As I read a number of autistic bloggers, one thing becomes very clear: there are a lot of people with chips on their shoulders.
At some point, some autistic blogger will write a post about how someone somewhere at sometime did something that was offensive. So they write a post basically ordering people to stop doing whatever it is they are doing that the blogger finds offensive. But they usually don’t stop there. They then question the person’s motives, seeing them as not really caring about the autistic community.
I always find these posts tiring and whiny. Yes, some people do things that are insensitive; but we need to be more selective in dishing our outrage. For example, if you don’t like that someone calls you “a person with autism” instead of “autistic person.” You don’t need to act like this person or persons set fire to your house. Simply say to someone what you prefer. Sometimes people need a gentle correction, not the full force of political correctness.
There are things that do warrant outrage. There is a place to be angry. But not everything has to be treated as a capital offense.
There are times for outrage, but there is also time for educating. Sometimes we need to give a light touch, not a punch to the gut.
As an NT, I get where you’re coming from. At the same time, WE need to freakin L.I.S.T.E.N. when this kind of issue comes up. I’m a member of several autism oriented discussion groups where most of the people are NOT autistic. An autistic person will comment, using the word “autistic”, and the NT will correct them. The problem comes when the autistic person respectfully directs them to the WHY behind the choice, and the NT then ARGUES about what the person should call themselves. I think this is where the outrage comes in – when it happens over and over and over, and people argue with YOU about what you prefer, it’s exasperating. Heck, it exasperates me and I’m not autistic (but I have family who are).
Love this post! You are so right. I think that, many times, it is such a political hot topic (especially right now) that people come out with their guns-a-blazing anytime anyone’s feelings get even just a little bit hurt.
While I have seen this throughout the adult Autist community (or whatever term you prefer 🙂 ), I have REALLY seen it intensified among the ASD parenting community. Holy moly! It can get SO ugly, and for what purpose? What good does tearing other parents down really do? Does it make us feel better? No. Does it help our kids? No. So why is it happening?
I am often quoted as saying, in the middle of this Mommy (or parent) wars, “How on earth can we expect a world that accepts our neuro-diverse children, when we cannot even accept and respect the differences amongst ourselves? How can we be angry when children bully our babies, but then turn around and bully each other?”
You are so right, sometimes people do need to be educated, and gently guided in any general direction. Name-calling and questioning people’s motives and purposes just makes people angry and deepens the divide.
Thanks for this post.
OFF TOPIC: I have a couple of Adult Autists I like to confir with, as my 12 year old has Autism. I would love to frequent your blog for guidance and direction. If you’d like to know more about us, check out our blog, too. I’m always open to insight — and I deeply value and appreciate our Adult Autistic community. 🙂 I consider you my flashlights to help me navigate the world with my Aspie 🙂