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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What to Avoid when Looking for a Place of Worship

Content: Religious Talk, talk of cruelty and miracle cures, suicide, ableism

Now, I know that many of us autistic people are atheist. This is not for them, unless there is a place where atheists gather. I don’t know if there is.  For those of religious affiliation, sadly, the places of worship are filled with pitfalls of “autism awareness” and hatred. Miracle cures, ABA, prayer, the belief of autism meaning brokenness…this is by no means an exhaustive list of things to avoid concerning autism and worship.

If you sense a skew towards Christianity, please consider the fact that I am writing from personal experience. As we approach Easter, I am reminded that we need a ways to go in the church.

  1. Avoid places peddling “miracle cures.” – The church known as Genesis II still peddles that MMS stuff – basically drinking bleach for the unknowing. (Isn’t drinking bleach a form of suicide?) Do I really need to state that facing death is a risk of drinking bleach or shoving it up a child’s rear end?
  2. Avoid places who believe autism is a moral failing. – There is an ancient belief that any known health problems is a punishment from the Almighty. This is often a fallacy promoted by what is known as the Prosperity Gospel. “If you believed, your child would not be autistic.” Well, that is definitely not a tenet of Christianity, which is my belief system. Jesus did state in the Bible that “In this world, you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I am focusing on the first statement for now, because I believe it to be true. No amount of belief is going to change the fact that you will have trouble.
  3. Avoid the anti-vaccine place of worship. – This goes without saying. If you can prevent the spread of anything with a shot, go right ahead. It is God’s way.
  4. Avoid the Hypocrite. – In the church, we call them Pharisees. Simply put, they look good in the pew, but there is little evidence of following their faith outside their place of worship. Pharisees were even called “whitewashed tombs,” meaning they look good on the outside, but inside they are full of death. Unfortunately, you may not be able to avoid them in any church.
  5. Avoid the Graceless. – There is a parable in Christianity in which a man was forgiven a large debt, though did not forgive another man a debt against him. In short, the larger forgiveness was canceled. Do I even need to explain the pain of holding a grudge?
  6. Avoid those who will not accept you. – This is what I dislike about the Church of Scientology. In the case of John Travolta is literally took a judge asking him under oath for him to admit his son Jett was autistic. And by then, Jett had died. What kind of church is so cruel that it rejects autism’s existence? You may need to educate on Autism Acceptance to the place of worship, but if they accept the teaching of Autism Acceptance, stay. Do I even need to explain the pain of rejecting people with real problems? The church is a hospital for sinners, not an elite club for saints.

In short, a church that only accepts the perfect and those without problems is empty. If they will not accept you, shake the dust off your feet and go find another one.

Older Dads Cause Autism – Really?

I recently came across a theory that older parents are more likely to pass on autism to their children. But can we give this theory to ALL of the autistic children? My own father was twenty-five at the time of my conception. (My mother was twenty-eight.) I think this theory cannot hold the water in every single case. Perhaps there are younger parents who pass on autism to their children without any so-called “inferior” genes. Regular genetics, whether by chance or design, is a much stronger theory, and autism existed long before it was discovered and named.  

If you don’t believe autism existed before its naming, consider the behavior of the “fairy changeling.” In many changeling legends, there exists behavior similar to autistic meltdowns and stimming. Wikipedia has several examples of this behavior listed in the various cultures of changelings. But I digress. 

Since there is evidence of autism and other conditions in fairy changeling folklore, I propose that autism existed long before its naming, and that its existence is purely due to genetics – not genetic mutation caused by older and therefore “inferior material.”

New Jersey Kids and So-Called “High-Functioning” Struggles

TW: Talk of Functioning Labels and Their Fallacies 

I’ve got two special things to talk about: New Jersey autism rates and the struggles of autistic adults.  

Let’s get into the autism rates of New Jersey. I hear they’re the highest in the nation. Other high autism states are Oregon, Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, in that order. Google the rest. So, what are we, the autistic people, supposed to do with this information? I don’t know, maybe offer our practical and empirical help to the parents and medical community there? It would be their fault if they don’t take the help.  

There is also the so-called surprising data finding that the autistic adult labeled “high-functioning” struggles as an adult. Why is it so much of a surprise? I don’t know. Have you asked the autistic adults themselves? I don’t think so. Then it would not have been so much of a surprise! The fallacy of the labels such as “high functioning” lies in this fact: Autism is the only condition whose affects are decided by people who are NOT affected by it! How wrong is that?  

Quickshot – World Autism Month. Yay.

I’m stating the title rather sarcastically in my head. I mean, I think Autism Awareness, in the traditional sense, has already saturated the population. I mean, who asks “What is autism?” anymore? How about Autism Understanding? How about Embracing the Autistic? How about Autism Acceptance? There is literally no one I come across that asks me “What is autism?”

Gird Your Loins

Well well well, here comes another Autism Awareness Month. Gird your loins, fellow autistics. Those so-called “autism moms” and “warrior moms” will begin to compare autism to cancer (in that it causes suffering to them, as if the mother is the autistic one) and the autistic child to a demon.  

Just to be sure, I AM NOT COMPARING AUTISM TO CANCER. CANCER IS A DISEASE; AUTISM IS SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY – A PROCESSING CONDITION. I am also NOT COMPARING THE AUTISTIC CHILD TO A DEMON. THE PARENTS ARE DOING THAT.  

As you can plainly see, this type of awareness is harmful. If I were to have an autistic child, I would simply try to ease their suffering, while girding their loins for the battle-scarred future that awaits them, thanks to Awareness and Warrior Moms.  

For those who are curious, my mother was never a Warrior Mom – or should I say Martyr Mom? – Sure, she was a warrior and a mom, but not a Warrior Mom in the self-righteous sense.  You know, you are not paranoid if they really are out to get you.

Captain Marvel: Chicken Soup for my 90s Feminist Soul

Now, I know autism and/or vaccine news has been bleak lately, with anti-vaxxers and disease outbreaks, plus Autism Awareness Month coming up… I felt so much like a monster, I needed to get away from it for a while. So, I went to the movies.  

For those who do not know, I am 41 (until July 17). This puts me squarely in Generation X. So, any movies with music from the 90s has got to have good grunge in it. And boy, did Captain Marvel deliver. Good, female-led 90s music was aplenty. From Garbage’s “Only Happy When It Rains” to “Just a Girl” by No Doubt, we rock it alongside Nirvana.  

That, however, is not the only reason I will cheer for Miss Fire Hands. She’s ridiculously powerful, and alter herself to fit the facts. (That’s all I will say; no one likes a spoiler.) Plus, she is the adoptive mother to Goose. (Did you think I’d leave Goose out of it? You don’t know me very well.)  

Goose is revealed to be a Flerken, a highly dangerous creature that resembles an orange tabby housecat. I won’t get too much into what a Flerken is; it’s hard to explain. (SPOILER ALERT: tentacles are involved.) Sure, she’s cute, but she’s also powerful. I think it’s funny that Goose is played by orange tabby cats most of the time; most orange tabbies are male. Also, for some more information about Flerkens, look up Chewie in the Marvel Wikipedia, as well; that is the character’s original name.  

I’ve also noticed there were a lot of haters for Captain Marvel; I suspect they adhere to toxic masculinity. That’s all I will say about that. In a world where Wonder Woman only got a movie two years ago, and Black Panther got his last year, that is to be expected. I’ll just throw their hate into a specialized cylindrical file called a trash can. 

In a world where autistics and women are told they are monsters, it is refreshing to see that hope and help can come from the most unexpected places.