Monday, November 19, 2007

Amanda Baggs on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360° Tonight At 10pm EST

Quite possibly one of the world's most vocal autism activists, Amanda Baggs (aka Ballastexistenz) is scheduled to be on CNN's
Anderson Cooper 360°
tonight at 10pm EST in a piece called Finding Amanda.

Amanda in many ways is hard to get a handle on conceptually.

She is non-verbal, but writes very well.

Very often when I'm trying to explain The Old Man to people I often find myself saying, "Well, it can certainly be MORE severe - have you ever seen In My Language?"

Every time of course I mention the name "Amanda Baggs", Mrs. Axinar starts humming the same tune from In My Language.

Amanda of course does have a detractor or two.

But, from everything I have read and many, many LENGTHY discussions I have had with her, she's autistic.

Big time.

And sometimes I swear I don't know whether or not to feel sorry for her or jealous of her.

Quite clearly she has severe, severe functional deficits in many, many areas, but, in exchange for that it sounds like she has people who come help her on a regular basis and she, mercifully, doesn't have to confine herself to a cubicle or any other structured work environment every day where she quite probably would have to put up with nearly endless foolishness that is generally quite difficult for anyone on the autism spectrum to understand.

It also sounds like she also has SO many tics that she wouldn't have some of the issues I've had lately with unwanted house guests because it's probably a pretty limited group of people that would want to hang out at her apartment anyway.

In any event, this promises to be quite a fascinating show on CNN tonight ...

Autism: Finding Amanda - Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN
"Finding Amanda" Review - Axinar
Transcript of Anderson Cooper 360 episode featuring "Finding Amanda"

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At November 20, 2007 at 1:51 AM, Blogger ballastexistenz said...

Actually, my tic levels vary considerably, especially depending on comfort level. Having a camera pointed at me, or traveling all the way across Canada on a flight behind an annoying kid who kept jamming the tray table into my arms, does not raise my comfort level any. :-)

I don't normally have a problem with unwanted houseguests, but I do receive a surprising number of houseguests -- usually Internet penpals.

At November 20, 2007 at 7:46 AM, Blogger Axinar said...

Yes, I presume polite, respectful Internet penpals who have never stolen people's credit cards, gotten smashed in your apartment and then insisted on spending the night?

Furthermore, I presume if by some mechanism such a person came to visit you, there's no other person you can think of that would bodily try to prevent you from throwing the first person OUT of your apartment?

You see ... the closer you get to neurotypical the more of this nonsense you have to put up with ... :)

At November 21, 2007 at 9:32 PM, Anonymous conspiracynut said...

i don't put up with shit; does that make me neuroAtypical?

BTW, Amanda, you rock; i'd love to come hang out with you, sometime. :)


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