Where does this “Accept” and “Love” position I give come from? Why, it’s from viewing autism as what it really is: a different operating system, which anthropologists are now coming around to as beneficial to many aspects of life. Autism, like any other trait, has benefits. Sure, you’re not sitting around talking to people in a bunch of flowery chitchat, but the autistic person has real focus and drive. Most of us can cut to the point quicker than most. There are more than I can think of, but here’s the point: I have come to believe that autism is not some divine punishment. I believe autism has its purpose in this life, and society. The fact that I have to wonder if the autistic will be destroyed before we find the purpose out is what troubles me. According to anthropology, most religion, and technology, there is a purpose for autism. Do we autistic people have to be destroyed before we find it out? I hope not.
There is an article on the BBC website regarding a barber who will cut an autistic child’s hair. Apparently, you have to go to a special hairdresser or barber to get it done. What a surprise! We autistic people are such terrible people to deal with that it takes somebody special! Before I go down that road, I think I might offer a valuable point. Now, I don’t specifically have an episode where cutting hair was an ordeal, but I have a sibling who did. Apparently, it’s hard for an autistic child’s parent to get their hair cut and styled, prompting many hairdressers to completely turn autistic children away! Now, I think I might be able to give some insight to why this is so: to me, a haircut is very hard. Some of the time, the comb or scissors pulls on small hair in my head, making it feel as if someone is sticking a bunch of needles in my scalp. I prefer when my hair is wet, so I don’t get that feeling of needles as often. I have been able to sit through an appointment without crying easily, but my sibling was not able to for a few years as a child. There have been studies that prove siblings of the autistic have autistic traits. Perhaps this happens to be one of them with my sibling.
As I have said before, previous Autism Awareness Month(s) have been hijacked by the “Destroy All Autism” rhetoric of Autism Speaks. Now, we autistics are breaking through. I can see it in a local Kroger store’s Autism Awareness Month display. I was initially put off because it used puzzle pieces in decoration, though those puzzle pieces had words such as “Accept,” “Love” and “Hope.” It looked like your basic puzzle piece poster at first, though. I had to look much closer. With the traditional puzzle piece, you are literally forced to look closer for hope. I found that hope breaking through as many of us autistics grow up, and often find themselves finding about autism later in life, especially if you’re a woman. Now, I’m turning forty this year, and was diagnosed as a child myself, but at the time of my diagnosis, autism was considered a rare condition. I’ll tell you what changed: the diagnostic criteria was loosened considerably. Now that is why we’re getting a lot more diagnoses these days. But learning that autism actually has benefits, and breaking away from the Doom and Gloom of Autism Speaks, we find our hope peeking out through the pain.
Autism Post 4-
Please, click through to the full article. It’s worth a read.
Today I came across an article called something along the lines of “My son’s autism is caused by autoimmune encephalitis and no, I won’t accept it”. I was uncomfortable with how much of what the author said aligned with the antivaccine/vaccines cause autism/autism is curable narrative. But I’m going to pretend like most of what she said is true.
If this person is diagnosed with both autism and autoimmune encephalitis that does not *necessarily* mean one caused the other. It is possible to have more than one neurological condition. Or the autism could be a misdiagnosis, or the autoimmune encephalitis could be a misdiagnosis. But even if a child does have autoimmune encephalitis that doesn’t make it okay to hate that child’s neurology. When you say “I hate autism” autistic people feel like you hate them. How would you feel if I said “I hate blue eyes” or “I hate…
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So, I went to church this morning and looked around. There were a few people wearing blue, but not anyone whom I would suspect is working for Autism Awareness. Well, maybe one, but I do not think she is particularly concerned about her one-year-old being autistic. Truth is, I am the only known autistic in the church. And here’s a photo of me after coming back.
As you can see, I’m wearing red. I have decided not to begrudge most people wearing blue today, because most people wearing blue are utterly clueless about how the #ActuallyAutistic feel. Most of them just want to do some good, and they are clueless that Autism Speaks wants to rid the world of us. (No cure is known at this time.) The only people I will call out are those like Donald Trump, who are willfully ignorant. Those who actually ignore facts that do not line up with their way of thinking. Some people may accuse me of the same thing, however. The reason I cite Donald Trump is this:
I don’t like to disrespect the President, but when he willfully ignores facts-and the fact is, Andrew Wakefield’s study was debunked and the results never duplicated in larger-scale university studies-he needs to be called out. He’s being willfully ignorant.
Enough about the President. The point it, willfully ignorant and hateful people have hijacked the conversation about autism, and we have to fight HARD to get it back to those who know it best – autistic people. We’re here, we’re autistic, get used to it.
I must admit, that last post was mostly reactionary. It’s terrifying to know you’re the worst-case scenario for a lot of people. Well, maybe they don’t quite know about me. I don’t want to be all hate and vitriol. It’s really dragging my blog down into a negative space. Perhaps we need a new and more accurate version of autism; not one that’s all doom and gloom. That is just why I have decided to mention the new, for 2017, Blue Power Ranger. Billy does a LOT of good things for autistic people, and I haven’t even seen the movie yet! First of all, Billy is a Power Ranger. He is a member of a superhero team. I hear he even contributes to the team’s success. If we can contribute something to the success of humanity, please, let us know. Oh, and another thing: Billy is the Blue Power Ranger. I must admit, I was a little scared that Autism Speaks might take that as a clue to hijack him, but Billy is too positive an image for Autism Speaks’ anti-autistic rhetoric. I mean, Billy contributes to the Power Rangers’ success! That, according to Autism Speaks, that cannot be. To them, autism is the enemy. So, unless Autism Speaks gets itself together and accepts autistic people as they are, then Billy is taking the color blue back from them. And that is the upside of the blue Power Ranger.
Content Warning: Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks has largely hijacked the dialogue about Autism. And as we know, Autism Speaks is just as mean and hateful towards the autistic person as the Ku Klux Klan is toward other races. Sure, they don’t say they want a cure now, but it still searches for “solutions.” Autism Speaks still describes our genomics as “MSSNG,” which is “MISSING without the I.” How negative is that? They want to “crack autism’s code.” To me, that means they still want to rid the world of autism.
Why do I hate Autism Speaks? Simple. I am their worst-case scenario. I am what they fear. I am different. I am an autistic adult.
You see, their way of thinking and processing the world is thought of as “right” and therefore “supreme” by them, the exact same way that whiteness is supreme, if you ask any Ku Klux Klan member. It makes me shudder to think how similar they are to the Ku Klux Klan in their hate.