Note For Anyone Writing About Me

I got blogger working again using a different proxy. It'd still be nice if people liked my Facebook, but you don't need to look at it to get posts anymore.
For anyone who wants to write about me
I am an Autistic person. I am not a person with autism. Don't call me one.
My name is Alyssa, I'm a triple major in mathematics, mechanical engineering, and Chinese. I'm currently studying abroad in Tianjin. I have an About. I'm Autistic. I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wish for Autism to not Exist? That's a Problem

I saw a post on Tumblr stating that you should reblog if you wish autism did not exist, and it basically said that you were a bad person if you didn't reblog. On the same post talking about how cool her autistic brother was. 

See, I am autistic. I DO NOT WISH FOR MY NON-EXISTENCE.

And no, autism is not a detachable something where I would be the same person without it. And that means that a "cure" would include a price I am not willing to pay, even if it did mean that I never lost speech at a critical moment again in my life and I didn't ever melt down from sensory overload again in my life.
Wishing for autism not to exist is wishing for autistic people not to exist. It is wishing that you had a different brother. 

A specific autistic person wishing to not be autistic is a specific autistic person deciding that becoming a completely different person is a price they are willing to pay in order to not deal with the things autism makes more difficult, and that is a completely different issue than someone who is not autistic wishing to make someone else a completely different person. The person wishing to cure themself has the right to that, and the person wishing for autism to completely not exist is speaking over the MANY autistic people who would not pay that price, which is not something anyone has the right to do.

Everyone has the right to not wish for autism to no longer exist, because guess what? The statement goes much to far! Wishing that an actually voluntary cure existed, that autistic people could refuse without fear of losing the help they are currently getting, without fear of the refusal being used as evidence of being mentally unsound with which to take the choice away, and without fear that a family member (including a parent if under 18) could override the refusal? That's fine. Under those circumstances, I don't think there would be much argument from the actually autistic. Wishing for autism to not exist? That would require curing people like Amy Sequenzia, like Neurodivergent K, like Autistic Hoya, like Just Stimming, like Henry, like (insert any other autistic person who has ever expressed a desire not to be cured), and like me, whether they would rather refuse or no. That is entirely unacceptable. Wishing for autism to not exist is unacceptable to many, many actual autistic people.

Autism is not like cancer. Autism does not kill. (Epilepsy is not autism. Many autistic people also have epilepsy, but epilepsy is not autism, and there is no reason to believe that curing the autism would cure any of the other medical issues some autistic people have by extension.)

2 comments:

  1. I don't want to cure my son's autism. I have always thought he was cooler than everyone else's kids (but they're cool in their own way too, of course). He's so chill, and he loves to hug. But I would like to cure his Candida and gut dysbiosis, cuz that sucks! I wish the Autism Speaks type of people would focus their attention on co-morbid medical issues rather than autism itself.

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  2. I basically love everything you write Alyssa - you're totally one of my autistic role models :) - and I just had to comment on this because it basically sums up everything I've ever thought when people say they wish autism didn't exist: I'm autistic and I like existing. I know it's an old post but I still like it :)

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