October 15, 2013

Autistic But Not Afflicted

screenshot twitter conversation between @onequartermama.ca and @AutismTips
Tweet from AutismTips says: "Family support is critical cos autism affects the entire family not just those afflicted with it."

Affliction: read the definition - which contains words like grievous and unfit.

So maybe you can see why I might be a little annoyed at being told I am "afflicted with autism," as if it's some sort of disease. I am not in constant distress or pain. I'm also not contagious, in case anyone was worried.

Just like a person is not afflicted with blindness or afflicted with deafness - they are Blind and Deaf, and I am Autistic. We are not suffering. We are simply different. And I keep harping that different is not wrong because maybe if I repeat it often enough, maybe at some point people will start believing me.

It all comes down to what other people consider "quality of life" and what people consider "success" in society. We need to broaden the definitions of what it means to have a happy and successful life, and what constitutes a valid contribution to society. These things might not look average or usual, but they can still be valid.

Until we get to that point, some people will see disabled people as afflicted or suffering, and people will insist on pitying what they don't understand. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from readers. Thanks for your comments!