So tomorrow it’s going to be World Autism Awareness Day and I feel worse than I expected. I’ve tried to write and discuss a bit but the fact is that a lot of openly autistic people in my country are supporting this day and claim that we shouldn’t let Autism Speaks ruin it. Some voices are claiming that spreading knowledge is great and I agree with that. However, I don’t see how this day contributes to disseminate knowledge about autism when the strongest voices are spreading prejudices.
I’m not openly autistic. I’m openly neurodivergent but I can’t be clear about being autistic, since it most likely will hurt my child (I know autistic parents who have been very questioned by schools and authorities as parents, sometimes actually having their kids taken away because social workers assume they are bad parents when their autistic kids suffer from unaccessible, abusive schools). I’m also always promoting that the voices of autistic people should be considered more important than the voices of family members and professionals. This means that in order to live up to my own standards I have to listen to the autistic people who claim that this is a good campaign. No matter how much false information it’s spreading, no matter how much it will silence a lot of other autistic people, and no matter how much harm it will do. Officially I’m not autistic and have to stand back and listen to all the horrible things that will be said.
I knew it was going to be hard but I didn’t expect to feel so desperate.