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Crystal children, etc. and Autism. Grrrr....

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
So I was up late last night, hopping from link to link on MDC and I found this:

The trouble comes about when the Crystals are judged by medical and educational personnel as having "abnormal" speaking patterns. It's no coincidence that as the number of Crystals are born, that the number of diagnoses for autism is at a record high.

It's true that the Crystal Children are different from other generations. But why do we need to pathologize these differences? If the children are successfully communicating at home, and the parents are'nt reporting any problems... then why try to make a problem? The diagnostic criteria for autism is quite clear. It states that the autistic person lives in his or her own world, and is disconnected from other people. The autistic person doesn't talk because of an indifference to communicating with others.

Crystal Children are quite the opposite. They are among the most connected, communicative, caring and cuddly of any generation. They are also quite philosophical and spiritually gifted. And they display an unprecedented level of kindness and sensitivity to this world. Crystal Children spontaneously hug and care for people in need. An autistic person wouldn't do that!

[Bolding mine]

I'll say straight out that I look at all of this with a critical eye. I don't believe it, and so I'm sure that colors my perception of what's being written. But the statements they make about autism, and about how autistic people aren't sensitive to others (but crystal people are) just drives me up a freaking wall. My kids are severely autistic, but one thing they have going for them, and one thing that I count as a great, great blessing, is that they ARE so sensitive. They do spontaneously hug and kiss and smile and cuddle.

I wish people wouldn't assume that autistic kids can't be loving. Or smart. Or whatever. I mean, my kids aren't smart (they're cognitively delayed, in fact), but I would never assume another autistic child wasn't smart because they were autistic.

Anyway, I don't know why it's bothering me, but this whole crystal/indigo/start stuff just seems (to me) a way of feeling self-important, almost as if people with "crystal" influenced autism, or their parents, are saying "well, at least I don't have THAT kind of autism."

Star-bellied sneeches all over again. :
post #2 of 27
'star-bellied sneetches', i love that. i'll never read indigo/crystal/whatever again without thinking of my beloved sneetches.
post #3 of 27
Generalizations like that are so frustrating. My daughter spontaneously hugs - of course she's a sensory seeker so it's serving a dual purpose. Guess what - she makes eye contact too! *gasp*
post #4 of 27
I said "oh barf" outloud when I read that bolded part. Ugh. Hate those generalizations. My ds comes running to me for a hug with a big smile on his face every day when I pick him up....from his autism self-contained preschool. Go figure. :
post #5 of 27
I had someone in a store try to tell me my DD was an "indigo" child...yeah, whatever.

I do have a question though...I was specifically told by the team who evaluated my DD that she was NOT ASD or PDD because she was "too social"...so are they just perpetrating a myth or am I not understanding what the difference is? I'm just genuinely curious, because I'm finding books like "Playing, Laughing and Learning with Children on the Autism Spectrum" to be really useful in working with my DD, even though she's not ASD!

One thing she definitely doesn't do is "stimming" unless you count putting everything in her mouth a stim...

I'm just wondering/confused/learning....
peace,
robyn
post #6 of 27
I do have to admit to laughing my butt off whenever I hear this "theory." This whole time, I've been worried about DS but I don't need to because he's just well, PURPLE.

Robyn, I think you'll find that since ASD is a spectrum that different people believe different things. There's no BFP for autism, after all. Wouldn't that be great though? We could test all the babies immediately after birth and then most of us wouldn't have to go through the months or years of trying to figure out what's "off."
post #7 of 27
Generalizations about Autism make me mad all around. People tell me all the time that ASD kids don't make eye contact, don't hug, aren't verbal. It's frustrating! I've had someone even tell me my child is a crystal/indigo child and it's not ASD. It's like when people assume ASD kids are only the kids who are like Rainman or Mercury Rising. Telling myself that my child has some make believe glorified condition (Indigo) doesn't make the Autism go away or fix his issues. It's just making excuses instead of helping him. Autism or not I don't make excuses for my children, ya know? I don't have to, they are who they are and we accept them as such.

I'd for them to see my DS for more than 10 minutes in passing and then tell me he's not ASD.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippymomma69 View Post
I had someone in a store try to tell me my DD was an "indigo" child...yeah, whatever.

I do have a question though...I was specifically told by the team who evaluated my DD that she was NOT ASD or PDD because she was "too social"...so are they just perpetrating a myth or am I not understanding what the difference is? I'm just genuinely curious, because I'm finding books like "Playing, Laughing and Learning with Children on the Autism Spectrum" to be really useful in working with my DD, even though she's not ASD!

One thing she definitely doesn't do is "stimming" unless you count putting everything in her mouth a stim...

I'm just wondering/confused/learning....
peace,
robyn
Like Jennifer said, there is no easy way to diagnose Autism. They do have to meet criteria for a DX though. It's a certain number from a list of standards. They can display NT traits and not some of the classic Autistic traits and still have Autism, but they need to have enough traits to qualify for that dx.

An example: My Ds is social, he can talk and engage in conversations. BUT his conversations are one sided and he has a hard time interacting with peers appropriately. He copies what he sees. Getting a 2 two-way conversation out of him is going to take some work and he doesn't pick up on cues. Most people would see him talking and assume he was perfectly normal. The thing is, boys are accepted for being socially weird and accept each other, lucky him. He also makes eye contact with people he knows well but avoids eye contact in with anyone else and stops eye contact with everyone if he is over stimulated sensory wise. He also avoids expression of any kind. He'll physically hold his face to avoid a smile or grab at his face to avoid showing frustration. Clawing at himself even to make it stop. If he cries he freaks out and says he can't see because of water in his eyes. But people see that eye contact with me or his sisters etc and assume he's like that with everyone, therefore can't be autistic. (He also stims a lot and was a late talker, gets obsessed with things yada yada yada) But those are some common missconceptions when it comes to Autsim.
post #9 of 27
Oh my goodness! I was just ranting to my sil about this very thing this morning!

I think it's a load of CRAP and ppl are just trying to find a way out of facing that their kid is different and possibly/probably on the autism spectrum. I could call my ds CRIMSON for all it matters but that wouldn't make him any different and that wouldn't change his diagnosis and that would change HIM.

Crystal children... ugh.
post #10 of 27
I think as time passes we'll see some changes in the DSM criteria too, especially the social part. It is DEFINITELY a myth that being social means one can't be on the spectrum. However, there have to be issues with being social; i.e., that person has trouble knowing how to go about being social.

People have told me, as well, that my son is an "Indigo child." I take it the same way I do when someone tells me I'm a certain way because I'm a Virgo - i.e., not very seriously.

Please, they're just one of millions with stereotypical, uninformed understandings of autism. It's endlessly frustrating and it's why I wrote on another thread that I wish there were more pictures of what autism can look like out there.
post #11 of 27
Okay I'm back after going on the 'net to check out this crystal child thingy...and GUESS WHAT?! I'm a crystal child! Seriously, I fit evey one of the criteria - I even disrupt electrical equipment (it's a running joke in my family because lights are forever blowing out when I'm around)....

But seriously, the list I found here:
http://www.childrenofthenewearth.com...opic.php?t=682

said so many contradictory things (too much empathy or NO empathy - doesn't that include, like, everyone?). Like a PP said it is alot like a horoscope. How could someone mistake AUTISM for a "crystal" child? :

It's like saying "he's just an introvert he doesn't have autism"

okay back to the 'net to see what other kind of higher order human I or my offspring might be.....
peace,
robyn
post #12 of 27
My MIL once told me that dd couldn't have autism b/c the kids with autism on TV didn't hug people. She also tells me all the time of a child her daughter knows with autism who sits in a corner all day long, so how could my friendly dd possibly have Asperger's? I try to explain the spectrum but she doesn't get it. Generalizations make me sooooo mad.
post #13 of 27
Yes, that's wrong and offensive. But except for the negative stereotypes about autistic people, I think the crystal child movement is a positive step. They are taking commonly-pathologized traits and claiming them as advantages, which is the same thing many autistics are trying to do. Many believers in crystal and indigo children don't bother denying that these traits are different from ASCs; they just disagree with the pathologization.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna View Post
Yes, that's wrong and offensive. But except for the negative stereotypes about autistic people, I think the crystal child movement is a positive step. They are taking commonly-pathologized traits and claiming them as advantages, which is the same thing many autistics are trying to do. Many believers in crystal and indigo children don't bother denying that these traits are different from ASCs; they just disagree with the pathologization.
:

FWIW, I agree to a large extent with the crystal children theory. It makes sense to me, but then again I am a weirdo, tree huggin', new agey, wytchy woman so go figure. I belive that my son, including his autism, is an absolutely fantastic and perfect person. I have him in the therapies he is in to try and help him function in a not so perfect world, but I wouldn't change him for all the tea in China.
I do agree with other PP's though that it seems that a lot of people who write about crystam children don't know their butt from a hole in the ground when it comes to autism and there are many many published misconceptions out there. The bad part is that in this day and agem anyone can get anything published and if people don't do their research they can turn a lot of people off to the truth of a particular matter.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna View Post
Yes, that's wrong and offensive. But except for the negative stereotypes about autistic people, I think the crystal child movement is a positive step. They are taking commonly-pathologized traits and claiming them as advantages, which is the same thing many autistics are trying to do. Many believers in crystal and indigo children don't bother denying that these traits are different from ASCs; they just disagree with the pathologization.
I think it is wrong to take a set of traits and call them pathologies and say the people who have them aren't worthy of respect, help or kindness. It is equally wrong to say that the people who have the traits are magical people who have been sent to earth with the obligation to save it. That is a terrible thing to place on a kids shoulders. To me these two approaches are just sides of the same coin.
post #16 of 27
There are fabulous things about bp people, we're never boring , but that doesn't mean that the genuinely crappy pathological things that make one miserable can't be addressed, & I still wouldn't change who I am, or who my kids are. ('Mental illnesses', 'Affective Disorders, 'Neurodiverse' or 'Puce', it's all labels for 'different'. I think I'd rather be 'neurodiverse' than 'puce', though. NVLD, bipolar & all. Like Isaac Newton & Beethoven, what's not to love, right? I'd still rather my kid could enjoy the fruits of his creativity without hearing the devil tell him stuff though, kwim? Good stuff, meds. The correct ones.)
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I think it is wrong to take a set of traits and call them pathologies and say the people who have them aren't worthy of respect, help or kindness. It is equally wrong to say that the people who have the traits are magical people who have been sent to earth with the obligation to save it. That is a terrible thing to place on a kids shoulders. To me these two approaches are just sides of the same coin.
That's true to an extent, in that it's still denying that neurodivergent people are nevertheless regular people. But it's a step closer. When there is so much hateful rhetoric floating around about autism and autistic people, I'm not going to too harshly criticize people who are publicizing the good side of many classically ASC traits, even if they are wrapping it up in some questionable spiritual ideas.
post #18 of 27
I find this thread very interesting. My daughter is not autistic, she has epilepsy. At one small point in history, those with epilepsy were revered as prophets and seers and were given high regard in society. (of course we are now back to just stigmatizing everyone who has seizures) To me it is an interesting parallel to the autism/crystal discussion.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MindfulBirth View Post
I find this thread very interesting. My daughter is not autistic, she has epilepsy. At one small point in history, those with epilepsy were revered as prophets and seers and were given high regard in society. (of course we are now back to just stigmatizing everyone who has seizures) To me it is an interesting parallel to the autism/crystal discussion.
That book I talked about recently - Born On a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet (I think, it's not near and I don't have time to search) - discussed epilepsy and he mentioned a few historical artists who had it. IIRC, he said that some of the doctors he's worked with say that having an epileptic episode can 'unlock' certain parts of the brain that basically aren't used in the general population.

ITA that it's an interesting correlation with autism, also.

ETA: Just remembered I was talking about a different book (God and the Autism Connection - I think it's called). 'BOABD' is a totally different really fascinating memoir by a guy with Asperger. Sorry my head's not on today.
post #20 of 27
The general idea I'm hearing here is that there needs to be more education and awareness of autism.

Most of the public only knows what 'autism' is because of shows like "Rain Man"...many people aren't even aware that there IS a spectrum. It seems a bit unfair to criticize others when they simply don't know, I doubt many people who make comments are doing so maliciously. For those of you who feel so strongly, perhaps there is an opportunity to create more awareness of the autistic spectrum so more people understand.

As for the Indigo/Crystal children comments...please know, these are not exclusive designations for autistic children. Those who write about Indigos & Crystals make it clear that EVERY child that has been born since the 1990's are one of these kids, so it's not specific to certain children and not others.

And please know that someone telling you your child is Indigo or Crystal does in no way diminish, discount or discredit who your child is, what diagnosis they have been given or what you live with on a daily basis. It is meant as a way of explaining why there are so many children that are getting all sorts of diagnoses that we've never seen or have rarely seen in history before.
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