told by teachers that they are not autistic at all and that, as such, the implementation of any measures at educational level is not justified. This is even when the parents of these children and young people make a point of sharing the clinical assessment report carried out. Regarding health professionals, it is important to respect their clinical decision and even to be able to discuss it together when the two are different. However, it is fundamental to bear in mind that it is fundamental to respect the client and help him to find an answer to his questions, and not the opposite. If we, as health professionals, have doubts about a clinical assessment that has been carried out, this is a plausible situation. We are always learning throughout life and no matter how much knowledge we may accumulate in a certain area, there is certainly room for further learning. However, to say - "Now everyone is autistic!" or "It seems that being autistic has become fashionable! Nobody is looking for a diagnosis. And that includes autism. Everyone knows, especially health professionals, the social stigma towards mental health and people with a psychiatric diagnosis, namely Autism Spectrum Disorder. Besides, it is necessary to take into account what is being published in scientific terms regarding the very epidemiology of autism. And if we think that nowadays 1 in every 100 people is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, we may think that there are still many people, mainly adults, to be diagnosed. And among these, mainly women. It is also known that this condition presents a great heterogeneity, besides the occurrence of a set of other associated psychiatric disorders. And as such, there is a greater difficulty in making the diagnosis. This is not to say that people are looking for autistic instead of having Bipolar, Mood, Obsessive-Compulsive, Schizophrenia, Social Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, etc. As in the example of the photograph, if the person is not managing to put the puzzle together as expected, it is necessary to stop and think a little about why this is happening. And even, together with the person, to be able to listen to him/her beyond our own convictions and biases or even moral judgements, and to be able to reflect on other possibilities. Tolerance and respect for the Other are also characteristics that never go out of fashion, you know?

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