Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Just NO.

Trigger Warning: Ableism, abuse, discussion of selling autistic children, discrimination

So. I saw THIS on Tumblr.
I just heard there’s a problem where 500,000 autistics will become adults this decade and they can not support themselves and it’s a big problem that they create. And not only that but a lot of them think it’s not a big deal to have autism but also don’t try to work because disabled people get everything for free. Also, there are autistic people who are just dangerous and crazy. And on top of all this there are just more and more of them all the time! I have a solution though. Parents should be able to sell their autistic kids to scientists who will solve the problem of either discovering autism in utero (to nip the problem before it becomes a problem in the future) or discovering how autistics can be trained to be useful or just cure it all together if possible. This would take all the current autistics out of the equation and hopefully slow or even stop future outbreaks. I’d love to hear about scientists doing this.
If you wish I were just making this up, well, so do I. But here's the link to the original post:

It's real.  And he tagged it with ``eugenics." Remember eugenics? That's the one where people who were considered inferior for whatever reason weren't supposed to have kids. Sometimes this was done with forced sterilizations, sometimes by killing the people. Seems to me he's going for research where people would know while pregnant if the kid was gonna be autistic, and nipping the problem before it becomes a problem in the future sounds like suggesting that all autistic fetuses be aborted. Uh, no. (I am pro-choice, but I don't think ``my kid's gonna have a disability" is an OK reason to abort.)

So, a point-by-point:
1) You're assuming it's a problem that 500,000 autistics will become adults this decade. It's a whole lot better than 500,000 autistics being killed by their caregivers this decade. Becoming an adult is a normal part of life.
2) Where did you get 500,000? It might be true- I don't know. But sources would be nice, since people tend not to agree on the prevalence of autism.
3)I actually do think being autistic is kind of a big deal. I just don't think it's a big PROBLEM. There's a difference. (Building a space colony on the moon would be a big deal, but it would be awesome, not a big problem. Resource depletion is a big economic problem.)
4) Right. That's why I have had 2-3 jobs at a time ever since I started college. I don't think I need to work! Also, that's baloney. We want to work and you guys wont hire us. When you DO hire us, we get discriminated against in the workplace. (If you're hitting us on social skills/eye contact, not our ability to do our job, which is often completely unrelated, it's discrimination. If I were to be fired as a grader because I don't look the person I grade for in the eye, it would be discrimination. If I did a bad job grading, it would not be discrimination. Most of the problems we have with getting jobs are discrimination.)
5) Everything? If by everything you mean caregivers who are often abusive, substandard medical care where doctors will ignore allergies that are on our charts, all trappings of poverty, lack of self-determination, being treated as intellectually deficient as opposed to simply having trouble communicating, and being talked about as if we are not hear, then yes, we get everything for free.
6) There are also non-autistics who are dangerous and crazy. Studies show time and again that no matter how many anecdotes you toss at it, autistics are disproportionately victims of crime, and disproportionately not the perpetrators. That goes for mental illness in general. There will still be anecdotes, since that doesn't make it zero. But... if we're going for statistics, you are much more likely to hurt me than I am to hurt you.
7) Yeah. Rate of diagnosis is going up. Rate of autistic spectrum disorders themselves (of being autistic, weather or not you are diagnosed)? We're not so sure, and there are plenty of science folk who suspect NOT.
8) You are talking about selling a living child to science in a country where people can't be bought or sold. WHAT?
9) And what are these scientists going to do? Autism research doesn't involve killing the autistics, last I checked, largely because killing people is illegal and wrong, and autistic PEOPLE are PEOPLE. And scientists doing human research don't own their research subjects. Autistic kids already participate in research fairly commonly.
10) Aborting a kid because he/she is going to be autistic isn't cool. Remember, I'm doing research with possible applications to a bunch of things, including imaging, which relates to cancer detection, and I'm autistic. Gasp! I'm autistic AND useful. Halt the presses!
11) Trained to be useful? I do believe I just addressed the part where I am ALREADY useful. I also make designs people tend to think look really cool, and I am a pretty good math tutor. Like, can tutor for high-level classes I haven't even taken yet and have people prefer me to the person who is taking that class kind of good at tutoring math. Maybe you could train society to not care if someone is looking you in the eye if they're doing their job properly instead?
12) Yeah. I think I may have mentioned my issues with a cure. If you are autistic and WANT to be cured, I don't understand, but I also know that I am not you. I won't get in your way. But if you want to cure me, you are in for a fight. I will go for the non-violent methods first, but if push comes to shove, I am fighting to incapacitate. And if it's permanent, that's just too bad. You should have respected my self-determination.
13) And why do you want to take all the autistics out of the equation anyways?
14) Outbreaks are for diseases. Autism isn't a disease that gets transmitted person to person. You're born autistic or you aren't, but a lot of people don't get this because the ways we're different don't show up right away. So, autism isn't an outbreak or an epidemic.
15) It takes all types. Autistic is one of those types. Wasn't it Hans Asperger who said that a touch of autism was essential to success in arts or sciences? So one of the original researchers thought it wasn't ALL bad. Again, GASP.

Yeah. I'm  just going to put it out there that I disagree with this person on all counts and that this person uses logical fallacies/ bases arguments on untrue statements.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Just, wow.

    As for discrimination, YES. Hoo, boy. Let's see, there's the (many) job interviews where we spend all the time discussing their sister's nephews cousin's former roommate's child who was just diagnosed and not, say, how my being Aspy will affect my ability to do my job. There's the way a good friend couldn't get a job as anything but a temp worker because he didn't fit into the "culture of the office" despite being nice, smart, and witty, so they wouldn't hire him permanently, just call him in whenever they had problems that the employees who fit the "culture of the office" but were less competent couldn't handle.

    I could go on, but dang, that's horrible.


I reserve the right to delete comments for personal attacks, derailing, dangerous comparisons, bigotry, and generally not wanting my blog to be a platform for certain things.