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Autism from the inside


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Autism “Culture”, The Word “NT” and Militancy

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If people are representing one has to think about is it for other people? Self-service? Advocacy? Empowerment? Information sharing? 

Militancy Is it “Normal”?

If militancy is perceived as the norm then who is that actuality helping? Assisting? Or otherwise is this the new phase that becomes relevant before it becomes redundant and passe?

The leader of their group replied in a tone lacking in warmth, ‘it would have been better without any NTs present‘. The others chimed in in support of him. Alienated, I left them to it.

Later when they were buddying up with more of the same separatist rhetoric and there was a tone to it that sat uncomfortably with me, a tone I’d heard before, in hierarchical non-autie children in playgrounds once upon a time (where I’d also known nice ones).

I had to let this group know that I simply don’t do bigotry… that my non-autie friends are not typical, mundane, boring or expendable and that I refuse to use any derogatory term that hints they are such, such as ‘NT‘.

As you can imagine, they were quite taken aback. I was meant to ‘understand’. I was meant to be ‘one of them’. But if ‘one of them’ meant I was meant to hang out in a group and dislike or disrespect another group, and share this as ‘belonging’ and ‘shared culture’ and ‘shared understanding’ then this wasn’t ‘me’.

Donna Williams

If this is the case what example is being set? By noting ones perceived superiority or “specialism” over others is still bigotry, separatism and creates more waves of the old “them and us” which doesn’t represent inclusion, empowerment, reality-sharing or otherwise. Which burns bridges more bridges than it claims to build.

The Word “NT” It Isn’t Helpful

I have come to believe that the word “NT” is not only unhelpful  and has been projected in such a way that would imply that other people who fit this “label” are “typical” therefore one could perceive that word as “boring”. I find this not only hypocritical but also a mystery because in truth there is no such thing as a “neurotypical”.

Autism “Culturism and Militancy”

The English word militant is both an adjective and a noun, and is usually used to mean vigorously active, combative and aggressive, especially in support of a cause

One cannot cherry pick what autism is and isn’t as a shared collective that is same for everybody in the truth autism in its presentation and reality is different for each person so in order to advocate and empower you have to be aware that the only reality you can share is your own and be humble and conscious enough to say that. To allow other people’s realities to relevant you cannot speak for all, to empower you cannot project “reality sameness”  because no human being is the same.

No One Should Be Defined As One “Label”

Can anybody be defined by one factor? Can anybody describe themselves in one word? I do not define myself by my “autism” it is certainly apart me but it isn’t the driving factor at all. When I was born I was born a human being and all that comes with it I live as a human being. There is much to be said about in the end being emotionally grounded, considerate and realistic.

Egalitarianism – The Way Forward

Egalitarianism (from French égal, meaning ‘equal’) – or equalitarianism[1][2] – is a trend of thought that favors equality for all people.[3]Egalitarian doctrines maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status,

My wish is that in order for this to work people must consider all realities, perspectives, opinions and input in a constructive manner that is overall beneficial.

Paul Isaacs 2017

 

 


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The Autism World – When Our Hearts & Ears Have To Be Open To All Realities

Things Need To Change?

It’s my opinion that indulgent self-gratification and the selfishness in parts of “autism world” is what I feel will eventually make it implode and full-apart. If it all becomes about “me,me,me”, point scoring, back-stabbing (being two faced), office politics, game playing, “them and us” separation, object using (psychopathy and sociopathy) not listening, stereotype investing and not learning then people like myself (who try to do their best to empower and stay true to themselves) and others on and off the autism spectrum are going to continue to get hurt, told to be silent not believed or to just told “get on with it” no one seems to care about such repercussions on one’s character and mental health. I process things slowly but get there in the end.

If we listened to one another and appreciated other’s realities we would learn SO MUCH more. It is not the act it is the heart of where the act comes from I do things to empower not monopolise or manipulate.

Conclusion

Listening is a very important tool it means not only showing an interest but in the context of this chapter it means taking into account someone’s thoughts and feelings. What journey have you been through? What paths did you take to get there? Every human being is on there own specific journey and is important to acknowledge that.

“Them and “Us” – We Are All Human 

We can all learn from each other if politics and tired old stereotypes which are churned out through oppression in and around the “autism world” then voices will and are most certainly going to be lost. The them and us scenario causes friction ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and NT (“Neurotypical”) or vice versa.

We as human beings are all equal and when neurotypical  becomes a loaded word (spiteful, derogatory, other or sub-human etc) that is not right. I say people who aren’t on the spectrum myself. Inclusion is about everyone getting involved in the context of this chapter it means that both views are valid.

Conclusion 

All views and opinions wherever someone is on the spectrum or not should be taken into account that is because one can learn from the act of sharing each other views, what they mean. How do they differ? What are the similarities and having healthy look at the whats and whys.

Neurotypical? A Word That Doesn’t Make Sense?

What is an NT? There is no such thing in my opinion. We are all human and taking all realities into account is far more positive and inclusive than creating what I call man-made barriers we could from metaphorical perspective “holds hands” in this regards everybody has a story unique to  a view and/or viewpoints that are as equal and as valid as the next persons.

Conclusion

If someone calls someone a name that is meant to make them feel worthless that has knock on effect on their self-esteem and self worth “typical” doesn’t sound very nice and if the situation was reversed I am sure it would feel equally hurtful. When I talk about equalism I am meaning everybody. Setting good examples is a way move forward.

Militancy – When People Take Things Too Far 

That is true when people attack whether they are on the spectrum or not – one must take responsibility for their actions. That is what worries me there should be no single representation of autism even by people who are in a position of being an advocate on the autism spectrum. One can only talk about their profile and how autism affects them – the key is that their so many other different and diverse profiles.

Militancy creates too many barriers and shuts off a lot other people on and off the spectrum who have different ideas, profiles and presentations. Surely hearing different views is good?

Conclusion

If we talked and discussed our views in a manner which is respectful we may learn that we share things and have insights that are common – however one may learn that are viewpoints and ideals come from different areas this isn’t a bad thing but when views get extreme it has a “pebble in a pound” effect it causes problems for other whose view may be lost in the mix of extremism.

Autism Politics – The Two Extremes

You have people who are are curists and people who are culturists both demographics go to the extreme to get their points of view across to others – what saddens me is that both have points to say but the way in which they’re either presented and said are not practical nor respectable .Wouldn’t it be nice if people listened – I stand neutral believing that everyone is equal (you hear that a lot in the post I know) and human.

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

What is Autism?

Autism is different and unique for each person who has the it – it’s made of different “ingredients” that means that the overall profile is unique to that person how they process information, if they have additional learning disabilities or not, if they have food intolerances, auto-immune disorders and so forth – in other words it is a set of pre-existing conditions and has a “stacking effect” and a point of origin which in itself is unique to each person- Olga Bogdashina calls it Autisms  and Donna Williams calls it a Fruit Salad. That is why all realities of Autism are different and diverse.

Looking Towards the Future – Equalism and Egalitarianism

If one would strip all the militancy, bullying and aggression by people on and off the autism spectrum – would that create a bigger pathway of diversity? Would more voices be heard? More realities listened too and acknowledged? Would new ideas flourish? I certainly hope so. We are equal in this world and no one is above or below anyone else we all have our stories to tell.

Final Conclusion – Everybody Having A Say 

Every human being on earth has right to be listened too, supported, acknowledged, cared for a appreciated for being them and seeing their personhood. So by bringing everyone into the scene you don’t  have “them” and “us” you see and have different points of views for and by different people on the spectrum or not but equal in their validity, by not having extremism you having balanced acknowledgment of both agreement and disagreement.

Inclusion is Bringing a Diverse set of views from Different Places

  • People on the whole of the autism spectrum
  • People who are functionally non-verbal
  • People with autism and learning disabilities
  • People from different cultures and backgrounds
  • Parents, family members, carers and guardians
  • Autism professionals (neurologists, psychologists, psychiatrists etc)
  • Educational teams
  • Other services

Paul Isaacs 2015