Edit: this post is about the written blog post, not the video featured.
Hey +Huffington Post
, can you - or do you even have the ability - to STOP referring to autism in this defeatist, depressing, doom-and-gloom, "heartbreak" fashion? There are millions - MILLIONS! - of us with autism who live, work, and play in what would be considered typical ways.
We work very hard to not be a burden, nor classified as such - but we hardly ever get a word in when someone publishes an article or high profile blog post about autism. So to safeguard against stigma, discrimination and prejudice - much of which is spread by these types of articles (and organizations such as autism speaks) - we conceal our autistic selves as best we can, reflecting what people expect to see while denying who we truly are just so we can hold down a job.
Being told that your existence and who you are is a costly burden on the world is pretty fucked. Maybe that's why suicide rates for autistic adults is so high; because the people being listened to and broadcasting their message are the ones telling us that autistic people are too costly, too much of a problem for their families and communities.
We don't get to hear much from those with autism. Thus, our skills, talents, and unique personal traits are wasted - all because they don't fit within the margins of what many would admit is a profoundly unfair and biased society.
No, instead we're relegated to token status, a pitiable object that is used for inspiration porn, a way for people to feel good about themselves in comparison to their fellow autistic citizens. Because apparently, we don't work, socialize, live independently, or much of anything else, according to this blog post.
It's more than just tiresome - this kind of rhetoric is dehumanizing, debilitating and disabling, and makes it even harder to assert ourselves and live a life of our choosing. Is autism a disability? Does it present challenges? Yes on both counts. However, the most difficult challenges to handle come not from inside ourselves, but from external sources that relegate us to second-class citizens, without regard to consideration or understanding outside of their own comfort bubble.
That's the real heartbreak: being told your entire existence has produced next to nothing but hardship and despair to the people around you, and that the world would be better off if your kind didn't exist.