Thursday, April 05, 2007

An open letter to Oprah and her producers

Dear Oprah and colleagues;
Thank you for making a contribution to Autism Awareness Month by featuring families of autistic children on your show on Thursday. An hour show has only a little time, and yours opened the window on autism for many viewers.
However, I have some concerns.
I am a mother of a teenager with Asperger's Syndrome, a diagnosis on the high end of the autism spectrum. I am also the cousin of a more severely autistic adult. And I fill yet another role: that of classroom teacher who has taught several students on the spectrum. Based on my life experiences, both personal and professional, I saw some major holes in the production.
  • The opening was definitely produced with the goal of tear-jerker rather than presenting facts. Facts and concepts can provide dramatic television while providing the audience with knowledge that leads to comprehension.
  • Background knowledge, including your own, seemed to only scratch the surface.
  • Guests and experts were primarily from the Chicago area, and therefore the group was limited in scope.
  • The show didn't talk about or feature a range of people on the spectrum.
  • Featured guests were parents, not older adults or teens with autism.
As we say in public education, perception is reality. Your show guides perception for many millions of people in the United States. Please consider the points above for future productions. With your opportunities for educating the public, you can expand the perception of autism to include much more reality.

On behalf of many parents, teachers, and people with autism, thank you for your time.

Labels: , ,

Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy


Blogger scribbit said...

My nephew is severely autistic and my sister's reality is truly amazing. It's not about tears, you're right, but she is a hero in my eyes.

4/06/2007 1:12 AM  
Blogger Club 166 said...

Thanks for taking the time to write Oprah.

I haven't seen it yet, but I might do the same once I do.

4/06/2007 12:56 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home


Search & Win

About 1 in 5 child deaths is due to injury. CDC Vital Signs


Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

Copyright, 2003-2008 by OkayByMe. All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval without written permission from Daisy, the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. In other words, stealing is bad, and if you take what doesn't belong to you, it's YOUR karma and my lawyers you might deal with.