I realize the term “person with Autism” is supposed to be a respectful way to describe people like me, but the truth is that phrase implies that Autism is something bad.
There is nothing wrong with me. You may find me socially unacceptable from time to time or notice that my way of thinking is different from your own.
Different does not equal broken. In fact, I wouldn’t ever choose to stop being an Aspie, even if I could.
Despite what psychologists and medical professionals say about Autism, many Aspergians do not feel as if our unique way of thinking should be classified as a disorder.
Parents with newly diagnosed or severely Autistic children often wonder if their child’s “condition” is due to something they did wrong. Many people, myself included, believe that Autism is genetic. Looking around at my family only strengthens my belief that AS runs in families of exceptionally bright people.
In fact it has been said that “a touchof Autism is necessary in order to succeed in fields such as computer science and engineering”. A popular article, Autism The Geek Syndrome, suggested that most of the brilliant minds in Silicon Valley could be on the spectrum.
I truly believe that Neurodiversity is a necessary part of human evolution and Aspies habe been around throughout our existence. Great minds, such as Einstein, Mozart, and Tesla are now though to have been on the spectrum.
Autism seems to be tied to giftedness. Many of the greatest thinkers and world changers likely land somewhere on the spectrum. Wiping out Autism could very well be the end of progressive society as we know it.
Society has a bad habit of only wanting to focus on the negatives. Can you remember the last time you saw a happy story on the news? How often do your favorite shows get interrupted in order to bring you information about something positive?
Google-ing Autism brings up pages and pages of results. It takes considerable work to find information about the best parts of Autism. Our gifts are hidden online and in the media, buried beneath all the problems and drama.
You easily find stories about the severely affected child, and the nonverbal adults desperately in need of lifelong care. The parents of these children are crying for help and their stories fill the headlines, but these extreme cases are in the minority.
Nobody wants to hear about the “high functioning” adults who can pass (with exhausting effort) in society. Parents dealing with the hardships associated with having a child who has been labeled “low functioning” something feel as if Aspies like me are somehow hurting their case by saying that Autism is not something that needs to be cured.
Every time I stumble across articles talking about finding a cure for Autism or isolating the “Autism gene” my frustration and worry rises. Don’t these people realize they are talkinggenocide and Eugenics.
Aspies are just like any other minority. People would be outraged if these same articles replaced the world “Autism” with “Hispanic” or “Anglo”. I am reminded of concentration camp stories of Nazzi Germany and the quest to create the perfect race.
Stop trying to cure me. Stop trying to prevent others like me from being born. There is nothing wrong with me or my genes. Just support me, and help us succeed in this world. We deserve to live just as much as everyone else.
This is why I am NOT a person with Autism. I am Autistic and proud of it, even if you can’t understand that.
Please be respectful, and understand if I am irritated when non-Aspies try to govern what is best for us. Many of us are perfectly capital of advocating for ourselves.
We do not need or want a cure.