Autism: A Fate Worse Than Death?

Forgive me. I’ve been in a funk for the past two weeks. I guess it’s the people who act like autism is a fate worse than death (Yes, I’m talking to you, “Autism Speaks.”) They say it grabs all your parents’ attention, and it will break up parents’ marriages…. Why don’t you just say that autism is a fate worse than death? Am I better off dead, because I have it? Screw you,”Autism Speaks.” If I die, my mother and my dog are screwed as well. Do you understand that I am now physically the strongest member of my house? Do you know that I talk, cook and clean very well? I’m not even sure you have the word HOPE in your vocabulary, “Autism Speaks.” Even the most low-functioning autistic I know, Don Cameron Ramsey, talks as well now. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Even the hardest case is not beyond reach, if you have hope. There is so much you doctors and so-called experts do not know. I hope you and all your children with autism rise and speak against you. That is what you deserve. I am speaking no more. It is because of the hopeless people inside “Autism Speaks” (I quote it because it doesn’t speak for me.) that I even have to say this to those who have just received a diagnosis:

Autism is not a fate worse than death. There is hope for even the most low-functioning case. I was once low-functioning, too.

“Sexy” Autism?

Okay, some of you might be confused by the title “Crazy Sexy Autism.” The stereotype is that people with autism can’t form relationships. Why is that? I’ve had my share of boyfriends. Six good long-term ones to be exact. I don’t have the time to go into it, but there is some terrible stereotyping behind some of the people on the Autism Spectrum, particularly the higher functioning end. The soap opera “All My Children” hopefully broke the mold of the solitary, relationship-avoiding autie named Lily and involved her in several relationships, and even a short marriage. I applaud them for that, and hoped it would live on and eventually bring Lily, the girl, back. Sadly, it has not come to pass. I digress, but you do not see much of that happening to those on the spectrum in the movies or on TV. Most of the time, they are much like the now-stereotypical portrayal by Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man.” Honestly, it would be much more accurate to follow around Daryl Hannah on a reality show. Seriously, we work harder to do it, but we can do pretty much anything a neurotypical can do, just in a different way. That, my friends, is what defines “sexy” autism.

Light it Up Gold, not Blue

As I learned about the eugenics practices of Autism Speaks, the sillier and more hateful Autism Speaks became for me. I mean, if we cannot cure autism, will we cure the world of autistic people? Like the Nazis tried to cure the world of Jews?  Okay, maybe I’m going a little bit overboard, but the hatred seems to be there. I don’t need to be hated. Likewise, people with autism are often victims of their parents, often being abused and killed. One Autism Speaks video, “Autism Every Day,” a mother spoke of doing killing her, right in front of her child. So autism makes me such a burden, huh? So a child deserves to die, huh? How about stepping back and letting life be precious? Why don’t you remind yourself of Temple Grandin? Just about everyone in the Autism community knows about her if you ask. I even met Temple Grandin at a autism conference as a child. She was somewhat standoffish, but she is very smart. She had on a red western shirt at the time, and jeans. We spoke of life, a little, and just being with her, I felt alive. I felt like someone really understood me, how I felt on the inside. This is what I have come into lately; a group of people who really understand my struggles and what I’m going through. Their counter to Light it Up Blue is Light it Up Gold. We wear and light things gold around our house. This is the first year of doing so. We hope it continues on.

However, the one largest criticism of Autism Speaks is the fact that there are no known autistic people in the organization. Let me put it this way: If you want to fly, and you’re a bird, would you rather learn from a human or a bird? Let’s hear the argument:

So, who is more qualified to teach about flying? Think about it. Wouldn’t you rather learn about autism from those who have autism? That is my biggest pet peeve toward Autism Speaks. By contrast, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illnes) boards are full of those with mental illness. I think we need to speak for ourselves.