Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fear and Loathing Die Hard

After yesterday's post about Sunday's experience with discrimination during a school outing, I thought about how lucky we have been, for the most part. James is engaging and has been working with tight teams at school and in an accepting community. Our town is about to host its 3rd annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraising event.

There are times when I get looks and overhear comments about about need for discipline/out of control behaviour.  Friends and family members make assumptions that sometimes hurt, but hey -- c'est la vie, eh? We are so much more supported by those around us than not.

That's why this article took the day down for me: Google Eliminates "Die" Search Suggestion for Autism. I know, from reading online comments on news stories, these attitudes are out there on a wide variety of subjects.

But really? All the screen shots below are from this afternoon on my own laptop. I started the search, and Google added what people commonly go for (I assume). How sad:


This one didn't look so bad at first, but on second reading, Google search took my phrase "people with autism should ..." and turned it into some really personal questions:

This pretty much captures the issue for me; for a very basic query to get more information about autism, the very first unpaid search result is an odd dictionary entry that looks quite different from the answer provided by a national organization that actually deals with autism and is pushing for more research and answers:

We are all so much more, those with autism, their friends and loved ones, and our world.  So thanks, Google, for taking a stand against hate speech.

I can only hope that parents, professionals, and those on the spectrum can help do their part by heeding the advice of Scoop Nisker. Go make those news stories good ones that show the people we love. Go, Flash Bloggers!

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