By Cara Creager
Some days, your patience just runs out.
Some days, you aren’t in the mood to educate the twenty-third person who insists you aren’t really autistic, that you’re doing it for attention. Some days you’re over the ignorant person who sees you stimming and suddenly is done with their drink, running as if you’ll bite their neck and infect them with the scourge. Some days you give up, sure you’ll never find a job because despite your doctoral degree and sterling qualifications, no one wants to deal with your “quirks” and you can’t just become a Wal-Mart greeter because that long on your feet having to deal with people would cripple you.
Some days you see that another parent or caregiver has murdered an autistic, maybe killed themselves too. The comment sections on those articles are rough – if you look at the comments when a normal child is murdered, they’re united in throwing the parent into Hell (massive trigger warning for violence on that link!). But when an autistic child or adult is killed, you see apologism. They say “walk in the mother’s shoes” (massive trigger warning for ableism on that link!). [sarcasm] Cause killing us is a mercy, of course. [/sarcasm]
Some days you might go nonverbal – even us “high functioning” autists have those days. Some days your voice feels too small, so you don’t want to use it, or you feel too scared to even think about letting your little words fly against the overwhelming tide. There are other ways to communicate, but chances are, most people don’t know about them. There’s no money for AAC devices, for letter boards and iPads, for ASL tutors. [sarcasm] That’s not real communication anyway. [/sarcasm]
Some days you want to get involved, but can’t – because the leading organization in this country that purports to speak for us doesn’t want us involved. Autism $peaks has no autistic board members – the last resigned in disgust following Suzanne Wright’s Nov. 11 op-ed that described us as “lost”. We are not lost.
And then you see Congress “Combating” Autism. “Treating” the “national healthcare crisis.”
Has Congress “combated” anything you deal with on a daily basis?
I didn’t think so.
Don’t combat autism. Combat stigma. Combat fear. Combat prejudice and ignorance.
Combat those who think we need combating.
Because most days, I don’t have patience for that crap