This topic keeps coming up recently and it’s bugging me. Why, you ask?
Okay, this is my take on this:
ASD is a disability.
It is a developmental disability. I do not see it as a lifestyle. I do not see the condition as a gift. I see it as a disability that may allow some to do extraordinary things at times partially because of our issues with perseveration and extreme focus on particular things.
I have Asperger Syndrome.
I think there is a difference between someone accepting a diagnosis and having a positive attitude about it and not letting it define them but finding ways to grow and cope and someone stating that Autism Spectrum Disorder is merely a gift or a choice (lifestyle). It makes me think of how silly it would sound to call “poor vision” a gift simply because it might improve their hearing.
I find it almost offensive when people call it a gift because I personally feel like it belittles all of the hard work I do on a daily basis to co-exist with neurotypical people. I can see how one might get confused but just the fact that I have Asperger Syndrome does not mean I am some sort of genius or able to do amazing things.
This is not a debate on whether or not I want a cure for myself or anyone else. I don’t even feel educated enough to answer that because I don’t know what a cure would mean for someone like me and I cannot and would not try to speak for someone else. Not my place. But I digress…
Why is it assumed that if a person calls ASD a disability that the person is then a pessimist? I see it as a challenge for me to deal with and adapt to every day. Or is it that people see Autistic Disorder as a disability and Asperger Syndrome a gift?
That seems like ignorance to me.
We cannot have a community without unity and an advocacy community that stands divided between parents and adults on the Spectrum is only holding us back from supporting each other by listening. We may not be able to relate to everything each other shares but that’s just diversity and I would prefer diversity over adversity in our community any day of the week.
Can we see beyond the politics and our pride? Can we just be there for each other? Shouldn’t we be the last community to be judgmental of others? Alienating others? Can we stop long enough to listen? I don’t want to preach, I just want our community back. Here, I’ll start. For those of you who want to share…
What is your story? I’m listening.
Please do not turn the comment section into a political debate.