It irritates me when someone tells me that I should do something. It elicits an instant reaction of “no!” from me. If the same person were to make the same suggestion, but start it with “could you do this?” I would be far more willing to listen to the suggestion. I would even consider doing the thing.
Just over a month ago, I commented on a Facebook post. Since then, every couple of days, I get a new notification which relates to that comment. That tells me that either people appreciated learning something new or people can relate to it. So, I thought that it might be worthwhile discussing it here.
That’s a weird thing to admit given how many times I’ve blogged about allies, right?
I’ll try and explain, but sometimes it’s difficult to put my thoughts into words. My dislike for the term ally can be broken down into two reasons.
People misuse the word ally
Yesterday, I covered a lot of the what not to do, so in this post I thought that I would address what you can do instead.
1. Listen to our perspectives
Any equal rights movement includes a large group of people who have experienced ongoing oppression
This post is inspired by a collection of things that have happened over the past few weeks. I have seen people, who appear to genuinely want to be allies to autistic people, stuff up and stuff up big. So hopefully this list is useful.
1. Don’t explain your perspective as a neurotypical person to autistic people
One of the more irritating things about parenting an autistic child is the question do they have a special talent? If I’m in a snarky mood, I reply that my son can recite every single episode of a specific TV show perfectly. When I’m feeling less snarky, I explain that savant skills are really not a great concept.