When conversing with autism warrior parents, it always happens in the same way.
- They make an empty statement about autism that doesn’t make sense.
- A lot of autistics refute the claim and back it up with evidence.
- One autistic agrees
- The AWP’s talk over the autistics and use the one autistic as a token to refute all the claims and evidence the other autistics have written and shared.
This is not only annoying, it also leads to burnout and to heated debates, where, if the parents would listen, the issue could be resolved by one autistic and 2-3 tweets maximum.
In an ideal world, an autistic could just refute the statement with a link or a few words of their own. The parent would agree and thank the autistic and the world would be a happy place.
I wouldn’t need to write an article like this, if the world was the utopia I just described. Advocacy about autism by autistics is still necessary, even after Ari Ne’eman so elegantly started modern advocacy after so many decades of parents and researchers having the only voice in the autism debate.
We are still far from the utopia that autistics themselves are seen as the only experts on their brain, but we are getting there. I believe that a world like this is possible and that claims about vaccines and autism and other autism myths will be seen in a few decades as only that, myths.
The same with the cure culture and ABA, which ones was also used for the gay community, will be seen as the nonsense that it is. I believe in a world where autism is accepted for what it is: a diversity in the neurons that make up the brain, that make up the person.
I want to start this year with this hopeful message that I still believe in change for all autistics everywhere, and I will keep advocating for it.
It is now 80 years since autism was first diagnosed and it is now our turn to speak.