Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Things You Want People To Do To Your Kids

Dedicated to the parents I've come across this week. It's supposed to make you uncomfortable.


Ok, y'all. Let me say this for you, again:

The way you treat Autistic adults, you are condoning people to treat your Autistic kids just like that later.

So, apparently things you want people to do to your children in 10 years or so are as follows:

You want them to hear again and again that only parent perspectives matter.
-That what they have to say doesn't matter because they're too high functioning.
-Or too low functioning.
-Or too "emotional" about issues that effect their every day lives.

You want them to hear that they are a burden
-A disease
-A tsunami
-An emergency
-A threat
-Dangerous
-And you want them to sit there & take it, if not flat out agree.


You want them to hear that they are the worst thing that can happen to a parent
-Life destroying
-Tragic
-Worse than cancer, AIDS, car accidents, lightning strikes
-cause of combat stress

You want them to hear that they have no empathy so they don't matter
-Other not-exactly-accurate stereotypes too
-Because reading your mind is the only meaningful empathy
-Because what is going on in our minds does not matter
-But not agreeing with you is more evidence that we are monsters
-And we must agree that we are monsters
-Otherwise it's more evidence that we have no empathy.

You want people to tell them, time and again that hurting people like them is understandable
-You want people to defend stories of extreme abuse to them
-Even abuse of people they care about
-Or abuse they went through
-Because, you see, being around them is so difficult it drives you to it.


You want them to hear how killing other Autistics is understandable
-"Don't judge" you say
-"Walk in the parents' shoes you say
-All while not even acknowledging that Autistics have shoes
-Much less feelings
-Or ability to see exactly how little our lives are valued.


You want people to treat them as less than human.
-Get a grip, you say, when we have opinions on our lives.
-You're just paranoid.
-You're crazy.
-You don't know what you're talking about.
-Gaslight, gaslight, gaslight.
-But they're Autistic, so they can't interpret their own feelings, you say.


You are giving the world permission, nay, encouragement to physically and psychologically abuse your children. Every time you do that to me, you do it to your child. If you love your child, why are you perpetuating a world in which they will be abused every day just for existing?


Is your sense of self righteous superiority and martyrdom really more important than your child's future?

54 comments:

Alyssa said...

``Autism Moms" don't really think things through, do they?

Heldenautie said...

I think Ms. K made it explicitly clear that, not only do Autism Moms do these things, but have done these things to her within the past week.

Heldenautie said...

Correction: "say these things", not "do these things"

Neurodivergent K said...

They may not "think" them, but they sure as hell DO them.

Lynn said...

So true. From an autistic autism mom. Couldn't resist that one.

Kimberly Hanselman said...

``Autism Moms" don't really think things through, do they?'

Not all of us "Autism Moms" are the same, trust me.

Neurodivergent K said...

*sigh*
If you need to say "we aren't all Like That", there's actually a fairly strong chance you are Like That.

People who are very much not Like That? You can tell because they act on it. Not being Like That isn't just refraining from some actions-it's actively trying to end them.

Christine Mack said...

I get really agitated when I see blanket statements. Absolutes. Scary crap. Do you realize as much as you are concerned about being marginalized you are also creating dissension where there doesn't need to be. How about everyone just try to be good people. How about we agree that some people are just shit bags, yes?

Neurodivergent K said...

No.

Saying "some people are just shitbags" like that gives them an excuse. It also excuses decent people, or people who like to think they're decent, from taking a stand.

The people who think like this are loud and numerous. I don't know how many just sit and watch, but when you have power, & you just sit and allow shitbags in your community to be shit, you-yes YOU, self proclaimed decent folk of the internet-then you, too, are tainted with the shit.

This is dissent that needs to happen. These are the messages I got from one thread by supposedly loving parents who supposedly love their Autistic children. This is what they are condoning people saying to their children. It is unacceptable to treat me the way they do, it will be unacceptable to treat their children the way I am treated, & it's not some silly argument about pizza toppings or pointy vs blunt chopsticks. This is shit that matters in the real world.

The "some people are just shitbags" defense goes exactly nowhere with me.

Lia said...

What good does it do to say "some people are just shitbags"? Yes, you're right. Some people are shitbags. And the rest of us, the decent people in the world have a RESPONSIBILITY and OBLIGATION to point out shitbagginess when it's seen, and encourage others to call shitbags on their shitbagginess every time it happens. Without people standing up and saying "you are being a shitbag and I refuse to take it anymore" people think this kind of shitbag is acceptable, and it is not.

Only shitbags defend shitbags. Decent people decry shitbagginess and refuse to make excuses for it. Which camp do you want to stand in?

anautismdad said...

I will defend my child against any and all abuse. I am trying to develop a charter for autistic rights in my country and believe autists have a right to a voice and a right for that voice to be heard.

I will however pull back from judging. Some people not knowing and perhaps not able to know better, will make decisions for their children based on poor advice from someone who they consider an expert such as a medical practitioner. I cannot blog and advise from the point of assuming I am perfect. I cannot help others if I hold that I am superior to them. I share a path with others - I would like to walk at their side without judging. I will of course sometimes do so, such as in the issue of the woman who starved her adult autist to death. That was callous, sometimes though tragedies occur through depression and desperation. I guess let the person without sin cast the first stone.

Neurodivergent K said...

Did you even read my post?

Or are you saying you "won't judge" people verbally abusing adult autistics? Cuz that's mighty shitty. NOT JUDGING is exactly what allows it to continue.

Lia said...

Yeah, no. I'm sorry, not playing that game either.

I will judge. I will absolutely judge. I'm an autism parent, and I will judge someone who does something shitty that hurts their child. (As I judge any parent who does something shitty that hurts any child.)

I'm an autistic myself. I will judge anyone who thinks they can treat me or my friends or any other autist as any less of a human being by virtue of being "less than them" for being autistic or because they're "too high functioning" to count.

These are not abstract comments pulled out of the ether. This is the stuff that's done to adult autistics that have the audacity to speak out against being sidelined and invalidated every single day.

As K said: we are your children, in the future. How you treat us today will affect how they are treated 10 years from now. Think about it before you speak, and especially think about it before you refuse to "judge" someone abusing adults.

Heldenautie said...

Anautismdad,

Do you hold to the same strand of bland liberal relativism and moral paralysis when dealing with non-disabled children? I suspect that your moral instincts are not so impeded by your thoroughly sophomoric and cerebrally bankrupt philosophical outlook when "real people" are concerned.

Patty O. said...

I agree with you: we need to take a stand. And I appreciate you pointing it out, because sometimes I'm not quite as aware as I should be. I sometimes come away from an interaction with someone (especially when they're commenting on my son's autism) and I feel uncomfortable and uneasy and sometimes pissed, but I cannot always put my finger on why or what I should do about it.

Some things are easy for me to pinpoint, like comparing autism to cancer or assuming an autist has no empathy. Other comments are more subtle--at least for me. I almost always think of what is bothering me AFTER the interaction.

But, reading posts like these really help me suss out what exactly is wrong with how people use language or how we think about autism, etc. and how it is likely to make my son feel if I were to use such language about him. So, I'm working on it with a little help from blogs like yours.

One thing, though. I don't think those previous people were saying that your post is wrong. It's just that heaping all moms into the same group is just as close minded (though not as damaging) as making assumptions about autistic people.

There are actually parents out there who are trying to figure this all out, trying to get rid of stereotypes and biases that they didn't even realize they had. I am pretty convinced we all have biases against race, disability, gender or whatever. It's a matter of paying attention, being honest and brutal enough with yourself to fix it, no matter what. I think it's the parents who have those biases and refuse to examine and dismiss them and replace them with better attitudes and acceptance who are the scary ones, in my opinion. But what do I know?

anautismdad said...

I am fascinated that the blog states personal attacks will go buhbye, but still. If I were to see someone verbally or physically abusing anyone, whether the abused person was an autist or not, whether young or old. I would step in and stop it, which does form I suppose a sort of in situ judgement. Systemic abuse such as aversives I will judge and condemn. But there are situations that occur which go to issues such as balance of mind. Depression for example occurs in a great deal of the parents of autistics. The legal system recognises this. So do I.

anautismdad said...

What are your judgements here?

https://anautismdad.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/dismissing-specialness/

Neurodivergent K said...

If it isn't about you, don't make it about you. If you aren't one of those asshat parents to whom I am referring-I got this entire post from a couple of hours on *one* facebook thread-it isn't about you. Unless it turns out it is about you, in which case carry on being offended.

@anautismdad Frankly, I am done caring about the depression or whatever of parents so long as my very humanity is being denied. I know, I know, it's all my fault my mother gave me multiple concussions I should be grateful she didn't kill me I have to understand autistic kids are stress inducing blah blah blah. My first priority are the kids who are being told this stuff...that anything bad done to us is something we need to suck it up & deal with. Those kids are my past, I am their future, & I want so much more for them than I have.

anautismdad said...

All I am saying is that there are terrible, callous abuses which are planned and are not acceptable by any measure. The act of someome in a clinically depressed state is not acceptable, but understandable. In my opinion, these could often have been avoided by a helping hand reached out to them. Too often they are alienated by an absolutism whcih condemns their every perceived failure.

Neurodivergent K said...

No.

First, this post--DID you read it?--isn't about that. It's about the things, the concrete literal things, that people say to autistic adults every damn day, while supposedly loving their autistic children.

Second, to blame clinical depression or any mental illness for criminal and/or abusive behavior is ableist in the extreme. Most abusers & killers are NOT mentally ill-people w.MIs are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators. MOST abusers and killers are "regular" people, & when they abuse & kill Autistic people they know they get away with it.

And saying "no one would kill autistics if services!", before you go there, is a) extremely far off the topic of this post, I SUGGEST YOU READ IT, and b) putting disabled people in a hostage situation in which the ransom is the services that so called caretakers demand, & if you don't see how that's a problem I just can't help you.

Lia said...

Are you fucking kidding me?

You want to know how I judge that parent? I judge her obscenely harshly. I'm disgusted with her, and even more disgusted with the judge that passed that so-called-sentence that totally wasn't and the jury who decided on manslaughter instead of murder.

Newsflash: MURDERING PEOPLE IS NEVER EVER EVER OK NO MATTER WHAT YOUR EXCUSE IS. Period. That child's life as an autistic was NOT worth less than his aspie brothers or his ADHD brothers or his dyspraxic brothers. And the judge excusing her murdering of the autistic one is the exact problem people are raising here. Autistic lives are valued less than "normal" lives, as proven by the justice system.

Your not-even-tacit approval of this equine excrement shows that you are exactly the parent this post is referencing. The fact that you would even remotely claim that you think the judge is "compassionate" and "heroic" shows you as morally bankrupt. There is no compassion in murder.

And don't you even dare try to come back with something about me walking in shoes. I'm autistic. I'm severely bipolar and have been psychotic manic and suicidally depressed more times than I care to count. (Sometimes more than once of each in the same damn day.) I have a son that might never be self sufficient due to his autism, who also has a form of muscular dystrophy. HIS LIFE IS JUST AS VALUABLE AS ANY "NORMAL" PERSON. And infinitely more valuable than the jackhole who murdered her own child and then "miraculously" botched her own suicide so she could go back to her "less disabled" children and still parent them.

Fuck. That. Shit. Disability is never an excuse for murdering your child. And anyone who tacitly approves and calls judges "heroic" for devaluing autistics is exactly who these blog posts are aimed at.

Check your goddamn privilege.

Neurodivergent K said...

Oh wow.

So I read that link, &, anautismdad, you ARE Like That. You posted a link to my blog celebrating a murderer. That is unfuckingacceptable.

This post IS about you, apparently. I am scared for your children.

Alyssa said...

Celebrating murder? The $%#*? No. Not cool. Posting a link about it to try to explain that you're not like that, in a place where people who KNOW, not think, but KNOW, that they could be next? Proof that you are, in fact, like that. Call-out time, much?

anautismdad said...

I would not dream of saying walk in anyone's shoes, nor am I interested in ad hominem attacks. That you are concerned for my son, who improves in leaps and bounds is an attack which I consider unacceptable. We have an amazing support network, unlike some and every hope for improvement in our son. But as I said I am not interested in ad hominem attacks - either conducting them here or receiving them.

Neurodivergent K said...

...Yeah, how dare people who aren't you care about the son of a murder apologist. Fuckin' backwards Autistics.

OH HEY IT'S ANOTHER ONE FOR THE POST!

Jane Sims said...

Wow, this is one of the most angry, hateful sites I've ever had the misfortune of stumbling upon. Truly I'm sorry if you were abused by your parents, but the news stories you see online, and your own experience do not equal that the majority of parents of autistics are abusive. I'm my child's biggest supporter and advocate, but pardon me if I don't find fecal smearing to be a habit I want to reinforce. I suppose since I don't support my child in this, then I'm "not accepting him", by your definition? He's also incredibly sensitive to the sound of a lawnmower, so maybe we should rid the world of lawnmowers? There's a big difference between wanting to remove behaviors/conditions associated with autism that cause your child harm and discomfort, and making some kind of blanket statement that autism is wrong or bad.

Your message is drowned out by the rigidity of your viewpoint, and unwillingness to acknowledge that autism isn't the perfect state of nirvana that you make it seem.

Neurodivergent K said...

Oh another one for the post.

You are Like That. Most "autism parents" are, in fact, Like That to autistic adults. Admit it. Own it. Then try to change it. Otherwise your kid is going to be just as constantly under attack as I am.

Every time you go to say something to me, go say it to your kid. What? You wouldnt? Because it's mean? SO STOP GIVING OTHER PEOPLE AN EXAMPLE THAT IT'S ACCEPTABLE.

Christine Mack said...

I do see your point and I understand your passion as it is mine as well. We both come from abusive parents. But I come from some place a bit worse than that. My brother raped me for over 15 years. I beaten, tortured, emotionally, mentally and physically abused by other members of my family. I understand your anger. I didn't come out of my situation unscathed. I went through abuse after I got out of that situation and was raped again after that. I have multiple personalities disorder known as D.I.D. I take medicine to be somewhat 'normal'. I go to counseling to help me through the situations because like you I am a rabid person when I see someone being abusive. If you think that people with Autism have it bad you should see what mentally ill people like me endure. In fact, most people like me end up committing suicide. It's not like there is a huge support group for us. I've lived through hell and lived to tell about it. Having said all this. The one thing I've learned when advocating is to leave the anger at home. It doesn't do any good. It took me years of counseling and I'm just starting to understand that now. I have two autistic daughters. They are 4 & 5. Madeline and Natalie are their names. Two little girls. I never thought I would be able to have children since endure many injuries. I also have 3 stepson, one of which is terminally ill. I'm from the came that doesn't think that Autism needs to be cured. I think it's beautiful. It's challenging for me because I have issues myself but oh my gosh has it made me see the world so differently. We changed..we aren't changing them. But it's been lonely and difficult because all I want is to do as much as I can for them so they grow up to be happy individuals. I've been a blogger for awhile now but it took me 4 years just to find the people that feel the way I do about Autism. They don't feel Autism needs to be cured either. BUT they go through some of the challenging things too. To have someone to talk to about this, to have someone who just gets it...I cannot even tell you what that means to me. It gives me the extra pep I need to give when I feel I don't have anything left in me. These people are Autism parents who also blog. These people have help me through some really dark times as well. So when I see this. It hurts my heart. It hurts because these parents I know FIGHT and FIGHT and FIGHT everyday. The common thread with children and older individuals with Autism is perspective. It is very hard for you by your very nature of who you are to understand where we are coming from. Couple that with your anger..it's tragic. All this is tragic. I want my children to be happy. I don't want them like you. That's why I went to counseling. Children pick up on such things. You aren't a good advocate for your cause. You just aren't. All in all people do make mistakes. You, me, other people. While we shouldn't let anyone get away with it...we also need to show love, kindness, and forgiveness. Until you can balance these emotions I hope you aren't around children. Hate is learned.

Jane Sims said...

Actually, nothing that I wrote was an attack, so yes, I have no problem saying it to someone with autism, including my child. You seem to be looking for someone to reinforce your belief that all autism parents are abusive. How very sad that you try to make a difference through negativity, instead of finding a positive path.

Heldenautie said...

Ms. Sims,

You seem to value being recognized as a good person over being a good person. It's like beginning any sentence with "I'm not a racist."

Also, Ms. K has said umpteen-bajillion times that SHE DOES NOT HATE PARENTS. She interacts with parents on a regular basis, some of whom have Autistic children. The statement "There is a widespread pattern of allistic parents of Autistic children mistreating Autistic adults because of societal ableism," does not mean "allistic parents will inevitably abuse their Autistic children" and, frankly, non-abusive parents should not be threatened by it since their actions and their love for their kid will speak loud enough by themselves.

So, short version, why are you so defensive? Do you have something to hide?

Jane Sims said...

Not threatened at all, I just feel incredible sympathy when I see someone in such emotional pain, that they have to create a forum for their own toxic thoughts.

I hope you both find inner peace and the ability to see the good in the world. Perhaps someday you will truly find happiness.

Neurodivergent K said...

Christine, you need to go read again. Been there, done that Re: abusive entire family.

You also seem unable to comprehend that this. post. is. things. autism. parents. said. to. me. this. week. (nice job illustrating the weaponizing of harmful stereotypes about autism and empathy by the way! First class demonstration of what I was talking about).

I know, it's sooo haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard to be part of the oppressive class, sit back & say "some of my peers are shit". But, some of your peers are shit.

You people clearly have no idea what angry looks like. None at all. When you see truth that you don't like and declare it's anger, then that is y'all's problem.

BTW, saying "we aren't all like that" and then proceeding to demonstrate how Like That y'all are is kind of an unproductive strategy.

You people act like I don't KNOW not all parents are actively oppressive. I've been doing this shit longer than your kids are alive, I'm not completely unobservant. But silence is assent, and far more people quietly watch it than do something about it. Or when we point it out they're like "but see how many parents DIDN'T kill their kids!" like they deserve a fucking cookie.

I expect BETTER.

BiolArtist said...

Dear Dr. King:

Why are you always talking about the colored people being oppressed? I don't burn crosses on anyone's lawn, but I don't judge anyone who does, because you never know if that colored family sat next to them on the bus or something. Or maybe the kids spit watermelon seeds on their lawn.

And you have to understand how stressful it is for a white patriarch to see a colored man looking at his wife; lynching is a natural reaction.

I hope your faith can help you overcome these irrational feelings about the white majority so you can settle down and stop leading those protest marches.

Signed,
********

-------------

Allistic people defending asshat parents, this is what you sound like to autistic people. So stop being so f-ing condescending to K about pointing out that what goes around, comes around. It isn't just "Poor pitiful me, there are meanies on the internet." It's "Look at how you sound to the people you're talking about."

A society where autistics are devalued is going to be a MUCH harder one for your autistic kids to live in when they grow up. We live in such a society now.

We used to live in a society where black people were treated less than human. We haven't fixed it completely, but it's a lot better in many ways. At least we know racist statements are wrong and it's a scandal when the racist cops shoot a black person who wasn't a threat. It will be a struggle to make the world better for your autistic progeny when they grow up, but don't just let it stay the same by "not judging" asshats or being one yourself.

Look at the way you--or your ableist friends--sound to people who could be your kids, traveling back in time for a visit.

It reminds me of a They Might Be Giants song called "Your Racist Friends."

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/t/they+might+be+giants/your+racist+friend_20136308.html

"This is where the party ends
I'll just sit here wondering how you
Can stand by your racist friend
I know politics bore you
But I feel like a hypocrite talking to you
You and your racist friend "

I realize it's harder for allistics to do something nonconformist, such as stand up for people their peers look down on, but you owe it to your kids.

Here is an example of someone doing the right thing.

I read a blog post recently about a woman who stood up to bullies on the city bus who were tormenting an adult autistic neighbor. The teenage bullies, outspoken woman, and adult autistic man still ride that bus--but the bullies leave him alone now.

Neurodivergent K said...

BiolArtist wins a prize for grasping the point. *applause*

BiolArtist said...

Thanks, K!

Christine Mack said...

My two are Autistic but my oldest stepson is as well. The lack of perspective has been pervasive throughout his life. He's in his 20's now. My girls are showing the same tendencies. When talking with doctors, teachers, individuals with Autism, and also parents of children with Autism they all said this is a common thread. It's fact. Does it mean all are like that? Of course not. But it's a stereotype because it's true. It's not society. It's fact. Combine that with your argument and stereotyping yourself I assumed it was the case with you as well. So first I will apologize for lumping you in..making a generalization. I can see how what I said would be hurtful. I am sorry for that. Sincerely.

I have and do admit that there are not only a few but many shit bags amongst my peers. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. Point blank I can be a shit bag. I don't feel I'm the best parent most of the time. I do feel guilty most days that I'm not enough.

I HAVE read you post. I'm sorry if I didn't get the entire gist of what your saying but it's do to the fact of HOW you say it. The words you say are important and do have legitimacy but it gets lost.

I'm trying really hard to be honest with you. I've had people say about my girls. Oh they don't look Autistic, oh they don't act Autistic ect. I'm not silent. I can't be silent. Silence costs too much. The same goes for peers. I do say something. I'm not silent. I take them to the playground and other little girls will not want to play with them because they have very limited speech. I heard one girl call my little girl dumb. Was I silent? No.

I'm just so completely exhausted emotionally. I fight ignorance all the time. I try very hard not to offend ANYONE or hurt ANYONE. I stand up when I feel there is injustice. Hell, even the energy it takes to be me on a daily basis is draining. Sometimes though I have to take a break from all this. I can't fight every fight. I go play with my children. Or take photos in my garden. I need that bubble don't you understand? Don't understand the strain? To me my girls aren't Autistic. To them I'm not a recovering incest survivor. I'll be damned if I'm going to let the spoiled apples in your life spoil my bunch.

Clearly you are far more intelligent and eloquent than I am. Clearly you don't like my usage of the word y'all and choose to make me feel small and ignorant instead of educating with love. Maybe I missed the mark completely by sharing something with you. Maybe it was pointless me sharing where I'm coming from.

I don't condone killing or hitting of any kind when it comes to anyone. My youngest has a hitting problem. In fact she broke my nose with her skull because I didn't understand what she wanted. My brother is murderer of a three year old child. This brother was my rapist. My own parents knew of it and did nothing. So you see I'm the victim of silence. What I was trying to say is that bullying cannot be met with bullying. I do recognized anger. You are angry. That I'm sure of. It's laced in every word you type. Identifying anger was how I survived.Parents have a right to admit their feelings in a respectful manner even if it isn't something that you like or don't want to hear. I'm a D.I.D., things I do frustrate my family. Sometimes they go off on me. It hurts yes but their feelings are valid and need to be heard. Parents of Autism can't be everything you want us to be. We can't be perfect. I will not have you bring a parent low because someone makes a mistake. There is one thing to plead from the heart but it's entirely another thing to demand through hate. I'm not only pleading I'm begging you PUT IT TO REST this division. I want my daughter to be advocated by someone in the Autism community who has gone through it. I'm out an olive branch here...as imperfect as it is... Please just let us learn from you without the attacks.

apanthropy said...

There are plenty of blogs that have a more mellow approach.
Kass is entitled to not write one of them.
And you are more than welcome to not read it.

Jannalou said...

Christine,

The problem with the people K is talking about here is that they don't want to learn from her. They say these things to her and about her. They don't treat her with respect, and she is pointing out that if you don't respect autistic adults, you're telling the world that your children don't deserve respect, either.

Lynn said...

If K's very valid anger hits you in the gut, you might want to ask why. Life isn't all sweetness and white light. Love isn't always kind and gentle, sometimes it's a swift kick in the ass. As an autism parent, as well as an autistic adult, I am glad K can express the righteous anger that needs to be out there. I'm glad for my daughter's sake.

Let me make something clear, I am clinically depressed. It is not in any way shape or form ok or understandable that I would abuse my child in any way for any reason. Period. If I even come close to that it is my responsibility to do whatever I need to do to keep both of us safe. Period.

Heldenautie said...

Ms. Mack,

The level of ignorance that you show as to what is being said is truly astounding. First of all, in case you missed the text of the original post, the message that Ms. K was trying to send was, "Autism Parents, think about what you say to Autistic adults as though these were things that people would say to your children." She then listed examples of things that people said. The purpose of this post was to make parents who say things like this to Autistic adults all of the time stop for a second and realize the implications of what they are saying, namely that these things have implications for their children, whom (one would assume) they love. Believe me when I say that I have seen the author beyond enraged, both over text and in person and this ain't it. This was merely a piece to make people think about what they say before they say it.

I will say that both the author and I are both people whom you would likely categorize as "angry people", a statement with which I doubt the author would disagree. We are very angry. We are angry that we have to struggle to fit in to any educational or professional environment. We are angry that, if it is not abundantly obvious, we cannot disclose that we are Autistic for fear of workplace discrimination, so we are forced to work for someone who just assumes that we are incompetant whenever we struggle. We are angry that people tell us again and again that we don't matter because because we "don't have real emotions" and "can't connect to people", so our personal, religious, ethical, and political opinions are dismissed out of hand. We are angry that we have to negotiate an education system that is set up to make sure that normal people succeed without learning while abnormal people who want to learn and understand are stiffled by a opaque nightmare of busy-work, "organizational" tasks, bureaucratic garbage, and faculty endorsed bullying. We are angry that every time an Autistic stands up to bullies, they end up in the principal's office while the bullies resume attacking people. We are angry that whenever anyone hears about a school shooting, they decide that it's more important to be afraid of us than it is to actually address the factors that lead up to a shooting. We are angry that we see our own sent to educational facilities to be abused by staff every single day. We are angry that people think abuse is a valid therapy method. We are angry because of the JRC*. We are angry because of ABA. We are angry because of Katie McCarron and George Hodgins and Casey Albury and Angelica Auriemma and Dale Bartolome and Charles-Antoine Blais and Eric Bland and Jeffery Bogrett and every other Autistic who met their end at the hands of a "care-giver". We are angry because this disgusting state has shown itself *incapable* again and again of delivering justice for the deceased. We are angry because this same system delivers justice to non-disabled children. We are angry because people like you tell us again and again to be understanding and empathize when one of our own is murdered. We are angry because we hear it from the press every. bloody. day. So yes we are angry. We are very angry. We are JUSTIFIABLY angry. Moreover, if history has taught us anything, it is that anger and fightback get our voices heard. Remember, it was the Stonewall rebellion that put LGBQ and Trans* issues on the map. When people fight back, they sometimes win. When people refuse to fight they inevitably lose.

Heldenautie said...

So, if you want to be a good advocate for us and for your children, you need to embrace our anger. That does not mean that you have to be that angry yourself, but you need to recognize that our anger is legitimate, the venom in our words is justified, and that you have no right nor is it in any efficacious for you to tell us not to be angry. What you have done in this message is blamed *US* for *YOUR* inability to swallow your pride and solidarize yourself to our struggle. And please, make no mistake about this claim of ownership: it is *OUR* struggle because we still struggle to have our basic rights recognized every day. You have the option of fighting along side of us. If you do not, however, you are the enemy. This is not in-fighting or sectarianism; be refusing to solidarize yourself with our anger, you have taken the side of the oppressor and we will resume to treat you as such.

Jannalou said...

I thought that maybe some of the people who aren't "getting it" from K's original post might "get it" from my summary. I think K's post is very clear, but obviously some people need it said a little differently. So here (when I say "we" I mean "all people with disabilities"; I have ADHD):

If you are the parent of a child who has any kind of disability, you really need to read this post and remember that when you do not give respect to - in fact, when you are horribly abusive to - adults who have the same diagnosis as your child, you are basically telling society that it’s fine for everyone else in the world to do the same thing to your child someday.

We all matter and have valuable things to say about our disabilities.

We do not have to be burdens, and we are not dangerous or threatening.

We do not destroy our parents’ lives, and our disabilities are not worse than life-threatening diseases or accidents.

We have feelings, and we are all unique, which means that stereotypes are just that: stereotypes, to be ignored. And if we disagree with you, the parent, it is best if you try to figure out why we might be doing that, since we probably have a better idea of the kinds of things your child is dealing with than you do - we do know, after all, how it feels to have particular difficulties. (And we are probably affected differently from your child, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have similar difficulties.)

We deserve to be treated well, not abused in any way, shape, or form.

We are valuable simply because we are alive, and killing us is never okay. NEVER. (If your reply to that is anything beginning with “but,” there is something wrong with how you view disability.)

We are human beings; we have opinions about our lives; we know ourselves and we know our challenges, and that is important.

Adults who have the same diagnosis as your child could be valuable resources for you. Don’t alienate us, and don’t perpetuate these negative ideas about us.

Because when you do, you show the world that it’s okay to do that to your child.

Jessica "Wolverine" Metaneira said...

I'm with you, Neurodivergent. I'm sorry people abuse you this much just for speaking up about the shitbags.

abailin said...

Oh dear gods, K, I am so sorry you have to put up with comments like these. I want to help you respond to them but I don't even know how right now- I am beyond words after reading some of this.

Seriously, did someone just compare fecal smearing to noise sensitivity?? (And the answer to those questions are: no, you should not encourage fecal smearing; it's unsafe for your child's health. Yes, you should get rid of your damn lawnmower-- doesn't your kid matter more to you than your lawn?? For that matter, your kid might be a hell of a lot likely to resort to things like fecal smearing if you didn't keep torturing him with horrible noises).

I do have some sympathy for Ms. Mack. While she's missing the point of the post, she's obviously coming from a place of pain and struggle herself. I'm glad that working past the anger has helped out in her own life, but that doesn't mean the same tactic is called for here. Perhaps this isn't a good blog for her to be reading-- it sounds like it's triggering for her.

Also, Lia rocks.

Angie Jackson said...

To all my fellow autism parents freaking out in the comments section:

Chill out. This is either true and you need to do some serious self-reflection and make changes, or it's not about you and you need to relax and let K talk about this. Or else you are essentially silencing your own child about this. (aka, the point of the post.)

tal9000 said...

I think this thread has convinced me that silencing their own children to talk about abuse isn't an unintended consequence, but an intended effect.

If people are speaking out and what they're doing to their kids is wrong, then what they're doing to their kids is wrong and they can't have that. So they silence us in order to silence their kids from speaking out.

Like, I'm pretty sure we've seen enough consistency in this behavior that we can rule out incompetence, and only malice is left. So that's what it must be, as terrifying as it is.

Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace said...

The defensiveness thing going around is just making me feel compelled to address the possible logic of it.

Now and then I read an article about how other nationalities are healthier than US nationals because US nationals eat too much red meat. For some reason, I am never the slightest bit moved to write a histrionic response about something like I'M AMERICAN AND I DON'T EAT TOO MUCH RED MEAT! HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT! AMERICANS ARE FOREVER BOTH VILIFIED AND DEMONIZED! WHY IS THIS WRITER LIKE ALL HEALTH WRITERS VICTIMIZING ME?

It's true I'm a US citizen, and I eat, in fact, no red meat whatsoever. I have been ovo-lacto vegetarian since childhood. So why do these articles repeatedly fail to seem to me like personal attacks?

My best guess is that it is precisely because I am confident in my knowledge that they are not about me, that they are never about me. Perhaps because when I read them, I am reading them with my mind open and in learning mode, to see if they contain information about whether I should be watching my intake of cholesterol in the form of eggs and cheese, my hackles don't need to rise, and I feel no need to shout at the writers.

There are many parent activists who do great work in the community. I have never seen them shouting down any Autistic person who is talking about abusive people, telling the Autistic activists to shut up, stop being divisive, how 'sad' it is that they are so angry, etc.

They don't need to. Stories of silencing, abuse, disrespect, and all sorts of other unkindness and injustice are not about them, and they know it, comfortable in their doing of the right thing.

To all our parents who are our allies, to all our allies who are parents of Autistics who are children now, I thank you and salute you.

If just you're not there yet, and you can tell because this message is still making you feel angry, you may still be close. You may have residual feelings of guilt or grieving that you can process and be rid of, and join the ranks of the strong and healthy. We will welcome you with open arms.

There is no longer any need to defend yourself against a life of doing the right thing, mending fences, crossing bridges, healing divisions.





Sandy said...

OHEMGEE!!! Talk about people proving a point. If you are not in the least bit like this type of parent, this would be affirming for you. You won't be defensive. And I am FB friends with K and I will not tolerate attacking her as some angry person thats too judgmental. Damn that! People aren't judgmental enough about straight up bullshit! I have personally had to jump other Parents' shit for this very thing. Are you kidding me?its a WAY real issue...jeeze

I know people describe me as angry or confrontational... Some in the Autism community need to be. There are Parents doing all kinds of crazy shit and they need to be called the *uck out! K is one of the most compassionate, smart, funny and wittiest people I have been lucky enough to know. This Parent appreciates her voice and other Autistic voices and will fight to the death against abuse and dismissiveness of their voices. Yes, indeed...they ARE our kids and we are teaching people how to treat them by how we treat Autistic adults. If you have a problem with that... Then YOU are the one with the problem...just know that up front!

Thank you K...you sweet soul. I am really sorry for this shit...this is really triggering. Grrr... ((Hugs))

megen said...

:)

megen said...

:)

megen said...

Once again, I am totally flabbergasted by the response to this! The only thing that stopped my flailing despair and confision about my autistic daughter was autistic people! I really couldn't accept that she was autistic because all the professionals talked about some soulless tragedy, but I could see her beauty and humanity and the two didn't jive. When I found the voices of adult autists, it was a like clouds parting angels singing kind of moment. How parents dismiss them is just shocking to me. I DEPEND on your perspective so thank you!

Ettina said...

"Most abusers & killers are NOT mentally ill-people w.MIs are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators. MOST abusers and killers are "regular" people, & when they abuse & kill Autistic people they know they get away with it."

This is not accurate. If you look at actual stats on murderers and abusers, very few of them fail to meet the criteria for some psychiatric condition (even if you exclude Antisocial PD, because it's not a useful diagnostic category).

Substance abuse, depression, psychopathy (yes, psychopathy is a mental illness), PTSD, ADHD, reactive attachment disorder, borderline personality disorder, and many other psych conditions are overrepresented among violent individuals, and together, these conditions account for around 90% of them. This is not stereotyping. This is a fact. There are reams of studies showing this.

Does this mean that it's the victim's fault? Of course not - it's the fault of the perpetrator's mental problems, and the society that shaped them to have those mental problems and to express them in those ways.

The 'mentally ill people aren't violent, but are stereotyped as violent' only really applies to a few conditions, such as psychotic disorders and autism. Weird loners are rarely violent, and are often stereotyped as violent. But not all psych conditions make you a weird loner.

Incidentally, I have PTSD, one of the conditions linked to violence. I am not violent. But I completely understand how a person with PTSD can be violent, and it doesn't surprise or offend me to hear that PTSD can cause violent behavior. It saddens me, but it doesn't surprise me, because the people who caused my PTSD had PTSD themselves.

Ettina said...

As for the actual point of the blog entry - exactly. My mother understands that, and that's why she's right by my side fighting ableism, and has been long before she knew it was ableism she was fighting. (Late diagnosis, for years we knew what I needed but had no doctor's rubberstamp for it.)

Stephanie C. Fox said...

I disagree with parents and neurotypical Ph.D. holders who don't listen to Aspies' points of view on what life with autism is like. Having Asperger's is awesome - a super-power! - with a disability on the side, NOT a disability first and foremost. We learn to get to know ourselves and this condition, and to exploit the super-power while not letting the disability aspect of it get in our way.