Trigger Warning: Ableism, Autism Speaks, discussion of autism “cures,” strong language, various hot-button topics
(Note: I am not usually accustomed to doing trigger warnings on my posts, as I usually write spontaneously on topics I feel should be discussed immediately. But for the benefit of our fellows, who may feel that this post is disturbing — personally, it is disturbing to me itself — I thought of doing so.)
I usually have this habit of reading before going to bed. As a kid, I used to read a whole encyclopedia volume. Now, as an adult, and with Lappy by my side, I have my daily dose of online reads. Usually, reading books make me fall asleep, satisfied that I have had learned something for the entire day. I consider this as a routine before I tuck myself into bed every night.
But not on this night. What I read really roused me, and sent me off the rail.
What have I read, you might ask? Well, some articles that appear to me as either conspiracy theories, ableist propaganda, and reiteration that autism is a “disease” that must be cured or eliminated.
As I was about to go to bed, I saw a series on posts on my Google+ news feed coming from the bigoted hate group Autism Speaks, as they put up a face and promote some autistic individual playing Minecraft. Seemed TL;DR to me, and I was like, “Shut the fuck up already!” I just muted the posts instead. I chose not to link those hypocrites, as it would only generate publicity for them (and therefore more opportunities for extortion).
Now, I stumbled upon a series of articles online regarding autism “recovery,” where some parents are lamenting on the premise that some people are calling bullshit on their claim that “recovery” from autism is possible. Of course, a battle between curebies and anti-“cure” netizens ensued from said premise.
Here’s my stand on autism “recovery”: We autistics may change, our behaviors may be modified, but no matter what “cures” we take, we still remain who we are: autistic. And I’ve had enough of having “cures” shoved in our faces: hyperbaric oxygen (which is only used for gangrene and nitrogen narcosis), chelation (which is bullshit, and potentially dangerous), GF/CF diets (I can have a cheese sandwich and yogurt, for Pete’s sake), and “biomeds” (what the fuck are those!?), among others. They may work for some, but fucking hell, don’t market these as if you were snake-oil salesmen.
Speaking of snake oil, I got entangled into a myriad of medical “theories” that purport the cause of autism, all blaming parents. Such “theories” include weight gain, intake of paracetamol (or acetaminophen to you Americans), lupus, genetic factors — I mean, I appreciate the fact that these so-called “medics” attempt to find the cause of autism. But why?
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to be labeled a denialist or something, but I simply don’t understand the point of autism research. What, to get rid of autism from the face of this earth? To exploit the fears of parents of autistics and extort more money from them? To get rid of autistics for good? What the fuck is their point?
Enough has been said about autism “cures” and ableist propaganda.
Now, we go to the brighter side of autistics and how awesome they are. Amid the nonsense I have encountered tonight, I stumbled upon a story of Owen, a 24-year-old autistic guy who just proposed marriage to his lover Mandy. His story really moved me a lot, and I was like, “Aww… Me, too. Hope I could propose to someone I love (shudders).”
After all, despite the sea of negativity, there will always be a stream of good news that will put a smile on our faces. Especially awesome news like this. To know more about Owen’s life, go to www.forterietimes.ca.
Anyway, my reading time’s done, and thanks to Owen and his awesomeness, I can finally sleep in peace.
- No Misery: This Is Autism, Suzanne Wright (blogher.com)
- This Is Autism (speakingon.wordpress.com)
- This is Autism in the Philippines (autisticbigbro.wordpress.com)
- Why I Am Against Autism Speaks, and Why It Matters (autisticbigbro.wordpress.com)