Some disability models and stereotyping and such.


A few conversations on a few different blogs recently have reminded me the degree to which many autistic people, and people involved with autistic people, are unaware of the various ways of viewing disability (as different from each other or even as existing), and the various stereotyping that exists.

The following links are by no means perfect (in a whole slew of ways), but they might provide an interesting start:

Models of Disability deals with the common frameworks people see disability in. Another one called Models of Disability. A Physical Challenge for the Media describes common stereotypes (they’re not really just media stereotypes) of disabled people. This page has even more stereotypes listed.

I’m posting this because every single one of these applies to autistic people and our portrayals in some way, but is not unique to autistic people at all. I see a lot of conversations that basically fail to acknowledge the other person is coming from a totally different model of disability (or even that more than one model can exist), or that take the form of “Oh, if you’re not an Inspirational Supercrip, then you must be a Bitter Cripple or a Menace to Society,” and so on and so forth.


About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods. Crochet or otherwise create constantly and compulsively. Write poetry and paint when I can. Developmentally disabled, physically and cognitively disabled. I'm not really part of any online faction or another, even ones that claim me as a member. The thing in the world most important to me is having love and compassion for other people, although I don't always measure up to my own standards there by a longshot. And individual specific actions and situations and contexts matter a lot more to me than broadly-spoken abstract words and ideas about a topic. My father died in 2014 and that has changed my life a lot in ways that are still evolving, but I wear a lot of his clothes and hats every day since he died and have shown no sign of stopping soon.

3 responses »

  1. this is very useful. i was just wondering how to explain this stuff to people… ok, let me admit i need to explain it to myself first…

  2. I love your sense of humor and as a mother of an 8 year old boy with Autism I’m just about as pissed off as anyone can be about how he is treated not only by the “education” system but by his very own grandparents. They think if they yell really loudly at him, he’ll hear them better, it makes me very angry. They can’t take the time to even try to get to know him and they think I’m a delusional mother who just can’t accept that her son will never be up to par. It infuriates me that nobody really cares except for me! He’s the greatest kid you can ever imagine and I know how much he loves me because he finds ways to show me, that’s how smart he is!

  3. As a PWD I want to thank you for getting the info out there that so many people need. I just viewed ‘In My Language’ and could agree more with what you had to say. Thanks for taking the time AND effort to educate.

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