Taking things from the top I want to state this first and foremost: having an ASD does not make you the authority on how ASDs work. Making yourself sound like one in the very same post that you decry other auties for doing that (or doing what you perceive to be that) is utterly ridiculous, and you should seriously read through your posts before publishing.
I don’t think I claimed to be an authority on anything. Maybe you should read through my post again. Other auties? I’m not ‘another autie’. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and while it’s considered as a form of Autism, I’m trying to have enough gumption here to highlight that LFA and AS maybe within the same spectrum, but the effects can be radically different.
Nobody is trying to say that all autistics have exactly the same needs and difficulties. Obviously, we’re all different. There are oftentimes huge differences between people with the same diagnostic label. But this issue is not unique to autism; there are many other disabilities for which there is a wide variety of needs. You’re free to refer to yourself however you like, but a lot of us dislike the language of hierarchy that is so prominent in the autism world. And as you probably know, soon all autism diagnoses will be subsumed under a general autism category diagnostically.
Yeah, great for you that you have the economic privilege to live in a place, where you had access to a pro who was able to diagnose you. Great for you also that you live in a place, where pros are informed enough to be willing to diagnose you. Not everyone have that luxury, and putting your professionally diagnosed self’s opinions above those who have no such luxuries is a dick move. Really.
Where’s your point? Yes, of course I’m privileged to have had the access and funding to have a formal diagnoses. While there are probably many people who do have AS who haven’t been diagnosed, it’s perfectly reasonable that a significant number do not have it. Which is, since you’re so concerned with fairness, can be an unfair reflection upon people who do have it.
There probably are some people who’ve self-diagnosed incorrectly…but so what? Official diagnoses aren’t always correct, either. I believe, from actually talking to people who are/were self-diagnosed, that the vast majority of them did not come to the decision lightly, but rather identified after a ton of research and self-examination. There’s no need to be snotty about having an official diagnosis, and it does not necessarily mean that someone with an official diagnosis is more impaired than someone without. Just means that a confluence of circumstances (year of birth, class, region, other factors) contributed to one person getting, or not getting, a diagnosis.
Again, I see you setting up a hierarchy among autistic people that’s problematic. There’s no need for it.
Bigotry against autistics is the problem, not people who self-diagnose after a lifetime of experiencing difficulties.
That’s a great strawman you got there. If you’d bothered to educate yourself, you’d have found that most of the people advocating neurodiversity are adamantly rejecting the functioning labels.
What a great idea. Yes, scrap the labels which serve as a useful way to discern the abilities of one person from the other for practical purposes. That’s a really diverse concept.
How on earth are functioning labels the only way to discern the differences of abilities between people? That’s absurd. We seem to manage to do it okay for non-disabled people without “functioning” labels!
Hopefully, eliminating functioning labels will allow us to look at people as individuals. Saying that someone is “high” or “low” functioning doesn’t really tell us much about a person. Saying that they’re good at x, y, and z, but need extra help with a, b, and c is a much more accurate, and less dehumanizing, way of describing a person.
You’d also have found that most neurodiversity people want the same rights to be themselves as neurotypical people have. You seem to equate “having the same rights” with “getting the exact same things”.
Nobody had the right to be themselves. Everyone makes compromises on how they conduct themselves depending on the situation. For example, most people do not present themselves in the same way and they would at work and they would at a music concert. You seem to think that non-Autistic people have divine right to do whatever they want to do.
I’m really not sure where you’re getting this from Jem’s post.
We don’t argue for a separate set of rights, we argue for the right to be odd and to not be forced into a performance of normalcy that is more damaging than anything else. A disctinction you seem to have a conspicuous amount of trouble making, considering you’re placing yourself as judge over these activists you so seem to despise.
Normal is just another way to describe the average, abnormal to describe something that deviates for the average. But you social justice types, paranoid as ever, seem to have this idea that when others describe something is abnormal, they’re implying that it’s less worthy or inferior.
Because many of us have had experiences in which we have been described as “abnormal” in which it’s clearly been negative and insulting. We’re not just making this up. There is a long history of people who are labeled as “abnormal” receiving subpar treatment, and there is a lot of that going on today. Abnormality is more than a statistical concept. It is a social category that oftentimes brings stigma and dehumanization.
If anyone comes close to arguing that we’re equally abled, it’s far more likely that it was an argument about how society has prioritized and prized neurotypical abilities to a point where people with differing abilities cannot be equal.
Maybe because the the majority don’t have ASDs. Catering to the majority is only common sense, so a privileged social position is only a natural outcome. Add to that the fact that society’s understanding of Autism is in it’s infancy, and it should be pretty obvious why we’ve yet to perfect a system of inclusion based on differing abilities or mindsets.
Maybe we haven’t yet perfected the system of inclusion, but I see no reason not to try to make strides. “Catering to the majority” is not the way to build a more inclusive and just society, however. “Catering to the majority” in the way you’re using the term sounds suspiciously like upholding the status quo without question.
The point is to get acknowledgement that the hierarchy of ability is arbitrary, and that different abilities does not mean that these different abilities are inherently worth less than the normative abilities - even if they’re not the same. The point wich you seem to have missed grandly.
I don’t think I missed the point there. I never once said that different abilities are any less worthy that average abilities. To the contrary, it’s a good situation to have one party balance out the others deficits. The problem here is that Neurodiversity activists are to busy bashing on NTs, demonizing them, and downplaying or mocking their differing abilities or mindsets to see them as valuable collaborators. Hierarchy is also part of the natural order. Some people are above others in some ways, the same person below is above the other another area.
Okay. Differences in ability are part of the natural order. Hierarchies based on differences in ability, and assumptions that someone is worth more or less due to ability/disability, are noxious and need to be vigorously challenged.
I don’t know which “Neurodiversity activists” you are referring to, but it’s not the ones I see here on Tumblr, or at the real-life neurodiversity and self-advocate events that I attend. I don’t see NTs being demonized, though I do see their privilege being identified, and their bigotry being pointed out when it is evident. Not the same thing at all.
You, dear one, is a massive dick for saying this. It is no way proven that autistic people have no empathy. In fact, I tend to see more empathy from autistic people, then from neurotypical people.
You maybe see empathy from Autistic people, but just because you see it doesn’t make it so. Empathy is the ability to relate to another person’s feelings what seems to be an intuitive level. Really, this is not so much intuition but the ability to read body language, communicate effectively and have the social imagination to put oneself in their position. We can be sympathetic, certainly. But our ability to empathize seems to be more reliant of having first hand knowledge of having a similar experience ourselves.
And I think this definition of empathy is bunk that was gerry-mandered by Simon Baron-Cohen for the purpose of excluding autistic people from it. Elsewhere in language, and even in psychological research, this is not the definition of empathy which is used. I am referring specifically to the part about reading body language and communicating “effectively,” whatever that means, it is.
This is really far too big a subject to effectively cover in a paragraph or two, but I highly recommend reading what autistic people and allies have said on this issue. Rachel at the Journeys with Autism blog recently wrote a multi-part series critiquing Baron-Cohen’s “empathy quotient” test; the first part of that is here. There is also a new website about autism and empathy that has a lot of good stuff.
Moreover, many autistic people can read each other’s body language, or the body language of other neuro-atypical people. Which strongly suggests that many of our social problems come from interacting with people with divergent neurologies, not some inherent lack on our part.
The lack of empathy is a myth propagated by charlatans like Simon Baron-Cohen, who never actually bother to talk to autistic people, and by people who want to shut us up, because they can’t be bothered to listen to us and accept that we often (but not always) communicate in non-standard ways. For you, a fellow autistic person, to throw this at the rest of is shows exactly how little you know about this.
I’m not going to show favoritism with others with ASDs just because they have ASDs. Especially not when I disagree with them. Baron Cohen presents his theories and findings very well in my opinion, and I’m inclined to believe they hold a lot of weight. I’m lost as to how you think he and others are conspiring against anyone or feel offended by his work.
I don’t think Baron-Cohen is “conspiring against us” (and I don’t think Jem thinks this, either). I do, however, think that his ideas about autism are wrong, and that if he bothered to actually listen to autistic people rather than impose his beloved theories on everything we do, he would know that. I strongly disagree that his ideas are well-presented. I actually think they’re nonsense, and I have neuropsychologist friends and acquaintances who agree with me. Baron-Cohen is not the end-all-be-all of autism explanations. Far from it.
Which essentially mean, if you can argue that a person has no empathy, it’s okay to disregard their wishes and you won’t have to treat them as humans. You are, by perpetuating this argument a danger to every one of us. I give you no thanks for this.
Again. The mind boggles. You fail to look outside your own head. Congrats on perpetuating a stereotype that you probably have problems with.
Jem is not “failing to look outside [her] own head,” but rather is working with the knowledge that autistic people’s voices are often silenced—especially on autism discourse, oddly enough—and our supposed lack of empathy is often used as a justification. It’s not perpetuating a stereotype to acknowledge that a stereotype exists and has pernicious effects.
Additionally you fall into the same trap with functioning labels. Asperger’s Syndrome does not mean high-functioning. Autism comes with possibly differences and disabilities in so many aspects that someone with overall high-functoning autism can very well be lower-functioning in one particular aspect than someone else who has overall low-functioning autism, which essentially makes those labels useless.
Once more, you’ve failed to tell me anything I don’t already know. This doesn’t take away from the fact that labels are a useful thing. Maybe they need tweeked, but LFA, HFA and AS are good enough to cover the basics of one persons abilities in comparison to anothers.
“LFA” and “HFA” aren’t actually even diagnoses and never have been. But if you think these terms are adequate to describe a huge range of human beings, you are vastly oversimplifying the complexities of many people’s lives and abilities. Autism affects MANY different areas of ability, and LFA/HFA/AS and associated stereotypes doesn’t even come close to describing that.
You suggesting that nothing we ever find to work for one person can ever be used with any luck for another person. In fact, this way of thinking would utterly ruin every branch of science in the world. It is only when it cames to autistics offering potentially useful input on our own situations and diagnoses that the rest of the world forgets how science and cross-referencing works. The reason for this? Te rest of the world would prefer to remain the authority on us rather than acknowledge that perhaps we know anything at all about ourselves.
You’re hopeless. I don’t know what you read that made you waste your time typing that out, as if I gave you grounds to believe that I disagreed. My point was that you enjoy overestimating, with great arrogance, your ability to get into the heads to extremely low functioning individuals.
And yet non-autistic researchers and parents are somehow entirely capable of getting into the heads of autistic people.
Awww, the poor parens who deal with their son’s distress… how about the poor kid who deals with HIS BEING DISTRESSED.
Yes. Poor them. They probably have empathy, and suffer due to his suffering. This is just an example of your inability to spot the difference between empathy and sympathy, the former being something most of us are lacking in. I didn’t take away from the fact that he’s the one in most distress. I did say ‘his distress’ first and foremost. The parents are secondary, but that doesn’t take away from their difficulties.
And yet, your original post focused entirely on the parents’ suffering—a very common trope in autism. That is what Jem was referring to.
Maybe if some effort was actually put into figuring out what’s triggering the kid to need to such intense stimming and self-injurious behaviour, maybe it’d help. But people so seldom look beyond “we need him to stop”, when in fact they should be looking at “what does he need that would make him no longer need these behaviours as stress relief?”
Yeah, because parents and professionals don’t want to help these kids. They never look at the sources. Ever. Give me a break.
Not what was being said, though obviously none of us can speak for all parents and professionals. Yes, there are many who are doing things right, but there are also those who just see “ELIMINATE BAD BEHAVIOR” (even when the “bad behavior” isn’t actually harmful) and don’t look for underlying causes.
People insist that if we can read an write and talk, we must be okay, and they completely ignore the fact that Aspies and auties who can read and write and talk are continuously abused and belittled and patronised for not being able to do millions of other things.
Is your unrelated rant over yet?
It’s not unrelated, as your original post wrote off people with AS diagnoses as not disabled enough for our opinions to count.
They insist that we’re smart and can do loads of things (which is sometimes true), but when we can’t do the things THEY want us to do, we’re human failures and faulty and shouldn’t have the right to exist.
Everyone is given expectations. Everyone is pressured to use their abilities according to how others see them. You’re not special. Everyone is faulty. You’re not special.
And that’s wrong, especially because many people with invisible/less-visible disabilities can’t do the things that we’re expected to do based on superficial appearances. A person with a heart condition may look like they can run a mile, but that isn’t necessarily so.
That is why disability rights are needed.
Yeah, that’s what the neurotypicals are doing. You know what they’re NOT doing? Listening to us. Listening to what we say we need and insisting they know what we need better than we do ourselves. They are actively looking for ways to make sure that no more people like us are born - that doesn’t exactly make us feel welcome. They’re working on ‘therapies’ to ‘help’ us appear more neurotypical, so the other neurotypicals aren’t bothered by our visible differences.
No, they’re working on ways so you can better integrate yourself into mainstream society. That’s considerably more practical than attempting to enforce tolerance upon others when your difficulties impact not just upon you, but everyone else. Whether you like it or not, you can’t educate everyone about Autism. You can’t force people who are incapable to tolerance to be tolerant. This was my point about some people being dicks. Some people won’t be changed. Thankfully, most people are open to the suggestion, but they don’t enjoy having it shoved down their throats.
So it’s not important for people to actually listen to us in “helping” us? Wow.
Being “better integrated into society” requires some give on society’s part, too, you know. And anyway currently it is not possible to turn an autistic person into a non-autistic person. We’re here, and we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. To me, it is obviously better for everyone if society became more accepting of neuro-atypicalities (not limited to autism).
I have received multiple offers of help for getting rid of my visible stims. Have I received offers of help to relieve the stress from sensory stimuli that causes my need to stim?
Maybe you need to start standing on your own two feet and establishing your own coping mechanisms instead of shifting the responsibility. After-all, I thought you knew yourself more than anyone ?You’ve been offered suggestions to lessen your stiming since it’s deemed socially unacceptable, and that sure does suck. But meanwhile, why should anyone offer you advice when you’re so hostile to the idea compromise?
I think you missed Jem’s point. She was saying that in her experiences, people are more concerned with making her appear normal than in helping to alleviate her discomfort. Which is unfortunately all too typical of how people try to “help” autistic people.
And it’s a bit rich of you to start lecturing her about the need to take responsibility for herself, etc., when you don’t know much about her and are making all sorts of assumptions left and right.
No. Have I received tools and items to make my daily life easier thus relieving my need to stim? No. Have I in any way been offered a life in a world that will accept that I cannot do everything everyone else can? No. I have been offered a person to help me navigate a world that essentially doesn’t want me. I have been offered advice on how I must absolutely tolerate the office clerk next to my desk listening to very audible (albeit not loud) music while working, whereas I must lessen my own much softer and less audible noises so she isn’t disturbed in her work. THAT is not helping us.
You’re under the impression that people owe you something. They do not. You only deserve as much as you can establish for yourself. That goes for everyone.
That’s a very nice John Birch club ideology, but a lot of us don’t agree, and anyway, it’s not that simple a lot of the time.
That is a unch of neurotypicals trying to help themselves so they don’t have to be faced with and unsettled by too much oddness in one go.
Again, why the hell should they? Especially not when they’re in the majority. Why disturb ten people for the sake of a single persons productivity? I’m unsettled by things too - like parties - so I don’t go to parties. I work this out for myself. Tolerance works both ways.
Okay, choosing not to go to parties on one’s own is completely different from neurotypical people refusing to accept the presence of an autistic person because said person is weird.
And what need do I have for a feelgood book written by a neurotypical person about life and autism, when they usually know jack shit about what it’s actually like being autistic. What need do I have for that?
You don’t, but surely it’s much better than having them write books about it being something that needs to be eradicated. The point here is that you lot are never happy. You’re either going to outraged or offended either way. NTs do something - Neurodiversity is unhappy. NTs do something completely different - Neurodiversity is still unhappy.
Neurodiversity isn’t a monolith, and that’s not true in any case. I’m pretty sure “Neurodiversity” (meaning most people who believe in neurodiversity) was pretty happy, for instance, when Congress passed legislation against restraint and seclusion in schools, or approved the nomination of an autistic person to the National Council on Disability. Yes, we still have some issues. Why the hell wouldn’t we? There are serious problems with how society treats disabled people in general and autistic people in particular. Should we just be happy and completely satisfied with whatever attention we’re given? That’s just so odd to me.
Whichever it is, your words are the kind that harm the rest of us. But I suppose that won’t mean anything to you, since you’ll probably claim to have no empathy and therefore no ability to have a guilty conscience. Of course, that’ll be bullshit, and you’ll still not need an excuse to be a dick - to reference your own words.
I disagree with you on many aspects of this, but it’s not to cause anyone harm. It’s more because I think you’re kind causes quite an amount of harm. The difference between my mode of thinking is that your kind takes an extremely naive and rose-tinted humanistic approach, where as I’m inclinded to try to veiw it more practically. But after-all, social naivety is something common in many people with ASDs.
Wow, way to attribute everything to someone’s neurotype. Good job!
Anyway, I still have yet to see concrete evidence that neurodiversity “harms” people. I’ll be waiting on that.
Thank you. I suck at finding and linking the relevant ressources, so thanks for supplying that as well as your well-argued points.