My Hopes for Sia’s ‘Music’

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash
  • Maddie’s depiction of Music is a childish and trope-based representation of a non-verbal autistic person.
  • Sia’s clearly misunderstands autistic individual’s preferred use of language.
  • Sia consults with the infamous Autism Speaks charity and fails to see it isn’t ok to do so. (and the fact it takes ‘minimal research’ to know this).
  • Before we even see the film, Sia dismisses autistic voices and insults autistic people.

‘Media shape our reality and functions as the gate-keeper of our perceptions of the world.’

What someone with Sia’s level of influence puts out into the world creates real, life-changing meaning for people. From non-disabled peoples’ inner thoughts/beliefs to the opportunities disabled people are or are not allowed access to.

Treatment of disabled people as adults

In a study analysing 8 films that include people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), professionals found that in all cases the people with IDD were depicted as childish in numerous and exaggerated ways.

Show people that disabled people aren’t the ‘others’

I hope to see a change in others’ viewing of people with disabilities.

In real-life, people mostly don’t gawk and whisper about people with disabilities acting differently in public, but films constantly repeat, perpetuate and thus label this as normal and acceptable.

It would be great to see a film where this over-the-top reaction of non-disabled onlookers isn’t included. This may, instead, suggest to people that differences in behaviour are ‘normal’, acceptable and to be respected.

Ask non-disabled people to take some responsibility

Hopefully, Sia knows something about recent autism research and has looked into Milton’s ‘double empathy problem’.

Final Thoughts…

Unfortunately for Sia, she has managed to ignore the growing and developing online autistic community. This is a major downfall, and something that would have taken moments of research to interact with.

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Katrina Roberts

Katrina Roberts

Works with the best people ever (kids with special needs). Special ed. & autism post-grad and creative writing grad. PA to a tabby cat-queen. Walks into things.