I learn well from statistics. That seems typical of autistics. Not everyone can. Those of us who want to educate allistic society need facts overlaid with stories for people who learn by feeling. Unemployment and abuse data are useless to those who cannot understand the numbers as human lives. For people who need pathos to grasp the magnitude of the problem, this might work:
Analyze it. Explain that the mother wanted to make a shirt as part of her efforts to teach self-advocacy to her autistic child. This is important because her son needs ”to have the self-understanding to express what he needs.” He cannot take for granted that his needs will be understood. Ms. Kelly understands that her boy must grow up sufficiently skilled in knowing and saying what he needs for a happy, healthy life to routinely explain it to people in his environment. She wanted to paint an autistic pride shirt because she sees the need to “build his positive view of himself that includes being autistic.” She knows it will be harder for him, as an autistic, to have a whole, healthy, self-concept built on love and respect for the person he is. She has to actively cultivate it. Point out that the boy, who sounds young in the post, was nervous about wearing the shirt in public. He already knows people may judge him. Whether he knows the terminology, he grasps the concept of passing. He has a burden, a worry, his peers lack.
Reach someone who needs narrative with the idea that these circumstances constitute oppression. This child knows people may think badly of him because of one facet of his identity. He does not deserve to start life with that concern, nor should his family have to strive against society’s prevailing narratives to raise him to know his own worth.
That is not the way to teach me about an unfamiliar oppression. Wage gaps, education statistics, assault data, loss of property, imprisonment make sense to me. Stories without numbers strike me as an emotional appeal that might not be representative of the situation. However, narrative is important. Some people shrug off facts unless there is a human face. Particularly when they are dissected to show their components’ relationship to the lesson, stories are a teaching tool that brings people closer to problems they have never experienced. For humanizing othered groups, they are the next best thing to relationships.