There are brilliant autism stories that have been written, blog posts that have been posted, and articles that have been published, that are sadly buried in the news feeds and blogosphere…We’re on the hunt for these missing manuscripts to bring these ‘treasures’ back for you to discover!
In this article, Brooke says “be a friend, ask questions, be supportive, but don’t be a troll…
From Under the Bridge
By Brooke Twine, Autism Seriously?
My Year 11 class informed me that I am a troll. At first I thought they were referring to the hideous creature that hides under a bridge in fairy tales, or the cave troll from Harry Potter or maybe Fiona from Shrek. Then I learnt it was for another reason. I told my class I was going to post a discussion forum online between 9pm and 9:15pm so they could pick tutorial subject options. I created the discussion but forgot to hit the “publish” button. Unfortunately, some kids were still awake at 11pm waiting for me to publish it. They said they could imagine me sitting at home laughing like an evil super villain. So now, I am the Internet troll teacher, someone who causes trouble on the Internet just for fun. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!!!
Why am I talking to you about this? I am now going to introduce you to a weird creature, a twisted, nosey, irritating creature. This creature is the AUTISM TROLL. The autism troll lurks in the workplace and sometimes, in your own family. They may strike at any time, they will blind side you and try as you might to forget them, their comments resonate.
One autism troll was a family member, upon informing them that Mr. H had been diagnosed with autism, the troll declared, “Oh yes, I know”. Um, pardon, and how would you know, “Oh, you can just tell something is wrong with him.” Boom, troll tries to make a hit, it grazes the chin but mummy bounces back. Now, it was obvious to me that something was going on with Mr. H and it was probably obvious to some other people, BUT YOU DON’T SAY IT OUT LOUD!!!!
Another autism troll’s habitat is the workplace. Upon informing the troll that Mr. H had been diagnosed with autism and it might mean some carer’s leave to make some appointments, this troll used the opportunity to tell everyone about the diagnosis and inform my boss I wasn’t coping in the workplace. Boom, troll tries to make a hit, mummy deflects and not much damage done. Lesson for that troll, DON’T MESS WITH ME, believe me, I took care of business there.
The final autism troll I am going to discuss also lurked in the workplace. I was in the staffroom, photocopying and chatting when a lovely non-troll asked me how Mr. H was doing. I explained things were going great, out of nowhere the troll said, “My husband has been doing some reading and do you know your son is autistic because you got him vaccinated?” Boom, troll makes a hit, we’ve got a stunned mum down, we’ve got a stunned mum down. All I heard was “Did you know you gave your son autism?” I had never been spoken to like that before. Dear friends have asked me about the link between vaccinations and autism and we have had some discussions but, I mean, WHO SAYS THAT??
What you say and how you say things to a parent of a child with a disability does matter. Be a friend, ask questions, be supportive, but don’t be a troll.
If you liked this article, you might enjoy Brooke’s The Little Things article too.
**Brooke Twine is the mum to a young son who has Autism and a high school teacher, this equals busy, BUSY, BUSY!! Since his diagnosis at 2 and 4 months, they have been finding their voices together to ensure a positive, bright and beautiful future. WEBSITE | FACEBOOK