Why You Should Listen to What Autistic Adults Have to Say

As I have said in response to a previous post, my viewpoint was dismissed at the Autism Society of the Bluegrass meeting I went to when I revealed I was autistic. This greatly dismayed me, even though I had a viewpoint that might have been useful to the people there. They were only interested in pushing their own agenda past what someone their agenda might actually affect. My dismay is this: Would they dismiss the viewpoints of their own children, had they the words and understanding I did, the very people who their actions would affect? Why do they not listen to us?

There are reasons you need to listen to adults on the spectrum, if you want to truly understand living with autism. For one, we actually have life experience dealing with autism. We can tell you about sensory issues, echolalia, the words not forming when you need them to, etc. We can tell you that. Or do you not want to hear what might actually be going on with your children? Autism is more than a concept or plague when you talk to us. It is that thing which gives us a little curve in dealing with people and our surroundings. Autism is a way of life for us. Even if you just want to cure and stop autism, you cannot cure it right now. You have to deal with it. Why not give those of us who are actually dealing with autism a chance to tell you what it is actually like?

It reminds me of a scene in “The Sword in the Stone,” an innocent Disney movie which gives us a scene about flying:

It’s just like that. Would you rather learn about autism from people who may know an inkling about what is going on, or somebody who actually knows what is going on? It’s also like getting a tour or a city you’ve never been before. Would you rather get a tour from a book, or from a local? A local makes more sense to me.

Besides, there is a big reason you need to listen and acknowledge what adults on the autism spectrum say. You are setting your own children up for discrimination and failure. Not acknowledging what autistic adults have to say now will set a precedent for not acknowledging what your own children, as autistic adults themselves, have to say in the future. They will be discriminated against, and as you know, when people are dismissed when it’s important, they get desperate. Their communication gets more obvious, and then it gets violent. Who knows what autistic adults will do in the future if their viewpoints are dismissed and minimized in the present? We can prevent future violence by present acknowledgment. Can you not see the consequences in the future? I can see them now. We can stop them. Listen to us autistic adults. We are trying to communicate.

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Single and Happy on Valentine’s Day

I have heard the news. Benedict Cumberbatch gained a Mrs. today. And I’m not broken up about it. Honestly, I hope they become the new Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Many happy blessings to them!

That aside, I am single and happy on Valentine’s Day. My mother was not in the mood for a steak dinner, so we had Chinese. I had shrimp with broccoli (I always have seafood when I can), and my mother had Kung Pao Chicken. What we had was not that important, anyway. We had already gone out to get some brunch, where I had a spicy potato casserole and my mom, eggs benedict (and now I’m giggling). So I wonder if I could get my mom to watch something with Ben in it? We’re currently watching “Julie & Julia.” It’s a good movie. I like it. Anyway, I have already seen “The Imitation Game” and was hugely impressed by it. To play a socially inept genius seems to be my favorite actor’s current forte, though I would like to see him in something radically different, like a post-apocalyptic mage or something. Anyway, I digress. I have a Pampering Party planned for later tonight. My mother and I are going to do our feet and hands…and I will paint my nails. Exactly what color, I don’t know, but I’m painting my nails.

Getting back to what I had been talking about before, I decided a long time ago that whoever is ruling this Universe may or may not want to give me a husband, but he certainly will not want to give me somebody else’s husband. I am perfectly happy being alone.

I have more things to do tonight; excuse me while I start the Pampering Party I have planned.

The Speck and the Plank

So we were watching church on the television, my mother and I. The topic is “Judgmental Christians.” You know, those who pass condemnation on others, often without looking to see if they can or cannot pass their own judgment. You know, this guy:

Apparently the holder of the phone was not letting him pass, or some other traffic violation. But did he actually need to threaten ramming, pass on the right, and flip the guy off, causing him to lose control and crash? It was not called “Righteous Judgment Call.” It was called “INSTANT KARMA” FOR A REASON!

We have all been that guy at one time or another. Even me.

It came to me while I was watching this, that I railed against people who hated autism and autistic people…like Autism Speaks…and I was doing it to myself since childhood. He said, to paraphrase, “Find out what is bugging you about that guy inside yourself. Then you can go and share what irks you about somebody else.” The Biblical passage the preacher was moving on was this:

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’sa eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor,b ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’sc eye.“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’sa eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor,b ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’sc eye. -Matthew 7:1-5

I was thinking about Autism Speaks, and how they want to cure autism. What if autism can’t be cured? Then what? Do they want to end autism by ending autistic people? Am I really better off dead because I have autism? This is basic eugenics. Just in case you don’t know, eugenics is breeding in desirable traits, and breeding out of undesirable traits, like Autism. I have recently begun to turn against Autism Speaks for their eugenic policies, and….

Back to the present day. I remember the time I was trying to explain how I got into acting to “get away from being myself.” Those were the exact words I gave to my mother. I had, at various times, wished I did not have autism, and wished I was not a “freak.” Was I any better than those at Autism Speaks? Was I not just as eugenic? I took this to my mother, and she said, “Why hate what God made?” That was a harsh reality for me. I needed to stop hating myself. Autism was not really an enemy; it is a condition. We can work with it. Is an natural disaster an enemy? Of course not. Autism, in the same way, is not an enemy. We can live with it. 

I’ll give you more on my self-forgiving journey soon…..