Ableists: Shut Up And Listen!

People with Autism are not Pets, Monsters or a Joke


Anarchy symbol autism logo

Like you, people with autism are human. We have thoughts, emotions, and intentions of our own. We do not need to be told what to do or how to feel. 


It is frustrating whenever I see yet another parent of an autistic child using their disability for “clout” on the internet as if it weren’t irritating enough to deal with casual ableism.


We are not a punchline, and autism isn’t funny. Trust me, I wouldn’t choose this. In fact, there are few of us who would choose autism over being neurotypical, or non-disabled.

Autism Speaks, But No One Hears Us 


First off, ableism is the hatred or mistrust of someone based on their abilities. It is something people with autism have to face on a daily basis, on TV, in the news and even at school and work. 


Unfortunately, even our so-called “resources” are often ableist and co-opted by neurotypicals trying to prove how progressive and accepting they are. 


Institutions like Autism Speaks who claim to give a platform for we, the autistics, have been proven to be ableist groups.


Autism Speaks preaches to aid autistic people, yet refuses to hire us. It is an organization run by neurotypicals who know nothing of our experience. 


I am not the only one who feels this way about Autism Speaks. See more about this here.


The Academic Struggle


You’d think that college would be a place for autistic people to flourish. This sentiment is one that fills me with wry laughter. 


I’d love to flourish, but I can’t even understand my often confusing course schedules. I can barely survive a social interaction without feeling confused and embarrassed. 


I have started to get the feeling that college isn’t the “safe haven” for autistics that I’ve been told it is. Professors treat you like you’re annoying, classmates walk on eggshells and counselors label you a “risk.” 


But what are we even a risk to? The ableist social structure? 


There is a Difference


If you don’t get passionate about fighting for your rights as an autistic person, then you allow neurotypicals with hero syndromes to walk all over you. If you do get passionate, everyone gets terrified because they think you’ll do something stupid.


I would like to express anger without people thinking I’m going to resort to violence. 


I’m autistic, not a sociopath (sorry “Big Bang Theory,” there is a difference between sociopathy and autism). Autistic people are allowed to express emotions without those emotions being policed by stereotyping.


We are human beings and deserve to be treated as such. 


As someone with autism, I’m personally tired of being condescended to and stereotyped. I’m tired of being a punchline. I don’t want to be given special treatment; I want to be normalized. 


When the “R” word is still seen as a joke, it is clear that society still has a lot of progress to make in terms of acceptance. 

My Life with Autism


I was diagnosed at twelve years old with Aspergers’ Syndrome.


Since then, I have spent fourteen years feeling abnormal and cast-off by society. They have refused to accept me as anything other than a token or the butt of an ignorant joke. 


I cannot count the number of times I’ve had my disability used as a way to invalidate my opinions and experiences. I have been told that what I felt was just because I was “Aspergering” over it. Are we not allowed to have and express opinions? 


Do our opinions only come from a disability? 


Before my diagnosis, I was seen as any other rowdy kid my age. However, after I was diagnosed, every feeling, every thought, and every interest was thrown back to autism.


I can even remember one instance when the leader of a therapy group specifically for teens with autism refused to discuss actual issues.


Instead, she told us, a group of fifteen to sixteen-year-old boys, to share our toys. I am not kidding.


I am NOT My Disability 


People with autism deserve proper representation, we deserve to be treated as human beings and we deserve to be given equal rights. 


If I could make one request, I would like to live in a world where my disability wasn’t constantly thrown in my face. 


Likewise, I wish that I could live in a world where my disability wasn’t a tragedy. People like me should be normalized and not have to constantly explain ourselves.


We shouldn’t have to try and educate an ableist and ignorant society if they will not listen. Autistics are not your token disabled kid that you can bring out when you want to look sympathetic. We are not monsters who resort to violence when things don’t go our way. 


Autistic people deserve more than being stereotyped into a catchphrases that set off your laugh track. 


We, the autistic community, owe you nothing.