Can We Talk, Chicago Med? 

I’m loving this inclusion and casting of Dr. Latham. However, a colleague in autism brought up a very good point in the storytelling. There is a troubling thing about the narrative, which I think ought to be reconsidered as well as my colleague: the cure narrative. While the cure narrative is the most common in the autism media universe, it is not one which most autistic adults refer to in living. There is a lot of trouble in pushing the cure narrative.

As for one, autism, as it stands today, cannot be cured. There is no cure known for autism. As for Dr. Latham’s radical treatments, they are fine to some extent. But why not show some of the side effects? I like that the treatment Dr. Latham is receiving is shown as temporary or needing to continue. I think we need to continue with that aspect.

2- I think I need to stop for a second and express a point here. There is also a big, foul prejudice reeking in the narrative that we need to address: ableism. Ableism, by definition, is adding stigma to a perceived lack of ability. As I have defined before, adding stigma to the perceived lack of communication is wrong. Even the language, “lack of” being the focus here, adds stigma to autism and other disabilities. It’s as if you have to experience things exactly as the neurotype in power, and all others is wrong and a tragedy. Autism is not a tragedy! The trouble is, there are scared, desperate autism parents looking at this show, hoping to find some answer to “fix” their “broken” child. They turn to risky, strange and even abusive treatments to do this “fixing.” And when those treatments do not work, the child might be permanently scarred, or even killed in some cases. Also, there are broken relationships, running away and suicide to consider. Is it any wonder very few autistic people talk to their families of origin unless forced to? What is there except autism acceptance?

I’ve got a question: Why not consult real autistic adults on their struggles and triumphs? Have you even considered that autistic adults are real people, with real opinions, real knowledge and real experience? Or are we still complete morons in your eyes? So, what about it, Chicago Med? Is Dr. Latham a moron? That is what you say if you do not consider a viewpoint from real life autistic adults.

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