“Different. Not less.”
Autism Speaks. Do you know why I hate Autism Speaks? I am actually Autistic. And I feel that a lot of other individuals feel this way too. AS does more harm than good for people on the spectrum.
First off all AS doesn’t have a single Autistic on their Board of Directors. How can they speak for us if don’t know us? Secondly, only 4% of their annual income goes to “family services.” They spend most of their money on scientific research to find an in utero test for Autism. Much like Down’s Syndrome. If they want to get rid of Autism they are getting rid of us. The also promote fear among society telling people that we are worse than cancer. Really…?
Autism Speaks had produced several videos comparing us to deadly diseases. I will link one of them below.
Next topic: Ableism
Ableism is defined as, Discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities. -Merriam Webster
Ableism is used to marginalize our value in society. It includes words like, “retarded,” “crazy,”and “invalid.” It assigns inferiority to Autistics and other people with disabilities. It is found in the dominant opinions of society.
People still fear us. The “unknown” scares them. They are willing to give money to organizations like Autism Speaks to find a cure. They throw money at us to make it go away. And there seems to be no desire to comprehend us and our differences, this is a global problem. NT’s don’t know us as individuals.I have to act “normal’ for awhile before I tell people that I am Autistic. I don’t think they know how offensive some of their comments are to us. For example:
-“…but you look so normal…”
Of course I do. I am human. But I had to work long and hard to be able to act “normal” for your benefit and feelings.
-“Everyone on some level is Autistic.” No, not really you’re either Autistic or not. This is how I feel. Yes, some people may have a couple Autistic traits but does not make them Autistic. There is never a little bit of cancer. It’s there or it isn’t there.
We do not need your pity. Save that for the Pity Train or the Waaambulance.
-“You must be really smart.”
Yes, yes I am, and probably smarter than you!
-“Do you have a concussion.” I have a stutter not a brain injury. And it’s none of your business.
-“Oh, you mean person WITH Autism.” Again nope. I am Autistic. It is so wired in my brain that I cannot distinguish it from the rest of my brain. It’s neurological.
Its an integrated part of who I am and I like me!
-“Are you like Rain Man?”
No. I hate math and numbers. Are you saying that all people with Autism are the same? No two of us are alike.
I think the MOST offensive thing was said by my psychiatrist. “People with Autism don’t have empathy.” Really…because I do and I am Autistic. Therefore, Autistics have empathy in my book. Shouldn’t she be up to date on this stuff. I shouldn’t have to explain Autism to a professional.
You know what, there is something more offensive. An article published by a Dr.Franklin Forrester at Wyoming Institute of Technology states that 92% of killers are on the spectrum. (article linked below) But even if that is true they’d also have to be sociopaths and delusional. Most of the time it is us who fall victim to others. We are naturally trusting and naive. This makes it easy for others to take advantage of us.
So I am ready to move onto more positive things. I would like to bring some websites into the light. (I will link pages at the bottom.)
– Autism Self Advocacy Network-They are a 501 non-profit company connecting many articles and other beneficial knowledge. The “seek to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regards to Autism.”
-Wrong Planet is a forum specifically for Asperger’s. Here you will be accepted and your opinion valued.
Autism Speaks: I Am Autism- https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yU2paLv1MGE
Dr. Foresters article- http://witscience.org/new-study-shows-92-convicted-murderers-suffer-aspergers-syndrome/
Wrong Planet- http://wrongplanet.net