(A note unrelated to today’s post: Just thought I would let you all know that I am perfectly fine with being called Rose in your comments directed at me vs being called The Caffeinated Autistic. I know the latter is a mouthful and annoying to type out every time.)
Why does it matter that the rhetoric around autism change? Why should we focus on getting rid of preconceived (limited) notions of what it’s like to be autistic? Because what we can and cannot do is determined (mostly by neurotypical individuals) the moment they know we are autistic. Because of incidents like this. Because our interests are “special” and “obsessive” whereas NT fans of similar things are allowed to express intense excitement too, without being redirected and forced to do things that don’t interest them. Because autism isn’t really fully understood. Because calling us burdens is dehumanizing. Because saying you want to cure autism says to us that we don’t matter. When have we ever been asked what we want? Yes, even the nonverbal among us can tell you that. Surprise, surprise – many, if not most of us don’t want a cure (as the word is generally used; mitigation of symptoms that bother US and not just that bother our NT parents and teachers isn’t a cure). So this is why I do what I do. This is why I educate. And I apologize for not addressing comments as quickly as I would like. My new job is kicking my rear energy-wise. That’s also another thing I will write about – the undemployment and unemployment of autistic people (or why I have an English degree but my autism-related ways of thinking are seen as deficits and why I’m currently a fast food worker wearing a headset).