No, My Autism is NOT a Superpower or a Tragedy, It’s Neutral

Controversial, no? That I can see my condition as neutral? I guess I’m really different from other people. Let me explore the ways both values can be right and wrong, and show you how I reject both of them.  

Autism as a Superpower: This is not a viewpoint shared among many autistic people, though many non-autistic people think we do. Why people think we hold this is a mystery to us. Are we that arrogant to you? We certainly are not to ourselves. There are many things many of us cannot do without support, such as go grocery shopping. Perhaps the reason they think we hold this so-called belief is – maybe those dumb T-shirts saying “Autism is my Superpower.” I do not know of an autistic adult that actually owns a T-shirt with that message. The difficulties given to us by autism make us humble. Basically, it is arrogant to think that you are better than another person, simply because you are different from them. This pattern of thinking goes down a slippery slope to prejudice and scapegoating.  

Autism as a Tragedy: This is the other extreme viewpoint we try to ignore. This is ableism in a nutshell. Basically, a disabled person is tragic, and the only way they can make the world a better place is to remove themselves from it. In movies such as “Me Before You,” suicide for the disabled person is seen as good! How disgusting is that? It infuriates me. Just because we operate on a different level is not a reason to advocate for suicide! We are denying autistic people the basic right to live! Another slippery slope appears: If we kill off all the people who are different from us, whoever wins that war would be the last person on earth. I’m not going there. One person can only do so much. 

Why do people assign value to neutral events? Is this another symptom of the Power and Control addiction?  

I have decided to reject both viewpoints, because they are gravely erroneous. They both lead to the same conclusion: prejudice, scapegoating, and eventually, death to the autistic. I want to live. I want to be able to access the rights that only White Men!!! can currently: the rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I want my life to matter.  

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Autistic woman in her 40s, bringing attention to issues that affect her and her kind.

One thought on “No, My Autism is NOT a Superpower or a Tragedy, It’s Neutral”

  1. I think of my autism in the same way I think of my depression or my being intellectually gifted and talented. It’s something which has always been there, and it has always made my life more difficult than it could have been in many ways. But I can’t imagine myself without it. Knowing I have these differences from the neurotypical norm makes it easier to articulate what those differences are, and how they change things for me (for example: being IG&T meant I learned things a lot quicker than most of my age peers; being depressed means my emotional output doesn’t necessarily match the inputs; being autistic means I will listen to the content of what you’re saying rather than the tone you’re saying it in or your body language while saying it).

    None of these are superpowers (and trust me, I’ve heard much more about what I was “supposed” to achieve as a gifted and talented individual than I ever did about things like autism as a superpower; all being IG&T means is I learn quickly – it doesn’t guarantee I’ll be able to do anything with what I’ve learned after I’ve learned it). None of them are tragedies, either (not even the depression – what I’ve learned from depression is that I am much more resilient than a lot of people would think, and that I have a survival instinct which is nigh unbreakable).

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