Springingtiger's Blog


Autism Awareness: Katie Price & Harvey

Last year I found myself writing in support of Katie Price after Frankie Boyle had sunk to a new low in his attempts to rebuild his reputation for edhy humour. I wouldn’t wish autism on any family, it happens and the concerns of parents are as relevent and challenging whether or not they are a celebrity.

To accuse me of having nothing but contempt for Katie Price would be to exaggerate the respect I have for her. However I would have to agree that her anger towards Frankie Boyle is completely justified. Frankie Boyle used to be funny, but he seems to be increasingly substituting insults for humour. He has always been prone to giving and receiving insults and many of them were funny, but his attack on Katie Price’s son is neither funny nor appropriate.

Katie Price quotes two jokes in her Daily Mail article, the first is an old one often used for any parents whether their children are disabled or not, the second was obscene and offensive and I refuse to quote it. I could not watch Price’s documentary which is a relief as I have a passionate loathing for her obsessive publicity seeking, I hope it focused on the rights of the disabled to be treated with respect rather than on her. Whatever one thinks of Katie Price it does not justify abusing Harvey and – by extension – all severely autistic children. Harvey is not responsible for the behaviour of his mother and should not used as a means to attack her.

Autism is not a fit subject for humour. Parents of autistic children who choose – as Price has – to face up to their responsibilities and care for their kids themselves have a horrendously challenging task. If you don’t believe me there are plenty who share their experiences like Jeff Stimpson, Lisa Jo Rudy, YA Autism Community, Amalia Starr, and these are but a few of many, the Autism Blogs Directory is a good source of information too, a Google search for autism will produce plenty of information.

One of the reasons Boyle’s second joke is so reprehensible is that it touches on a very real concern of parents of autistic kids. What happens at puberty when a child develops the body of an adult without the mental facility to understand what is happening? Some autistic people do not have a grasp of what constitutes appropriate behaviour and this combined with the development of all the sexual urges of a teenager coupled with none of the understanding threaten to occasion some very embarrassing moments. Puberty adds yet another complication to the many problems faced by a family with an autistic child. People may think Price has overreacted to a joke, if they take the trouble to read the experiences of parents of autistic children and of people with autism they will realise autism is no joke!

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Checking this over I discovered that some of the URLs in the text had been hijacked by porn sites, I have now corrected all the links, and apologise for any embarrasment caused!

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