Author Archives: BlackCirKus

About BlackCirKus

Where madness meets words...

Just Amazing

I saw this on Facebook and had to share it. I don’t know where it came from originally but I shared it from Mark Heiss’ page.


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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


Media and Advertisements…

So sadly this is my final blog for this class, but don’t worry I’ll still be posting things about autism and all the new stuff I learn because remember there is a little boy in my life by the name of DeAndre and I want to learn all I can and stay aware.

So here it is everyone:

So, here’s the deal: I’d like you to find a visual artifact (e.g., a newspaper photo, an advertisement, a youtube video, a book cover) that deals with autism in some way and analyze it using one or more of the frameworks we’ve discussed this quarter. So you might, for example, discuss this artifact in the context of neurodiversity, or allyhood, or adult/child issues, or medical models of disability.

Consider the following in your analysis: What’s going on in this artifact? How would you have responded to itbefore this class? How would you respond to it now? What are the broader implications of this artifact? What does it say about autism and autistic people?

Well it’s obvious what’s going on in this picture: children using a computer for learning. Before taking this class I would have just seen this image at surface value because I didn’t know anything about autism. However now after having taken the class on autism, I can respond differently. For one I think this image does what it says and really that’s a great thing. Technology helps so many neurotypical people do so many things whether for important things or for entertainment. The only thing that I now look for with autism but I may never really see especially with Autism Speaks advertisements (not to say they’re aren’t any but I have yet to see one) are adults. Ever since that lesson in class and learning remembering that children grow up, I will always look for adults with autism because the disorder doesn’t just go away and children don’t become less important when they grow up. Yes there is the statement “for those with autism” but it would have been nice to see an array of people with autism and not just children. I really think this sends, overall, a good message about the progression in autism and learning. Like I said technology is a great thing and a powerful device in learning especially in this day and age. I can’t really complain and had not I been in this class this advertisement would have gotten an “A+” grade but since I did take this class, I’ll give it an “A.” 🙂

Thank you for reading and staying with me for all of my learning endeavors. Muah!

*This image was emailed to me from Autism Speaks (since I’m a subscriber) I have no personal or professional affiliation with them at all. All credit to Autism Speaks for this image.



retrieved from via google (no association at all)



His World Became Mine… A Story by Alexandria S-McQueen

Well, I’m back and this time I’m going back to an old post I did called “Autism, Narrative, and Character Development” that I didn’t really complete. I sort of just posted an outline of what I wanted to write down. Just to remind you of the assignment prompt:

For this blog post, we’d like you to write an introduction (approx. 150-250 words) to your own Autistic character. You can compose this introduction in whatever form seems most fitting — an intro paragraph, a short scene, or dialogue. Then, in the remainder of your blog post, please reflect on this process (approx. 100-200 words). What about this was challenging? Easy? What ethical principles guided your representation? If you had more time or space to develop your character, what would you do or say? How did our class readings (especially Curious Incident) influence your character?

SO finally here it is…

As sound waves travel throughout the house to my ears, I roll over to the sun and smile. I think he’s trying to be the next Jimi Hendrix, and hopefully without the tragic ending. He’s always up earlier than me in the spring and summer. He lives for each day; you can see it in his eyes every time he sings into his little microphone. He knows all the latest hits from Maroon five to Lady Gaga. He is such a little music stud. He’s always so happy. I mean he loves to small and laugh. He even does this happy dance where he jumps up and down and move his feet from left to right. He has his bad days too. He usually has temper tantrums those days. I get up out the bed and head towards his room. When I open the door, he stops and looks at me. He smiles and waves. That is enough, it’s all I need to know that he loves me. I hear a loud bang noise and I rush upstairs to find out what happened. DeAndre was lying n the floor crying. He had broken his guitar by slamming it on the ground. I told him that he can’t do what Kid Rock does on the TV because it’s not good for the guitar, but he doesn’t understand that. After I said that, I could tell today will be a bad day for him. I wipe he’s tears and carry him off downstairs for breakfast.

“He has what we call Pervasive Developmental Diorder-Not Otherwise Specified. In short he is autistic and had PDD-NOS,” the doctor told me. Of course I didn’t understand then but now I know more about the disorder. Of course I thought the bad things that parents usually think when they find out their child isn’t normal or won’t be able to do the things regular kids do, but I got over that quick. I had to deal with it rather quickly because everyday he was growing up and doing different things.I had no time to be sad though I do get that way sometimes. What I feel isn’t important; it’s him who is important. I had to become an expert of my child and that’s what I did and everyday I’m still learning something new. I couldn’t ask for a better child.


The thing most challenging about this was that I don’t have a child that is on the spectrum and I’m writing from the point of view of a parent, a mother no less that I know. I know this little boy and I’ve come to love him so it was really difficult to create something like this. Luckily I had help in writing about DeAndre from his mother and I used most of her description of DeAndre for this introduction.  If I were to continue the story I honestly don’t know where I would go with the story maybe input more interactions with family and friends and new people, but really I can’t say for sure because it’s hard to write about something that I don’t experience everyday so I just feel inadequate to write about it. I didn’t think of any of the readings for this introduction I purely just came up with a scenario and went with it and I like it.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Alexandria Spicer-McQueen

Hi DeAndre


Authoring Autism

So for this post the prompt is:

“We’ve now read four books in a rather quick span of time — two fictional, two non. So, I’d like you to consider the following: What “truths” (purposeful scare quotes) about autism do these books have to offer? What stereotypes do they uphold? In what ways do the authors make you think differently about autism?

For this post, you may pick one book to focus on in particular, or you may choose to do a compare and contrast. You might choose to examine specific scenes or characters here, or you might choose to reflect on an issue that got you thinking in some way. Are these books “must-reads”? Are these books just about autism? How should we apprehend their messages?”

*image from from

So I’ve decided to talk about the book I had to do a presentation with along with Roni and Andie (links to their page), which was “Songs of a Gorilla Nation,” by Dawn Prince-Hughes. And I really wanted to share what Andie had to say because I have the same feelings about it.

He says:

“The four books we’ve read this term all deal with autism, but in remarkably different ways. I argue that Dawn Prince-Hughes’ memoir Songs of the Gorilla Nation is the best of the four representations of life with autism. Prince-Hughes is the only one of the four authors to be on the autism spectrum herself. Because she is writing about her own experiences, Prince-Hughes essentially avoids the mistake of using stereotypes, while the other three arguably rely on them at times.”


I agree completely. We talked about in class how it made a difference to how you felt about the book because someone on the spectrum wrote the book. Therefore, you could believe and connect better to what was being said because it was someone’s real experiences and not something made up. It seems that today fictional accounts on say a disorder doesn’t do so much for the author’s credibility because it’s true. When learning something new about autism twice a week for a semester, it’s natural for us to think about how complex the disorder is and fictional books didn’t really help make the stereotypes disappear instead it can do the opposite really and make you think of the stereotypes that the book may use. This is what made this book so much more appealing, interesting and really more truthful because it was written by someone who knew first hand how it is to have autism.



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Posted by on December 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


Autistic’s Speaking Day!!!

This post is very late… Sorry. Hopefully I did this right. It’s been awhile since I last used iMovie.



Here is the articles I mentioned in the video: Baron Cohen “The Essential Difference: the male and female brain,” and Sarah’s “Cat in a Dog’s World.” Also I am not personally affiliated with Autism Speaks.

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Posted by on December 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


Letter of Reflection

Dear Students of University of Michigan,

My name is Alexandria Spicer-McQueen and I am a fellow student here at the university. During Fall 2011 semester I enrolled in English 416: topics in disability cultures autism, culture, & representation, and in this class I learned so much about Autism Spectrum Disorder to say the least. We learned many different things from terministic screens to “curing” autism. Through this class I learned more about how everyone in this world is different, whether white or black “normal” or not “normal,” whether you are able-bodied or not, whatever the case is people are different and that shouldn’t be an excuse to ridicule, dislike someone or even treat them different.

The different things I learned about this disorder were fascinating. A lot of people are misinformed about autism and this class opened my eyes and see that I was one of those people that knew nothing about autism besides that it was a disorder that affected the brains of children and prevented them from learning and communicating. Boy was I wrong. I’ve learned that even if a child has autism doesn’t mean they’re mute to the world, and it doesn’t mean that they will never learn or communicate. I didn’t know this at all. Another thing I learned to pay attention to during this class was that children grow up. I never thought about adults with autism and now I do because my friend’s little brother has PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder—Not Otherwise Specified), and I’ve always been curious about his disorder and how it will affect him when he grows older. The questions I have no answer to many people don’t as well and this class made me want to know more because I don’t think a lot of people like the unknown.

The final project for this class was to make a PSA and I chose to focus my PSA towards the student body because as college students there is so much that we do everyday we don’t really get to do anything outside of class work in the context of learning about new things own our own leisure. So I made up a student group named after my business and WordPress blog Black Circus, and made some events up to inform and educate students on Autism Spectrum Disorder. My goals for this sort of PSA is to get students to become involved in the cause and be aware of the things in this world because no one knows if their future child or children will have autism, so this is a way to become prepared to face that chance.

The one thing I learned about autism while doing my PSA was how easy it is to put together something like this and share it. All one has to do is put it out there and be committed and with my PSA I bring different options of learning about autism that I feel is very affective. I bring forth two informationals and movie nights and an interactive learning trip with a school for autistic students. All these events bring forth something different so my audience can participate and stay active and smile the whole way through these events.

Thank you for listening to what I had to say and I encourage you to come to these events and become aware of autism.





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