Sunday, 9 November 2014

Autism Land: A Tale of Two Medias

For those of you who are unaware, I live in Autism Land.  Technically, I likely have Asperger's Syndrome, which is considered a "highly functioning" version of autism.  Realistically, I am still emotionally vulnerable, essentially nonverbal - unless I'm sliding in and out of foreign languages - and have interests that no one would ever consider normal for a female adult.  And I certainly wasn't "normal" while growing up.

In Autism Land, if you keep your ear to the ground, human rights abuses, torture, and murder are common place.  And the common reaction in the media, unless you are part of Autism Land, is "Poor parents; they faced SUCH challenges.  They reached the end of their rope".  In Autism Land, if one lone pathologically ill person becomes violent and kills people, the media turns us all into monsters.  In Autism Land, children are force fed mineral bleach solutions, parasitic worms, put in isolation cells, and subjected to all kinds of inhumane treatment at the hands of their caregivers, without so much as a whisper from the press.  In Autism Land, children are regularly raped and beaten or go missing, and nobody cares.

In Neurotypical Media Land, Autism is "a catastrophe", "a disaster", an "epidemic"; it "steals children from their families".  It "crushes hope".  An autistic child is "a challenge", not a joy.  People with autism are "lacking empathy"; they have no futures.

In Autism Land, autism is more or less just a different set of senses to try and navigate the world with and a unique set of frustrations for each person.  I can't imagine that in NT land, its really much different - doesn't every human being have their own set of challenges?  Okay, I admit, most people don't go through life as non verbals who are obsessed with geometry, Pi, the Fibonacci sequence, or occult crime.  And apparently there is this rule book for "How to Human" that we have never read.  But that certainly doesn't mean that we are lacking in empathy or feelings or morality; we just have a very different world view than you do.

In Autism Land, our every expression, movement, and dress tendencies are open to public scrutiny and commentary.  In NT Land, people are told "to mind their own business" and that it's rude to stare.

In Autism Land, we are told that we can be anything we want to be, except ourselves.

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