Glishara wrote:One of the issues with ableism as it specifically relates to the autistic community is that if the proportions were reversed -- if nearly everyone were on the autistic spectrum -- it would be the people who are viewed as "normal" or "neurotypical" who would have more trouble.
Society is made to cater to the majority, so when a minority has a hard time functioning in the accepted framework, they're seen as lesser.
Lia mentioned losing jobs and friendships, but that's not a part of being autistic, it's part of the way people reacts to your behaviors when you're autistic.
My son is autistic, and I've spent a lot of time poking around the community, though without getting actively involved, because as his mom, I have a right (and an obligation) to learn, but not necessarily to speak. The most frustrating thing for a lot of PWDs is that the able-bodied, neurotypical world insists on making decisions for them or deciding what's best for them.
I don't know who here knows about Autism Speaks, but it's a charity with the goal of curing autism. I have never met a single autistic person who liked or approved of them. Lots of parents and family members of children with autism like them a lot, but they have no members of their boards who actually have autism, and have unilaterally decided that everyone would be better off if autism were eradicated. Autistic adults (in my experience) are furious about this, because they don't view themselves as lesser: their problem is that they see things differently, and the rest of the world expects them to do all of the accommodating.
I think that's the mindset that leads to people saying, "Don't say disabilities are bad." So of them clearly are, but others are more grey-shaded. If you offered me a cure tomorrow, a magic shot to make my son "normal", I wouldn't take it. He's fantastic and funny and sweet and brilliant, even if he has some significant issues, and it's not my place -- or anyone's -- to say he should be changed, unless he decides he wants it.
Maybe the rising autism rates are actually human evolution in action. I know a few people who are autistic who would argue that they are.
Autism is what I know most about, but I suspect some of the similar logic applies in the Deaf community and among other groups, as well. The assumption that something is a defect that needs curing just because it's different from you, or that someone's life is less happy than yours because of a physical, mental, or emotional problem, is where ableism starts.
Lia S wrote:Considering the speed at which evolution works and how new the things it's supposed to be an adaptation to are, that doesn't make sense.
Mr. Brightside wrote:Lia S wrote:Considering the speed at which evolution works and how new the things it's supposed to be an adaptation to are, that doesn't make sense.
That's a common misconception, but evolution only works as quickly or as slowly as the environment, and the rareness of the trait, dictate - the generation autism, or having an autistic relative, comes to be a net advantage rather than a disadvantage to genetic fitness, it'll start going up, exactly as quickly or as slowly as the advantage it provides. If that's been the case for the past 50-100 years, we would definitely be seeing a measurable increase.
Lia S wrote:Of course it does feel good to claim we're the next step in evolution (which means better) when we're being treated as lesser now.
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