Throughout history, we have been seen as eccentrics, loners, and oddities.
In the 1900s, the poor of us were to be found begging in the streets, and many of us were housed in the workhouses or detained until the end of our days in mental institutions. We were used for cheap labour, detained in the infamous Magdalene factories in Ireland, and shipped over to Australia with the convict influx that was ostracised there along with orphans and social rejects.
Autistic Rights and the Need for Advocacy
The more well-off of us who had personality peculiarities, intense interests, and what would be considered as social difficulties were often coveted in neurotypical circles: delightful to have at dinner parties as a main attraction for entertainment, as we were unpredictable, yet colourful and vibrant.
We have so many famous and incredible members of the spectrum who contributed so much in that period: Tesla, who harnessed electricity; Einstein, who famously discovered the theory of relativity; and Mozart, who brought us incredibly beautiful symphonies.
We had the Bronte sisters, and Lewis Carroll, whose character desperately tried to fit into a strange and mystifying world of illogical social etiquette (picture the movie down scene at the tea party with the Mad Hatter!).
Through to now, our adults are put into inadequate housing with little-to-no support and left to flounder. They get taken advantage of by ‘friends’ who ingratiate themselves and reassure them of friendship while walking them to the cash point to withdraw their disability living allowance.
They are reassured they are popular while these friends spend their money and buy them small tokens to make them feel important.
This is the harsh reality of an adult on the spectrum with no support system. Many of us are vulnerable and need help that we are not getting. Adults of all genders are drawn into relationships where they are taken advantage of and manipulated with a combination of gaslighting and domestic violence.
Autistic parents are targeted and unsupported by social services, accused of inadequately looking after their own spectrum children. Stripped of self-confidence and made to feel helpless as they do their best to nurture and provide for their children who also need support.
Worse, failed are the adults who have gone undiagnosed through life, never quite fitting in after being bullied at school and daydreaming of an existence where they are accepted and not ostracised by receiving criticism for being their very selves.
There’s the infamous Winterbourne Care Home that was shut down after horrific abuse was exposed by an undercover report, the schools and colleges which are failing to provide the correct level of educational support for our children.
The very charities meant to support us failing us, as an Autism Speaks mentality is predominately forefront, aiming to cure and wipe us out of existence.
This has brought many snake-oil salesman promising to rid children of their autism and deplete families’ funds into the bargain. Many of these treatments are detrimental to the children’s health and have even caused deaths.
We are in a society where we fight against sensory issues, social stigma, and discrimination for jobs we would be perfect for, if only the employers could overlook our lack of social conformity.
Those among us, for the sake of our future generations and indeed our own peers, now speak out against these mistreatments.
I have taken it upon myself to advocate against the Chlorine Dioxide treatment known as MMS, a gross fallacy of torturous proportions against adults and children on the spectrum commonly inflicted by care givers and their own parents.
We all need, as autistic adults and allies of autistics, to advocate and promote autism acceptance daily. Whether we are contacting the press, informing the general public, helping advise a parent, or speaking to professionals… desperately needed are our voices!
There’s no better than us to advocate for us. We know ourselves and our community better than anyone else could.
We must, and can do no less than, promote and protect speaking out for the more vulnerable among us.
It’s no less than our duty, no less our obligation, that we must and should educate the world on our views, opinions, and desires for the help and support we need and are fundamentally are entitled to.