Things that need to be left in 2017: Autism edition

Labeling People High Functioning :

It shouldn’t matter what a person’s ability level is. Everyone is worthy of respect and should have the opportunity to reach his potential. Just because someone lower on the spectrum and might have an easier time in a mainstream classroom doesn’t mean that they are more deserving of a proper education.

Well, at least he’s not…

Don’t pretend to compliment my child by insulting other disabled children. I suppose people are trying to find a silver lining to his diagnosis, but it’s really not needed. We love our kid and his autism so we never saw it as a bad thing. Plus it’s bizarre to act as if having a intellectually disabled child is the worst thing in the world. I know a little boy who is sweet, kind, loving, beautiful, talented….and he happens to have Down Syndrome. Anyone would be lucky to have him in their life.

The Assumption They Can’t Talk

Only a small number of people who have ASD are non verbal and a number of those use other ways to communicate like sign language or IPad apps. But even those who don’t could have something to say and are just waiting for someone to find out how .

Dog and Pony Show:

I blame Hollywood for this one because it seems like people with autism are always portrayed as geniuses with weird superpowers. Keep in mind that Rainman was a savant which is extremely rare. There aren’t tons of people on the spectrum counting cards in Vegas. Don’t get me wrong —- the way that they see the world is different and fascinating. However, this becomes a problem if someone expects a freak show and gets upset when they don’t get one.

Neurotypicals Running Autism Charities/Awareness Groups

Groups such as Autism Speaks spend the bulk of their money on salaries, fear mongering awareness campaigns and research on developing “cure”. Only 4% of their budget goes towards family services. The fact that none of their board members are on the spectrum is patronizing as well as baffling. The Autism Self Advocacy Group does a fine job of representing their peers without making autism seem like a curse.