Daily Archives: April 28, 2006

What if I were to say…

Standard

…in response to the people who are so frequently “reminding” me of the presence of things like institutions, and of people designated as LFA…

“Yes. I totally agree with you. I have been institutionalized, and I have been regarded as LFA, and I regard this kind of autism as a total curse. Those aspies can say what they want, but they have never been through the kind of hell that we have. Autism of this kind is a real disability, not just a difference, and I totally believe in research into prevention and cure.”

I want to know how many of them would strive, as they do now, to pull me into some other category. How many of them would still continue to say, “But you are different. You’re not like the people I’m talking about. They cannot and will never communicate even the simplest concept.”

How many of them would say, “Your end of the spectrum has agendas, the other end has needs”?

How many of them would go over every detail they either find or imagine about me with a fine-toothed comb to differentiate me from the people they claim to be representing?

Very few.

Even when a 40-something woman who identifies as being “high functioning,” posed as a 25-year-old “low functioning” man, many did not question her. Even when they knew her secret. But they would have been all over her in an instant, and probably accusing the rest of us of faking as well, if she hadn’t portrayed autism as one of the worst fates on the planet.

Meanwhile, people have looked over the lives of the rest of us for every supposedly contradictory or slightly misstated detail, while the same people have ignored glaring instances of lying, exaggeration, contradiction, and just plain inaccuracy in autistic curebies.

So for any curebies who happen to be reading this, I want you to think really honestly about this. You don’t have to tell me what you think, just think about it. If I were to claim that I was low-functioning (a category I currently reject, but have been officially put into), had experienced institutions (something that is true), described these things (along with, of course, self-injury and other “horrors of autism”) in exquisite detail, and said that on the basis of these things, I wanted a cure, I wanted autism prevention, I thought being autistic was worse than death, and so forth… would you still be telling me “You have a system of communication, therefore you are totally different than the people I want to cure/prevent”? Or would you welcome my input uncritically? What if I put in several pieces of information you knew were false, such as “I’ve never spoken in my entire life” or “I was institutionalized for ten years”? Even then, would you let it slide for the sake of my getting your message out there from an “authentic” source?

Think about those things, and think about them seriously, before you start nitpicking for details to set us apart from the people you claim to advocate for.