“Calling out people for their allitistic priviledge isn’t ‘bullying’.
Telling parents to stop appropriating autistic people’s experiences isn’t ‘bullying’.
It’s pointing out that ultimately, autistic people know more about the…
1. “Allistic” is the term the responder intended to use. It means non-autistic and includes people with dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, etc. who are excluded by the term “neurotypical.” We are sometimes harsh, but it is not bullying to call someone out on ableism. Bullying is attack for pleasure. Calling out prejudice is self-defense.
2. None of us, except the autistic parents raising autistic children on Tumblr, claim to know that. However, we know more about autism than anyone else. We live it. You cannot. Parents have the valid, valuable perspective on parenting. We have the valid, valuable perspective on autism.
3. This tag has “autism” written on it. We are autistic. It belongs to us. You can come here, but this is our space. If you choose to say bad things about us, we will be angry. Parents, professionals, and everyone else got fair warning a month ago that we claim this turf. You have a right to rant. If you do not want someone to respond in anger, exercise it elsewhere.
4. Some are not warriors. A world where everyone went around looking for moral struggles would be vile. We spend much of our lives scrambling to survive and meet our needs. If one of us grows up, builds a life, and never touches our caustic politics again, she deserves a hard-won peace. Not all people, on or off the spectrum, belong in activism. Diversity is healthy in any population. The idea that one is a bad person for being born into a minority group and not wanting to be an activist, social justice by birth, is as ridiculous as monarchy, rule by birth.
5. Thank you for not bullying. Not many here do. We have strongly-held opinions. Debate is uncivil because these are emotional issues. It is a personal mission of mine to keep the tag polite, but it is difficult when children are hurt. What parents who criticize us often ignore is our reason for arguing: we care about autistic children. Even the most devoted parent can be misguided. No one is attacking for sport. We cannot know any person we have never met. Why should labels of high or low functioning come into it? One is never qualified to speak for strangers. However, when we know a practice is damaging, we say so out of the desire to protect someone else from what we endured.
6. By “work with” we mean “be tolerant.” It is good if a child grows up able to look normal enough to get a job in a prejudiced world. It is bad if that child thinks all behaviors, thoughts, and actions that are natural to him or her are evil, shameful, even in private. We want the goal to be a future of happiness and well being, not normality. We want parents to look at what happiness means to their children, not themselves. The two are often different. That is where well-meaning parents run into trouble.
I do not use person-first language around autism because I am not a person with autism. I am autistic. Autism is a label society gave some of my personality traits. It is inseparable from who I am. It effects everything I do. Also, the responder might be British. They do the language of disability differently.