I have recently begun writing various articles for 30seconds.com, an excellent website that brings together tips and information from a wide range of people. My most recent piece is about the need for acceptance and accommodation to support autistic people. I wrote it after reading a parent comment in a support group that she hated autism and wanted her child to be cured, that to want anything else is insane. This was not the first time I have heard this, nor will it be the last. But it always hurts, both because of the implication that autism is something foul and the purely rational understanding that these parents have been pushed beyond their capabilities to cope. This only happens because there is not enough support for the carers of those with additional needs, nor does society have enough understanding of or appreciation for those who are different to the “norm.” When we put time and energy into a cure, we are saying that our autistic individuals are sick, broken, not worth the effort it would take to change the status quo. That they are not worth being loved and respected for who they are, in all their uniqueness and with all their complexities. I refuse to accept that as the fate for the autistic community. We must all work together to ensure a brighter, fairer future than that.
Autism isn’t a disease to be cured