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Please Stand By Is Not Harmful to Autistic People; It’s Just a Bad Movie

Poster for the movie Please Stand By [image: Dakota Fanning, a white blonde woman wearing an orange sweater and lots of colorful lanyards, as the autistic character Wendy in Please Stand By,] Amanda Forest Vivian adeepercountry.blogspot.com I usually don’t watch movies about autism, but after being told that [TPGA editor] Shannon would make me a gimlet I dipped my toes into the horrible pool. My limply positive impression of the trailer was borne out by the movie: it doesn’t say anything bad about Autistic people, and the main character Wendy breaks some stereotypes. She is female, can’t live on her own but can talk, and isn’t a genius. I don’t think this movie will harm Autistic people, and I’m grateful for that. However, it’s still a bad movie that has nothing going for it but a dog in a cute sweater. You can see a dog in a cute sweater…

Please Stand By is a Quietly Subversive Film

Maxfield Sparrow unstrangemind.com Me too. Which is why I can’t wait until Hollywood starts getting that stuff right so I *can* just relax and enjoy a film about people like me. #PleaseStandBy — Unstrange Mind 🖖🏼 (@UnstrangeMind) January 28, 2018 [image: Twitter exchange: “I want to see Please Stand By but as one on the spectrum I don’t want to be hung up on the attention to detail and accuracy of the portrayal at the expense of actually enjoying the movie.” -@GlennHampson “Me too. Which is why I can’t wait until Hollywood starts getting that stuff right so I *can* just relax  and enjoy a film about people like me.” – @UnstrangeMind] That Twitter exchange sums up how I feel when I watch fictional movies that feature Autistic characters, like the recent release Please Stand By. I want to just sit back and let the experience carry me away to fantasy…

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Autism and Normalisation

Oolong oolong.co.uk Normalisation is the process of making or becoming normal. ‘Normal’ can mean a great many things in different contexts, but here I mean it in a social sense: to be normal is to conform to society’s norms. You Will Be Assimilated [image: black-and-white illustration of a Borg drone, by Sonya Hallett] Within this context, there are two very different meanings of ‘normalisation’: to make normal, or to become normal; to normalise the individual, or what makes them stand out. Normalisation in the first sense is what the Borg does in Star Trek: individuals are assimilated by having their rough edges, their deviations from what is expected, removed, or hidden. Normalisation in the second sense is what the writers repeatedly do in Star Trek: groups once seen as monstrously beyond the pale, like the Klingons, are slowly seen to have more in common with ordinary humans than it first…