Saturday, February 23, 2013

Musings of an Aspie: Autistic people should QUESTION EVERYTHING.

This was originally posted at Musings of an Aspie.

This post is part of today’s “Autistic People Should” flash blog where Autistic bloggers are writing about positive things that Autistic people should do. Why? Because if you type “Autistic people should” into either Google or Bing’s search engine query box, the autocomplete results–the most popular searches starting with those words–are disturbing and upsetting, especially if you’re Autistic or love someone who is.
Please be forewarned that I’ve posted a screenshot of the text from Google’s autocomplete at the end of this post.


When we’re given an autism spectrum diagnosis, we’ve also given a model of what it means to be autistic.
Question the model.
Start here:
A wordmap of Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnostic criteria.  The larger the word, the more frequently it appears in the diagnostic definition.
What does your word cloud for autism look like?
Question the assumptions.
Is there a right way to play?
To learn?
To think?
To love?
To communicate?
Question the research.
Who says?
How do they know?
Who paid for it?
Now what?
Question the stereotypes.
Nonverbal headbanger?
Idiot savant?
Inspirational angel?
Boy genius?
Lovable eccentric?
Unloveable recluse?
High-functioning aspie?
Dangerous loner?
Question the experts.
How do they know?
Are they sure?
What if they’re wrong?
Question the language.
Disorder, deficit, disability, difference?
Cured, recovered, coping, adapting, passing?
Label, slur, identity?
Person with autism, autistic, Autistic, aspie, autie?
Locked in, trapped, uncommunicative, nonverbal, nonspeaking, unvoiced?
Question the hype.
Burden to society?
Says who?
Question the fundamental fabric of humanity.
What is empathy?
What is love?
What is communication?
Question this:
This textbook author says that Autistic people don’t recognize that other people have minds.
and this:
This Uk newspaper devoted an entire article to an autism expert who wants us to believe that autism is an “exaggeration of male habits.”
and this:
This popular autism information website wants you to believe that Autistic children play the wrong way because they lack imagination and creativity.
and this:
Autistic people don’t get married or have children? That’s what these experts at Yale and UC-San Francisco want you to think.
Question everything.
Question what you read, what you hear, what you see, what you are told.
Question what you think.
Most of all . . .
Question the hate.
If you type “Autistic people should” into a Google search box, these are the results that Google suggests based the most popular recent searches.

1 comment:

  1. None of the rest of this seems like anything special, as disability discourse goes, but one thing was truly surprising: that the professionals quoted in that image have heard of only one short-lived marriage where one or more spouses had Asperger's syndrome. I'm thinking now of my autistic friend whose first child (with xyr committed partner who is technically not a spouse) was just born. Xe's as absurdly proud as anyone else (showing me pictures and talking about xyr baby's milestones). I'm sure, also, that xe doesn't have Asperger's, since xe received xyr diagnosis as a child shortly before the DSM-IV introduced that subtype.

    This is hardly an isolated incident, either. I know or know of a small handful of autistic people with spouses, children or both. It's funny that I know more about the prognosis of autism spectrum disorders than do the experts, and by "funny," I mean I'm so sorry your community has to deal with that.