I was going to leave a comment but I wrote too much so I thought reblogging would be better and my very long (and bitter) comment is on my own blog. I'm writing with little energy and on my iPod so expect less coherence, I'm tired of editing my posts and leaving them on my drafts folder. Please read the original post to understand my writing (and the original post is great).
Most important words in that post: "To the parents in the crowd, I beseech you to remember that we are joined here by autistic friends. I urge you to keep them in mind when you choose your words. I urge you to remember that they are ALWAYS with us because we are all in this world together, the adults along with our children, who are watching, taking their cues about how they should feel about this integral part of who they are – about themselves – from us."
I need to say thank you for writing this.
I rarely see non-autistic parents care about that, their opinions matter more than our emotional health, including the emotional health of their own children. It's selfish and egoistic to think that what you say is more important than the effects it has on us, I know how it is to live with family members like that in a society that hates us. Our families should support us and be like sanctuaries in this world, the safe place where we truly belong and are fully accepted and valued, our loved ones should be an example of how we belong and are valued, in reality most of our families are just a smaller version of society and we learn how little we are valued from every side, most comments by parents of autistic children remember me of that, it makes me happy to read the comments of the good parents and sad that I am happy to read someone behaving like a decent human being and acting like parents are supposed to act, I shouldn't have to be so happy about the basic.
People have a lot to say about the burden of having an autistic child but I think no one cares about the burden of living with non-autistic people who see the autistic person in this view and don't censor words that are nothing more than acceptable bullying and emotional abuse against autistic people, than people wonder about the mistery of their children depression, anxiety, aggression and low self esteem but just chose to assume it's a side effect of autism itself. It doesn't matter if the words hurt, if it makes us angry or make us want to be away from them. They can't put themselves in our place.
Some go farther and attack anyone who say anything positive or even neutral about us.
(Obviously there is a double standard here because criticizing any parent or care taker is polemic, considered selfish, wrong and a proof of lack of empathy which is ironic. Nothing about this makes sense since society doesn't constantly remember non-disabled care takers that their lives are worth less and that who they are is bad and that they hurt who they love by existing. This defensiveness is being spent on the group who needs it less.)
The way our families talk about us also makes a point to strangers that it's okay to treat autistic people badly, after all if our own parents talk badly about us and the fact we exist or cause to much problem, if our own families talk about that in public with no sense of shame or trying to change, what does this says about us and the way we deserve to be treated?
Some parents almost sound prideful about it, they talk about how they are mourning for their living children or that we are burdens and make sure to say there is nothing wrong in feeling this way and that this is the natural and healthy way to feel, that every parent feels like this and there is no shame in it and that anyone who says that this hurts their child is bad.
If there is really a need to speak about those emotions in public it would be almost as a confession of something to change, like when you did a hurtful thing and it's trying to change because you recognized it hurts people, it would be appropriate to say you expected a non-disabled child so much and was so full of misplaced expectations that you mourned your living child and that was wrong and hurtful, or to recognize that you lack the resources to care for a child because you were not prepared for this or to say you are overwhelmed and didn't know what to do and things are so bad for you that you almost feel that your child is a burden but you are working to change since that's not a reality, it's okay to say you are scared or tired without offending and hurting us.
You are free to say anything you want, that doesn't make it right or removes all consequences of your words.
Basically you should be making the subject about you and not your child since parents feelings are never the responsability of their children, the parents are the adults, children have no power over adults, a child's feelings are supposed to be protected by the adults, not the other way around.
I will never understand non-autistic people who put the value of their opinions on a pedestal and the value of autistic people as non-existant. People like that are the real tragedies in our lives.
About the post topic of wondering about the possibility of autism.
I think such a public figure would suffer more if they were autistic because the publicity, invasion and stalking public figures have to endure can only be extremely harmful for anyone, especially an autistic person.
I think I live under a rock since I had no idea this was happening, who are those people and I don't really care about the lives of famous strangers, I think it's highly unethical to make a child a public figure like that, it's not like an adult actor who choses to be public but a new born child that will be stalked and have no privacy in their life.
About wishing autism.
I wish there were more autistic people and see nothing wrong with that, diversity is good and amazing, maybe the world would accomodate our disabilities more, not because of caring and good intentions but because of cold things like profit, in a world with more autistic people if a public place is inaccessible it would have less clients and that is a realistic motivation for people to make things accessible, I no longer have faith that places and people would accomodate us, people don't really care, people want to cure/eliminate us (which is strongly motivated by profit), people don't want to accept us but give them a reason that benefits them and we stand a chance.
More autistic people, more social pressure about our rights, maybe a more accessible and less overwhelming world, more chances and places for us and maybe less loneliness.
[Insert here obvious disclaimer about good parents, not everyone being bad, all the things I'm not saying in this post but people might think I said, etc]
Thank you for the original author.
I need to stop writing now, right now.