TW: MURDER OF DISABLED INDIVIDUALS BY THEIR CARETAKERS, TALK OF THE TRAGEDY MODEL OF DISABILITY, AND GENERAL FEARMONGERING ABOUT AUTISM.
Today is an important day. It’s a day of remembrance for disabled people, many Autistic, who were killed by the people who said they loved them. This is a difficult day, because these are our metaphorical siblings. They are very much like us, and many of having come from abusive situations, we realize how fragile life is, and how this could quite literally have been one of us.
People are continually fed the tragedy model of disability, where “experts” proclaim a person’s future by what they can and cannot do at age three. Organizations devote themselves to a cure. What they are all really saying is “you aren’t worthy of existing as you are. You make me uncomfortable and I would rather you didn’t exist.”
Basically, stop that. Stop thinking that autism, or any disability, is a tragedy and a person must do x, y and z to “fix” their loved one. Stop contributing to the internalized ableism when you tell your loved one (many times, by your actions) that they have to *this* or *that* to be “normal”, to be acceptible.
Autism Speaks is a big contributor to the “autism is a tragedy” rhetoric. Between “I am autism”, “Autism every day” and countless PSAs about the prevlance of autism, the rates of divorce in a family that has an autistic child, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that they want a cure.
So I find it just a little ironic that today, Autism Speaks posted something about the upcoming change in the Google searches regarding “autistic people should”. They posted an article on their Facebook page and Twitter, giving no credit to those involved, and very much behaving as though they were responsible for the change. Once again, they ignored Autistic people, and they called us “people with autism” yet again in reference to the article.
Autism Speaks, shut up and give credit to those who deserve it, namely Alyssa of Yes, That Too.
Tomorrow is a new day.
Tomorrow we talk about what Autistic people are.
But today, I mourn for the dead, my Autistic siblings, and I cry in anger at those who contribute to the idea that I don’t deserve to exist.