Recently, I did a couple of things. I asked Twitter if anyone would be interested in reading an inspired-by-real-life-but-definitely-not-autobiographical account on autism in blogging format or something. And then I asked whether it should be fiction or non-fiction. Like, facts about ASD and various treatments and such.
The polls indicated people would be extremely into reading a combination of both.
And I thought, “Oh, okay. That’s…err… Why did I set myself up for this??”
Then today, I stumbled on an autism blog share, and as I was reading some of these posts, I realized: There isn’t just a public interest in us sharing our life stories. There’s a need.
It’s only been about 50 years since most children with low-functioning autism were officially diagnosed as minorly psychopathic, and generally locked up in institutions.
It’s only been 10 years since diseases like measles and rubella that were nearly eradicated have made a solid re-entry into the Western world, thanks to an epidemic of people not vaccinating their kids, based on one, non-scientific study claiming that the MMR vaccination causes autism.
It’s only been a few months since I saw a book in which the mother of an autistic teenager supported forced sterilization of her son has a 4-star rating on Amazon and Goodreads.
And it was only today that I read an article from the New York Times reminding all of us — or informing us for the first time — that Dr. Asperger was in fact a Nazi who sanctioned the deaths in concentration camps of the very children he diagnosed. And we still put his name on the part of the spectrum he supposedly discovered.
Dear God in Heaven.
Adopting a cavalier attitude towards my privacy, I have henceforth decided thusly: When I come to compose my various Wattpad-age entries of How To Be A Savage into book format, I SHALL include factual stuff about diagnosis, treatment, the NTs-who-hate-us experiences, the dark side of our condition, all of it.
This feels daring. It feels scary. It feels like the right thing to do.
For the longest time, we have been led to believe that anything outside of the norm is dangerous. Even when it isn’t. Even when it’s simply different.
We don’t need to be encouraged to fit into the world. The world’s pretty messed up, in case no one’s noticed. I’d so much rather stand out — and hopefully makes this crazy planet a better place.
I am so tired of being told we need to “overcome” our autism. Of hearing that we have a “disability.” Of being looked down on.
Who’s with me?