Why we all need Autistics.
While on twitter I stumbled upon a post which affected me deeply. It was an autistic person who was hurt, and extremely upset by the #boycotttosiri drama happening on Twitter. Hundreds of sad and angry autistics protesting the ableist book ‘to siri with love’ ‘.
The disrespect the author shows to her son with ‘warts and all’ descriptions, and a wish she could sterilise him. Within this display of sadness was a tweet which said “non autistics, please tell us why our lives are of value, please tell us why society needs us”. I can’t remember the exact wording but it was something similar. I want to answer, so I will:
This isn’t going to be a blog about those ‘savant’ autistics only. It would be like saying anyone who hasn’t got magnificent jobs hasn’t got a value in life. Every life has a value.
Likewise I am not going to make it this patronising blog about how autistic / disabled people ‘inspire’ us bleuh 😒
As stated by Hans Asperger himself “It seems that for success in science or art, a dash of autism is essential”
Autistic people we need you.
We need the non verbal kid to look through the sun blazed window to see the beautiful prisoms of the rainbow. We need kids lying under swings to see the different perceptions of life. The joy seeing autistic kids playing unconventional ways, not influenced by others is heartwarming.
We need the kids not giving in to popular fads which makes us see the insanity of these actions. Autistics show us that life is so much more important than that.
We need kids who don’t adhere to peer pressure. Who can refuse to participate in useless activities, or bullying campaigns often based on insecurities due to social demands.
We need parents to know that life is not a competition. That life is so much more important and precious than that.
We need teachers to see that their conventional teaching methods don’t always work, that schooling is far more than educational grading. That a good teacher is one who learns as much as teaching. Autistic children teach them to find different learning methods which are benefit to all.
Sensory Issues – We need acute hearing, seeing, smelling and touching to spot danger, to discover new things. To gain new inventions.
We need communication which isn’t verbal to see as humans we are so much more than the human voice. New technologies can be used for so many more things than ‘Autism’
Anxiety – we need people who are fight or flight. They will be the ones warning us when danger comes.
Without that person ‘thinking out of the box’, seeing different patterns, teaching us unconventional ways of life. Showing us life surrounded constantly by others isn’t the only way to live. Sometimes sitting in a library reading a book can be far more enjoyable than seeking constant social company can be ok.
Not everyone should walk in the same line.
We won’t all fall for commercialised expectations or advertised propaganda.
We need to see that being ‘sociable’ can have as many deficits as attributes.
We need people who work best alone.
What about autistics who can never work, who can never be independant, do we need them? Yes of course.
We need jobs for carers, we need jobs for therapists, but more importantly we need to respect that every life has value.
No life should be judged on financial value.
None of us asked to be born, and none of us should undervalue anyone else.
To the autistics with lower cognitive ability, you give unconditonal love, an honesty to cherish and an innocence to teach us what life should be about. We need you.
Equally we need to acknowledge that those of you unable to work are at mercy of your needs often not provided. Simple adjustments can help you contribute if able, that it is the rigid thinking of normalicy which prevents this. It is not your fault, society needs to change. We need you to teach us how. Until then we need your diversity, your wisdom and your passions to teach us all. We need you.
Autistics we need you, equally as much as you need us. And behalf of us many non autistics, I am so so sorry that you would ever be made to feel unwanted. Non autistics can be so caught up in social expectations, as much as perhaps you need your solitude at times. And that Autistics, is why we need you all so much.
For the human race to survive we need you.
As non autistics it is NOT up to us to judge the value, quality or worth of other people’s lives
Autistics you are our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our lovers, our children, our work colleagues, our service users, our scientists, our bankers, our artists, our customers, our providers.
We need you ❤❤❤