As always, these are simply my thoughts only…
I am so frequently astonished at just how much ignorance there is in the autism world. I find myself questioning, over and over again – why, why, why? Surely – surely – it’s not that complicated? There isn’t that much that one can say that is irrefutable when it comes to ‘statements’ about autistic children and/or adults, but equally clearly (I think) it’s not too difficult to understand how much is so wrong in our current society, so I feel I have the ‘right to write’:
Why are autistic children told that their future will be bleak…when there is absolutely no way on earth that anyone has any clear idea of what the future holds? Shame on any professional who professes to have a crystal ball and pretends that they can see the future.
Why are autistic people branded as having no sense of humour…when the opposite is so clearly the case for so many people?
Why are autistic children deemed inferior simply because they find communicating verbally problematic…when in many cases if the rest of the world took the trouble to learn their ‘language’ then communication could be as effective as talking?
Why is anyone seeking to ‘prevent’ or ‘cure’ (eradicate?) an entire, rich, resourceful, enlightening population without whom who knows what state the world would be in?
Why is honesty seen as something that should be divided up and only given out in segments, while the rest of the time lying is somehow ok? We tell our children – over and over – tell the truth, honesty is a virtue – and when they speak their honest minds they are told “you’re being inappropriate”…”you’re rude”…”you’re too honest”…
Why are so many autistic adults denied an identification of their very self – a diagnosis of autism – when it can be such a meaningful and life-changing experience?
Why is glorious solitude forcibly disrupted for the child for whom others have decided that ‘peer relationships’ are somehow more important than low levels of anxiety?
Why is there an expectation and sense that ‘fitting in’ is a desired and positive state of being, while acceptance of difference remains a pipe dream for so many, leading to debilitating and crushing mental health problems that could be avoided?
Why are autistic children and adults told – “no, you can’t be autistic, there’s nothing wrong with you” – as if there was something inherently ‘wrong’ with being autistic?
Why is inclusion more about physical integration and school attendance rather than acceptance and flexibility to meet different needs?
Why are crucial employment opportunities denied to so many autistic adults as a result of the extreme disadvantage individuals are at because of typical traditional recruitment, job descriptions, and ways of managing employees?
Why are parents sent on generic parenting programs as a means to reducing difficulties their autistic children are facing?
Why is there such a lack of understanding that many problems faced by autistic people are not because of their being autistic, but because of others’ lack of understanding?
Why do research funders habitually ignore or not engage with the autistic population when identifying what research needs to be undertaken?
Why are parents forced to spend considerable time and effort in fighting for their children’s rights when all they want to do is spend time supporting their children?
Why are there so few roles that demand high levels of autism understanding when it is clearly so important to the autism community?
Why are children sometimes forced to behave in ways that are actually painful to them – physically, mentally, and/or emotionally – just so they behave in ways that are common to their non-autistic peers?
Why is there an ongoing drive towards ‘autism awareness’ – as opposed to genuine understanding?
Why are there so few autistic individuals involved in all the strategies, training, policy development, legislation, and academic awards that relate to autism?
Why is the constant message to autistic individuals and their parents still so often rooted in disabling negative terms such as impairment and disorder?
I don’t think I am a particularly bright person. I think these questions are pretty simple. So – why – why! – are they still needing to be posed?