Just a quick housekeeping note. This blog is not about autism. Yes, I touch on autism a lot because of how anti-vaccine and anti-science types want to associate everything and anything with autism without a shred of real evidence. Yes, I advocate for “Autistic People” or “people with autism” more and more now, but that’s only as part of my overall involvement in public health.
A commenter by the acronym of “N.D.N.S.N.,” whatever that means, commented yesterday:
“If you’re so concerned about how Autistic people are viewed, how about you start by listening to us and NOT calling us “people with autism?” It seems like you’re more concerned with how able people would like to categorize us than how we’d actually like to be called, treated, and spoken to.”
Of course, this person is entitled to their opinion, but they really should have brought forth more facts than just their opinions in calling me out like that. How have I not listened? How have I shown more concern with “how able people would like to categorize” you? Some examples beyond me writing “people with autism” instead of “Autistic people” would be nice, please.
I read this article last night from the Austistic Self Advocacy Network, and I can kind of understand where you’re coming from on the use of terminology. However, I’m a scientist, and I see autism as a condition more so than a personality trait or an ethnic/social classification. This whole business of making autism a trait of who you are is foreign to me, and you’re going to have to explain it better (and without being an asshat). It reminds me of people who are born deaf and refuse to get cochlear implants because, somehow, it would take away from who they really are.
Of course, I’m writing about this without being autistic, or deaf, or anything like that, so the possibility that I’m not seeing things in a certain light is very much there, and I’m very much open to it if someone cares to explain it to me without pedantry like this:
“If you want to write about Autistic people, you need to be consistent in treating us as equals, not just attack some things harmful to us and then turn around and support narratives that disempower us.”
See, that’s just calling me a bigot, and I am very proud and secure in saying that I am anything but a bigot. I mean, support narratives that disempower you? What. The. [Expletive]? Of course, this was one commenter on one post. But it has been my experience that where there is one who comments there are a dozen who don’t.
That said, this blog is not about autism… For that matter, neither is “Age of Autism,” really. But I hold myself at a higher standard than that piece of crap writing and constant whining. And, get this, I stick to the evidence and will correct myself when properly confronted with counter evidence. Funny how that works, right?