I have mixed feelings on “autism acceptance” in general, but I do feel pretty strongly that the “it’s not a disability, just a difference!” thing is bullshit. And I have trouble understanding how anyone who actually has struggled with an autism-spectrum disorder and the difficulties it gives you - including with some very basic components of “being a functioning adult”, which have little to do with our society being “ableist” - can subscribe to that.
So I wish I could say this is only something I see among “self-diagnosed” fakers on Tumblr. But I know there are a lot of actually autistic people who agree with this view, from the time I’ve spent on other social-justice blogs.
And it just generally frustrates me how fucking polarized the whole discussion is. That either you get people like that, or you get the fearmongering Autism Speaks nutters who rant and rave about the “autism epidemic” and anti-vaccine bullshit, and act like verbal autistic people don’t have a right to complain about anything. I’d really like to find some blogger (ideally one who actually has an ASD) who shares my misgivings with autism-acceptance who doesn’t then go to the complete opposite end of the spectrum and start buying into hateful conspiracy garbage.
Most of the autism acceptance people I know do acknowledge it as a disability, though (or that parts of it are or can be a disability, anyway, since there’s neutral and potentially positive traits tied to autism so I understand if people want to talk about the general condition as a “difference” so long as they’re not denying that the condition does involve disability)? The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, the big autism acceptance group out there, consistently uses the language of disability and disability rights.
stop fucking equating autism with mras and bronies
there are autistic women and non binary people who are hurt by these people, and when you throw us under the bus all it means is that we are shunned and attacked by every fucking side and it’s disgusting
being disabled shouldn’t mean fearing for my life but here I am fearing for it because of this
and I can’t boycott Google because Google controls almost everything pertaining to electronics
I don’t want this project to happen
I do not want a company that favors eugenics and uses…
Skip to the last third of the show for the interview. Ron Suskind sits down to talk about his book, and controversial “Everything Is Therapy” method of connecting to his son through Disney lines.
As soon as he sits down, he starts spitting out “crazy” and “insane” bombs to Jon.
Later on, Jon and him discuss how his son is “locked in a prison” and how they’re trying to get him out. How they’re sure “He’s not gone! He’s still in there! We’re trying to pull him out of there!”
Jon, I respect you as a comedian and political commentator, but your education when it comes to autism is horribly lacking. You use ableist slurs on your show all the time, and you fall right into Autism Speaks’ Fear and Helplessness rhetoric.
This is not cool.
I am also critical of the huge push that this book is getting. The idea of autistic children connecting social through media is beyond obvious. LITERALLY EVERYONE DOES THIS. IT’S WHY WE LOVE MOVIES.
It’s why fangirls write pages and pages and pages of meta-analysis on the most frivolous of popcorn-munching blow-‘em-up superhero movies.
BECAUSE WE AS A SOCIETY, AS HUMAN BEINGS, CONNECT SOCIALLY THROUGH MEDIA. WE CONNECT TO STORIES THAT RESONATE THROUGH US. THAT’S THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF STORYTELLING, CONGRATS YOU JUST PASSED GRADE 9 ENGLISH LIT.
But no, surely this situation must somehow be special because ~~mysterious unknowable puzzling mystery autism~~ Suddenly it’s FANTASTIC BREAKTHROUGH! And WOW! And OH MY GOD THE ~SPECIAL~ KID LEARNED SOMETHING! WE’VE DONE OUR JOB HERE!
Him connecting to the characters of Disney doesn’t make him especially autistic, it makes him human. Do not act like this is some magical over-arching miracle therapy that will work on all autistic children, or that you are super-duper connected parents for figuriing out the already obvious.
If you had had the opportunity to connect with other autistic people, even other non-verbal folks through blogs, they probably would have told you a giant “Well, duh! Obvious!”
But then you wouldn’t have been able to write a book about it, and make it into a national campaign like you’ve had some sort of miracle breakthrough with autism.
The absolute selfishness and cluelessness that non-autistic parents have when it comes to discovering the needs and talents of their own children astounds me on a daily basis.
And you’re going to be making an assload of money from it.
You are exactly why this blog exists.
(The link up top is Canadian, if you are American or international, try these links)
On the positive side I give Jon points for acknowledging we shouldn’t be trying to “cure” autism. That’s pretty big progress.
EDIT: After tracking down the “source” of this, I can confirm that I have never donated to Autism Speaks. There is a doctor named John Green who works for Autism Speaks. I am not that doctor. I am not any kind of doctor. I am also not the John Green who studies Sasquatchery or the John Green who is a realtor in Mississippi. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, and check your sources.
I have gotten a lot of questions about this, but I don’t think I’ve ever donated to Autism Speaks. (I just looked through ten years of tax returns, and there’s no record of it.) I’m not sure how this rumor got started? (It’s possible that I did and just don’t have a record of it.) If anyone has a source for this, let me know, and I’ll try to get a definitive answer, but yeah, I don’t think I have.
(I have donated to a local organization in Indianapolis that works with people with autism, but they are not affiliated with Autism Speaks.)
When feminists blame male entitlement for Elliot Rodger’s murderous rampage, the worst that can happen to me is that women who don’t know me will stay away from me (which they have every right to do), and that women will assume that I’m dangerous if I act like an entitled Nice Guy (which they have every right to do, and which I could easily avoid by not acting like an entitled Nice Guy).
When people blame autism, the worst that can happen to me is that people will assume that I’m a ticking time bomb and that anything that mildly upsets me will send me into a violent rage.
That’s why I find it completely ridiculous when MRAs complain about feminists “hating men”. If you blame mental illness for the murders instead of blaming male entitlement, you hate me a lot more than any feminist does.
AUTISM IS NOT THE REASON SHOOTINGS HAPPEN
AUTISM IS NOT THE TRIGGER FOR A MISOGYNIST TO KILL PEOPLE
AUTISTIC PEOPLE ARE NOT A DANGER TO SOCIETY BECAUSE OF BEING AUTISTIC
IF YOU CAN’T SEE THAT THE REASON THIS MAN KILLED IS MISOGYNY AND CONDITIONING AND HATRED FOR WOMEN, YOU ARE A HUGE PART OF THE PROBLEM AND NEED TO SORT OUT YOUR PRIORITIES
In case anyone’s wondering, I’ve heard of ASAN (Autism Self-Advocacy Network) as an alternative, if raising awareness/donatng to charities is your thing.
Ehhh, ASAN is all about the “autism is an identity, not a medical condition” thing and they discourage any therapeutic intervention for autistic kids and are basically extremely radical but in the opposite direction from Autism Speaks. They’re the kind of people who love to call people like me sellouts and “neurotypical identifying” for believing that yes, this is actually a disability, not a fun dress-up accessory.
I’m still looking for a middle-of-the-road alternative to both organizations.
This is a major mischaracterization of ASAN. They don’t discourage therapeutic intervention; their official website states “Health care disparities need to be remedied and beneficial therapies made more widely available; however, the use of scientifically unproven treatments and those that focus on normalization rather than teaching useful skills should be discouraged.” (http://autisticadvocacy.org/policy-advocacy/position-statements/)
The initial post also has some inaccuracies; Autism Speaks never promoted bleach enemas and in recent years they’ve spoken out in favor of vaccines. Autism Speaks is bad, but they’re not responsible for every awful piece of curebie BS; they’re just one large part of a general culture.
Fun April Fool’s Day Prank: create an organization dedicated to curing something that isn’t a disease, and convince millions of people to donate to it, effectively silencing the demographic you claim to be helping.
this is illegal.
I have some bad news for you, friend.