I've been hearing this for years. People older than me have been hearing it for years. People younger than me have been hearing it for a while now. What is it?
"If my child could do <thing>, I'd consider them cured," where <thing> is anything from arguing online to going to a protest to giving a presentation to writing a book to successfully running away from their parents' house in fear for their lives.
If their child could do this one thing, they'd consider them cured. People with a whole wide variety of support needs hear this--I've seen it said to people with a job and a house and a drivers' license and to people who need one on one support to communicate. We're all cured, apparently, because we said fuck or because we said that society is broken, not us.
Let's examine this though. I'm going to pretend I didn't notice this pattern, of who gets told this and what things are grounds for being kicked off autism island. We are going to walk through this as though it is a good faith statement, rather than a silencing tactic. Let's do this.
The way this part of the post is going to work is as follows:
I will type up a thing I have been told indicates I am no longer autistic. I will immediately follow it with a disabling trait that, apparently, is mitigated by that thing which someone so helpfully told me means I am cured. Ready?
"If my child told me he didn't want a cure I'd consider him cured
That's a real neat trick there. Also, the phone call to get my nightmare meds refilled that I've literally not been able to make just made itself. Thanks!
"If you were still autistic you couldn't give presentations at conferences.
I note that you don't challenge the autism of people who say things you want to hear, and now thanks to your declaration, I can no longer hear the fluorescent lights. Wow that is so helpful you have no idea.
"If my child was so sarcastic I'd assume he was cured."
Holy shit now the ability to hold down a full time job just happened! Wow, your assumptions are fucking magical!
"My son never tells me he thinks this therapy is abusive. If he did I'd know he was cured."
You want to reconsider that one?
You probably should.
But. Okay. Looks like because I called abuse, abuse I can now, in fact, feel all my appendages without moving them, instead of sitting and just hoping they don't float away so some therapist doesn't grab them. Happy now?
"If my child vanished from my radar when I threatened to have him committed I'd consider her cured."
You know this is another one that's going to have my readers wondering what the hell kind of autism parents I run into, right?
You're going to stick to this one too? Alright then.
I have been cured of my inability to wear a whole wide array of clothing considered "appropriate for the office" because I vanished out of self preservation.
"No one autistic can go to protests! If my child did I'd consider them cured!"
Hot damn, look at all that ability to notice chores need doing and actually do them in the same day I just developed, thanks to my hatred of injustice.
"MyChild can't write ascerbic essays on the internet. If he had a blog I'd call that cured!"
Aside from the obvious points that your child is eight and doesn't have an internet connection....my carpet, which hadn't been vacuumed since I moved in until your pronouncement, thanks you.
"My child would be a recovery story if she was arguing with strangers on the internet."
As an actual 'indistinguishable from peers' kid can you please not?
That's too much to ask I see.
Suddenly small talk is an activity that makes sense to me. Thank you for your expertise.
"If my child ever corrected me, I'd praise Jesus because it'd mean he was cured"
I'll praise Jesus if your child feels safe to correct you. Sorry. That was rude. But apparently I have a sense of time after all, and my bills all get paid without endless alarms, so that's fancy.
"If my kid had interests like yours I'd consider them to be neurotypical."
Umm I don't even know what to do with that. Am I not a white tech bro enough for you? I guess? Sorry I can do a cartwheel? And lo, I have never and will never again lose language, all because of said cartwheel?
All of these are actual things people have said to me or to people around me. I did not use other peoples' autistic traits though, I only used mine.
So let's pretend these things were said in good faith (you can see why I have a hard time with this yes?). What do they have in common? Not much, except that someone is denying my neurology because of the challenge to their sense of their own authority.
First, that's kind of a fucked up way to respond to someone not taking you as the authority in all situations. I mean, really fucked up. You'd not do that to someone you didn't consider fundamentally inferior. Don't try to lie to me, we've had the good faith portion of this conversation. That's not how people relate to equals who challenge them. They meet the challenge, not attack who the person is.
Second, the things that mean I am not autistic in these peoples' eyes? Have literally nothing to do with autistic traits. Telling you that vaccines don't eat babies isn't magically curing my sleep (non)cycle. Knowing a non insubstantial number of impolite words isn't feeding me things that aren't chicken nuggets & Kraft dinner.
Do you see what I'm saying?
Is it really good for your kid to be judged on how well he kisses others' asses? Is that what you want? Do you want her disabilities to be ignored because she didn't make some random person on the internet feel comfortably superior to her? Do you want them to be denied support because their truth is uncomfortable, and they are able to speak it?
Consider that before declaring anyone cured.