• Darcy Reed

Autism wars


A couple of weeks ago on Autism Awareness Day everyone wanted to argue about whether awareness was sufficient, when many autistics also needed full inclusion in the world. Many wanted to celebrate autism like it was their lucky day to be autistic.


The autism that gets celebrated I guess is the kind where people don't have "co-morbid" conditions, I'm told. It's kind of an elite group, not necessarily tolerant of the folks called "more severely" autistic. I don't think they like us. When I tried to post a blog to Autistic Voices Unashamed, they shamed me because I needed a facilitator and the facilitator wasn't autistic.


They are happy in their lives not biting their hands or banging their heads or being unable to communicate. So, to them it is a blessing I suppose, being quirky and smart, but we don't celebrate here about autism. We celebrate surviving it and coming slowly out of it to the point that a quality of life is possible. You go celebrate, you proud moms and proud people. More power to you. I am not ashamed to be autistic, but I'm not proud of it. I'm proud to be me.


I'm still just celebrating my own strengths and yes, some do actually come with the autism. My memory for instance, is extremely accurate and long-lived. Also I can hear and see what people think. I can also predict the future and give psychic advice and talk to spirits. These are fantastic adaptations to neurodivergence.


There are wonderful things to celebrate in the world and yes, diversity is certainly one of them, but I think to really be aware about autism, there need to be studies of the different manifestations of autism which should really not be so insulting to people, autistic or otherwise. Yet it as if there is an unspoken rule: Don't question autism. That's unfair to anyone to tell them not to try and learn about neurodiversity. If you can't handle some science, then what good is it not knowing things?


Then there's moms bashing one another, the moms who want cures against the moms who feel blessed, moms who believe in safe vaccines against the moms who don't, moms who use alternative communication with their kids, against moms who don't believe it. Then the moms all pile on the one they disagree with, instead of supporting and teaching. It's disgusting. What's to celebrate?


I am excited to have a couple of virtual autistic friends who don't judge me. Not many others "higher" on the spectrum want to be associated with autistics like me. They can't stand to be on the same spectrum with their lucky lives driving off to work, having babies and taking proud selfies. It's clear I don't fit in anywhere. The good news now is I'm making neurotypical friends who don't judge me.


I'm amazed how seriously mean people can be in the autism community. This includes the judgey moms hating on each other and the judgey identity politic, segregationist aspies who are equally judgey. I'm thinking it's time to move on. I'm tired of it. The autistic people need to make friends in the non-autistic world. How else can the neurotypicals ever understand us?






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