I am hurting

[CN on link: martyr mom, functioning labels, extreme ableism and all the horribleness that can’t be put into words]

Recently, an article was published in Huffington Post which I will link to for the benefit of those who haven’t come across the awfulness yet, but I’m linking an archived version [Please note CN above] because I don’t want to drive traffic to a site that thinks that publishing things like that is acceptable.

That’s not the part that hurts. Sadly, that’s a pretty standard article about autism, despite what that author claims.

The part that hurts is that it was shared on Facebook by an organisation claiming to advocate for human rights and education reform. It was shared with an introduction that agreed with the horrible opinions of the author.

When Autistic people commented on this expressing disbelief and disgust that an organisation claiming to be fighting for human rights would choose to share such an awful stereotype-perpetuating article, we were told that parents need to know that they’re not alone. We were told that our opinions don’t count because the person behind the page has “lived with an ASD child like that.”

So, basically, that page is advocating for human rights but only for those who pass the nice child test. Other children, who are struggling with their environment, do not deserve human rights, and parent feelings trump the dignity of Autistic people.

I am hurting because we keep getting told that we simply don’t deserve better and we should be grateful for the work that ableist people are doing in our names.

I am hurting because everyone else gives these ableist people pats on the back for their good deeds, and no one stops to think about the harm that they’re perpetuating by making us into objects to serve their causes.

Most of all, I am hurting because we do actually deserve better and I am tired of having to prove that we do. The fact that we are here, we exist, we are human means that we deserve better than what is currently being offered up as advocacy.

Organisations that claim to advocate on behalf of people while simultaneously othering them are probably more harmful than people who simply don’t care. Organisations that do that use nice words to hurt us; it’s more insidious. But, we should be grateful because at least they care enough to do something. The thing is though that that is not caring. It’s awful. It’s hurtful. It’s harmful.

It needs to stop.