Education is the Key

I decided to pop onto Twitter this afternoon while laid up with a viral infection, to catch up on all the latest goings-on, on social media.

I was bombarded with a number of stories regarding Richard Madeley’s appearance on the TV show Good Morning Britain. An autistic guest from the TV show The Undateables, Daniel Wakeford, was there with his mother, to promote his music.

During this interview, Richard asked his mother, “Has Daniel always been autistic?” His mother was somewhat taken aback by this, but answered this question. After watching this, I was quite angry as (it seems) most autistic people were. I took to Twitter to express my anger at such an idiotic question. I saw some great comebacks and quips at first, but then came the wave of Autism mums, demanding that Richard be sacked, demanding their pound of flesh p, amounting to wanting his head on a spike. All this vitriol bubbles up, but I’m sorry ladies, I’m going to respectfully disagree with your views on how this should be handled.

I’m speaking from first-hand life experience of Autism, not through my children or a group on Facebook. In my humble opinion, it’s all very well grabbing your virtual pitchforks and torches and demanding the latest celebrity be publicly flogged, but what does that really solve or achieve? The answer is: nothing. It won’t correct the mistake. It won’t break the laws of physics and take us back in time to stop it from happening. It will just create more anger and bitterness.

The best way to go forward with this kind of event, where a misguided question or comment like this is made without any malice or negativity intended, is to educate the individual concerned. That way, people can learn from their mistakes, and move forward instead being punished. We need to educate and raise awareness of Autism and the impact it has on people’s everyday lives, then more people can learn and move forward with better information about Autism.

If you want to know anything about autism, ask someone who’s on the spectrum.

Stay Safe X

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