“I hate autism.” To the neurotypical community it seems to be a harmless statement. I hear and see parents say this often. It shakes me to the core. To an autistic and a parent of autistics, its very offensive. I have several reasons for this statement.
The belief that I need to change to benefit Society. When I hear “I hate autism,” I hear “I hate autistics.” Autism is a huge part of my personality and my children’s being. We would not be ourselves if we were not autistic. It is thought that our greatest minds were autistic. Without the autistic mind, great advances would not have happened. We are fine just the way we are. Elon Musk is one fine example. The belief that we need to change is what inspired ABA to begin with. ABA aims to change the child to appear not autistic.
When we hear “I hate autism,” we hear that typicals hate us. We are just trying to live our lives the best we can. We do not need to hear the tragedy narrative when we are just trying to live our lives. We want to do the same things everyone else wants to do. That’s it.
The belief that I should want to be cured. Most autistics do not want to be cured. Sure, we have our struggles, but who doesn’t? We are a results of a variation in the human brain. If everyone had the same neurological variation, this world would be boring. Everyone would be the same. There would be no advancement or progress as a society. Take Greta Thunberg as an example. She is a young autistic girl who is inspiring the change of the entire globe.
The belief that I should look into harmful “cures.” I have been told I should at least try MMS, ketogenic diet or chelation. I am on the ketogenic diet to treat polycycstic ovarian syndrome. It is proven for PCOS but not autism. Children should not be deprived carbohydrates. These are unproven treatments for autism. These “treatments” are not approved for autism. They have even lead to death. Is it really worth risking my life or my children’s life to be “Normal”? The answer is no.
The truth is the stigma around autism is what makes the parents hate it. There is a tragedy narrative, perpetuated by Autism Speaks, around autistic people and we are not suffering from our condition. They are given the notion that we can be separated from our autism. that simply is not the case. We suffer from abelist people we come into contact each day. The autistic community just wants to be accepted and accommodated when needed.