Listen to Autistics

Autistic adults might say things you disagree with but that doesn’t make us opponents. Folks are supposed to try to listen and unlearn the things we’re saying have harmed us, so that more children don’t go through what we did. So that all of our children get to grow up in a world we could only dream of when we were Autistic kids.

Parents you know your children personally, all of their amazing quirks, their personalities, their likes and dislikes. Autistics know their neurology. We can help explain the *whys* of what’s going on that children might not be able to, because we were a lot like those kids before we grew up (just like you neurotypical adults were a lot like neurotypical kids before you grew up).

If we work together we might just be able to change the world for everyone. But in order for that to happen Autistics need to be heard no matter how we’re communicating our thoughts and feelings. Regardless of perceived tone.

We’re the ones being secluded. We’re the ones being restrained. We’re the ones losing our rights. We’re the ones losing our lives. As a community, as a People, Autistics are under attack.

The medical model of disability and the tragedy narrative that’s been spun around and written about Autistics for decades have the world convinced that our lives aren’t worth living. That our births are a “worst case scenario.” Our deaths a mercy.

An entire organization has been built on the assumption that we can’t speak for ourselves. Yet when they speak “for” us they tell the world we’re awful. Burdensome. Children “stolen by” autism. An epidemic to be eradicated.

Do you really think we’d say these things about ourselves? How is this is “advocacy”??

When we speak up for ourselves, no matter how, we’re silenced. Harassed. Accused of lying. When we speak up for our community as a whole, same thing.

People say they want to hear from us. Parents, all the time, “I just want to hear my child say something!” Yet those Autistics who do speak are told they’re “not Autistic enough” and those who use AAC are either mostly ignored or accused of faking, or that their facilitator or aide is behind the words and only manipulating things. ANYTHING to try to invalidate what we have to say.

Which really makes it seem like folks are only saying they want to hear from us as part of that ridiculous tragedy narrative. If we perpetuate that myth and tell everyone we want a cure, we get a platform with the NTs. They’ll listen.

But they don’t want to hear from everyone, because a lot of folks refuse to fall in line and have been steadily smashing stereotypes all along the way. And if they listened, they’d have to admit they’ve been lying about us for all these years. They’d have to admit they were wrong, and they’d owe us as a community an apology or two(million), and I’m not so sure they’re ever going to be ready for any accountability.

Eventually we’ll make the necessary changes on our own, but our progress would be much faster if people would stop fighting us and help.


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