United Kingdom – George Mpanga, the spoken word poet who came in 5th place at BBC’s Sounds of 2015, is speaking out regarding the ridiculing of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Mpanga, also known as George the Poet, will be featured on a BBC documentary that delves into ASD, a disorder that has baffled the medical community for decades and has no known cure. On the program, the 24 year old reveals that he believes that those who make jokes about persons with autism often believe that they are being witty and clever but are simply “ignorant.”
Recent reports suggest that 2.3 million people in the UK have been affected in some way by autism and as the brother of a teenaged brother on the spectrum, Mpanga himself is one of the millions of individuals who fall into that category. The poet’s 15 year old brother Kenny was diagnosed as a child causing Mpanga to witness the hostility that those who have the disorder are often subjected to firsthand.
However he also cites Kenny’s aptitude in mathematics as a positive aspect of autism and Joely Colmer, a young woman with Asperger’s syndrome who was also featured in the documentary, feels that her disorder is a “rare gift” stating:
“I’m really positive about my disability. I love my disability.”
Source: BBC Newsbeat website: George the Poet: Jokes about autism are ignorant