Yeezy makes an embarrassing mistake
I’ve always found him disgusting but it just keeps getting worse.
I moved from Atlanta to Athens and started my law school pre-program earlier this week. Moving is hard, but things are going fine. It occurred to me, though, that my experience might be very different if I were a more noticeably autistic or I/DD twenty-something striking out on my own.
Someone would be scrutinizing me closely, and there would be jargon, a completely different set of terms, attached to what I do. Mistakes would not go unnoticed. They might not be forgiven, either. My public transit fail the other day would be cause for concern about my judgement and independent living skills rather than an easy mistake for a newcomer. In my 1L reality, this will make a funny, self-deprecating small talk story about a long walk in the heat. If I were more impaired, and thus more disabled in most environments, that mistake might have thrown my chance at independent living into question. Getting lost might have even been construed as ‘wandering.’
If you wonder why disabled people complain about ableism, think about that double standard. The unfairness also has a curve. The more impaired and disabled we are, the more we have to prove. When you find yourself judging a disabled person harshly for some failure, play with the fact pattern. Think about whether, all things being equal, the same mistake would cast so much doubt on the abilities of someone non- or less disabled.
There was an abuse situation around Washington D.C. involving autistic adult brothers locked in a basement. An article about it sympathizes with the parents more than the victims. Send a letter to the editor with this link. Visit their twitter account here.
I doubt you remember me, but my family has often rehashed the encounter that got me diagnosed. My challenges were dyslexia, low-quality education, and the abrupt switch from sheltered life to full-immersion course in urban poverty. Autism may not have been a problem, but it was there. You could not conceive of that as anything but dire. The younger man working with you summed it up: “This is very serious, and it’s going to get worse.”
The guess, however educated, was off. I grew up burning with drive to excel. My plan to become a professional and bend the categories around disability a little more is chugging along. Some autistics suffered more from dire prophecies than reality, and those who need supports often have good lives when supported. Has watching us grow up changed how you see things, or do you dismiss as an outlier anyone who claims to be alright? Do you say that, remind parents that the labeled child is the same one they had the day before?
I hope so. Most of our problems are at least starting to improve. Autistics with strong opinions and flaunted neurodiversity backgrounds are becoming welcome in mainstream circles. Eradication is losing ground, which will clear the way for jobs, education, better-protected civil rights, and the rest. I still hear of badly delivered diagnoses and parents in abject terror. Has watching people like me grow up expanded your sense of what is possible for us, or are you stranded in a faulty paradigm?
Sixteen years is long enough to learn that people, including the disabled, live mostly outside clinical settings. They need to know, especially when it is true, that they can be in other places. Marking the individual as the purview of medicine, predicting failure in the expert’s voice, applying social stigma, and strolling off without introducing the extant and growing hope for a worthwhile life is irresponsible and cruel. The phrase ‘lack of empathy’ comes to mind. Do you and your colleagues still talk like we are fated to misery? How many think we are? Have you grown, or are you the only part of autism discourse, and society, that has not visibly progressed since 1998?
You don’t have to aim the word directly at me to hurt me and millions of others like me who live with an intellectual disability….
Autistics, allies, disability advocates, and disability activists, State Representative Sanchez of Massachusetts has expressed approval of the Judge Rotenberg Center. He has brushed off attempts to question his support of the torture of children on American soil. We are invading his Facebook page tonight. Please participate. People with our labels are suffering on his watch. Innocent kids are shocked until their skin burns. He thinks this is a good idea. Show up. Be civil. Do not make threats. Post your own sentiments or links. Post late at night into the early morning hours. We want him to wake up to this. We want people to see it before his staff can take it down. Please signal boost this message. I hope to see you there.
I don’t need to be nice when calling someone out on their privileged, oppressive bullshit. I don’t need to hold their hand and take them on a magical, fluffy journey to the truth. I don’t need to need to consider the feelings of the oppressor if they’ve created an unsafe environment or used…
You are right. However, when you feel like it, being civil is more likely to change someone’s mind than being rude.
If a person of color, a person with a disability I don’t have/understand/am unfamiliar with/ a person with a different sexual or gender identity than me, etc. told me that something I had done, said, posted, etc., was offensive, I would be apologizing, and trying to learn how to be less offensive…