The War of Wording


Dear Neurotypicals: It your slogans are “fighting” autism, “stamping out” autism, “killing” autism, “crushing” autism, or performing some other negative, violent action toward autism, you seriously need to reconsider what you are doing. The militant-wording approach may inspire you in your apparently vivid conflict with pervasive developmental disabilities, but it does not do much to inspire positive feelings in the people you claim to be “fighting” for. Instead, this fear-mongering tactic only perpetuates harmful myths and stereotypes about autism while devaluing, discouraging, and degrading actual Autistic people. I’ve seen all these disturbing puns and slogans plastered all over products, and it makes me feel horrible and sick. What are you really selling? Are you promoting anything at all that helps Autistic people, or are you making Autistic people feel like they have a part of them that must be extinguished and destroyed? The premise itself is absurd at best, and deeply troubling at worst. To cope with these disturbing slogans, I’ve reacted with humor. Why, yes, I will certainly take my sensory dysfunction out of my neurology and “fight” it. Maybe I can also “crush” my executive functioning problems, my social difficulties, and my communication issues. And I find this strange image somewhat amusing, like when I am picturing the literal meaning of an idiom. But why on earth would I want to “kill” my synaethesia, my creativity, my attention to detail, my unique perspective, and other gifts of autism? We cannot possibly peel apart these pieces of ourselves, “smash” some of them and maybe keep others. People don’t work that way. We are Autistic and nothing is going to come along and un-Autistic us. When you are “fighting against” autism, you are fighting against us.


One thought on “The War of Wording

  1. Pingback: List of Current Links & Resources | The Unpuzzled Project

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