To parents who still think it’s okay to say “I hate autism,”
First read this, if you haven’t: http://mamabegood.blogspot.com/2012/03/you-cant-hate-autism-and-accept-it.html
Okay, now knowing what autistic adults tend to say about how hurtful your statement of hate is to people like us…people like your children…I’m at a loss as to how to understand your continued insistence on using this phraseology.
(Isn’t empathy something that non-autistic people widely claim to have?)
If somebody hates something, some trait, some condition of being, and then they see it in another person, how do you believe they will then treat that person? Why would you think your child will be immune?
How will people treat your child when they see autism in your child, if they hate autism?
How do people treat things they hate? How do you? With patience, compassion, respect, or kindness? How do you expect people to treat expressions of your child’s autism—and by extension, your child—if they hate autism?
You say you don’t see it as part of your child, as part of who he or she is, just something that gets in his way?
How does he see it? What is it to him?
You don’t know because he can’t communicate it? Then how can you presume what he thinks or feels about it? Because of his communication difficulties, your opinion of his life counts more?
What if, to him, it is just how he is?…..And you hate it.
What’s the truest thing about yourself, the truest thing about how you function in the world?
What do you feel if someone says to you, “But that’s not really you. That’s just something that gets in your way?”
Or “But you’re so much more than that?”
Your child might not conceive of his autism as that intrinsic to who he is. Not everyone does; he’s entitled to his own opinion. But a lot of us do. He might. He might not yet. He might never. But he really might someday.
And then, if you’ve been saying for his entire life that you hate it? Then you have been telling him all along that you hate who he is.
Is that really, really a risk worth taking? Just to feel like you have a right to vent your deep dark feelings without regard for who you hurt? Is it really? Do you hate autism that much, that to put your child’s self-worth on the line like that is worth it?
And will you one day be proud to explain to your child that your presumed right to say these things was more important to you than his or her sense of self-worth, acceptance, and safety in the world?
Arundhati Roy (via grrrlstudies)
Anyone know of any female TV aspies?
My favorites too.
Early seasons of Bones, the titular character read as autistic (and obviously, ohmigod so did Zach). But I can’t think of any others off hand =(
Alt-Astrid on Fringe. (Also both universes’ Walter Bishops, to my reading.)
I really similar when you plow this type of meaninglessness wrong your posts. Perhaps could you maintain this?
President Obama talking to the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon. (via juliasegal)
This man. Don’t ever change.
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.
I have to find work for this summer, so I’ve been reaching out for help. I emailed my dad and he gave me some good, specific steps that I can do, but then he said this:
“in an effective job search, email is your enemy because it isn’t effective; you have to be comfortable on the phone and not be afraid or procrastinate picking up the phone and calling people.”
Well fuck. It’s not worth trying to explain to him how hard that is for me, and how inherently fucked up it is, and you want to know why autistic folks have such absurdly high unemployment? There’s one of many reasons right there. He would just say something to the effect of “well that’s how the real world is, so tough, you can’t expect people to bend backwards for you”. He can never acknowledge that it’s wrong.
So I’ll do the best I can, and get blamed & shamed if it doesn’t turn out. Sigh.
In response to the bolded: But autistic people, of course, are expected to bend over backwards for non-autistic people. They’re allowed to complain and complain about how haaaard it is to have to give “special treatment” (i.e. accommodations) to us, but the instant we complain about the inequality of the situation, we’re shut down and told we’re being “unreasonable” or “lazy” (but it’s apparently okay to be too lazy to accommodate disabled people. Apparently).
I’m facing a similar situation in that I need to be looking for work this summer, too, and I’m not looking forward to going up against all the ableist obstacles in my way.
I have major phone problems too, but generally, have not come by job opportunities by making cold calls. I agree that e-mail is not effective for job-seeking, either, but that doesn’t make calling around by phone any better.
My advice: just go there in person. If the kind of place you’re looking to get a job is someplace you can just walk into, like a restaurant or retail store, just go. Be dressed well, have your resume, ask to speak to a manager about whether there are any openings available or whether you might fill out an application/leave your resume. A polite and prepared person standing in front of you is so much more compelling than a random phone call that might be answered by god only knows who and promptly forgotten.
Job postings on Craigslist or boards for other specific professions often ask you to e-mail in a resume rather than calling.
I hate the job search process, and it is unnecessarily unfair to autistic people in so many ways…but I think your dad is wrong about the utter necessity of just picking up the phone and making cold calls. I think he’s speaking from another era. In many areas of employment, that is actually not standard anymore, and if you can present yourself well in writing and in person, you can avoid a great deal of it. And you know what? The kinds of jobs that would require you to function that way by phone, are not the jobs for you anyway.
And also, I HATE the “well that’s how the real world is” line. No, the real world is how people make it. It’s not just inevitable that hiring managers look down on people who ask for reasonable accommodations. We all make the world better or worse for each other, and my experience is that people who say this—“that’s just how the real world is”—just don’t want to take responsibility for their own role in how terrible the world is to people, and their ability to do something about it.
Tonight I made homemade biscuits for the first time. With a rolling pin that was very likely used by my great-grandmother for the same purpose.