Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on Feb 17, 2022. The video’s public release will be April 27, 2022.
ID: Lyric, a pale skinned nonbinary person with short green hair with green and teal hair, with purple accents is sitting behind a white microphone in an RV with dark wood panel walls. Today they have thick asymmetrical eyeliner and a grey top. The words “Autistic & NeuroDivergent Dehumanization ” floats in front of them in teal and green letters.
The problem with autism is that people, in society, don’t really see Autistic People as, fully human, complete beings. We are seen as a lesser ,second-class tier, of human. We are seen as broken, defective, NeuroTypicals, that need to try harder to fit ourselves into the NeuroTypical mold, or that we have somehow failed, because we do not fit into the NeuroTypical mold.
If you would like to know more, please do stay tuned.
Some people who are watching this video might be like, “Of course, I know Autistic People are human. I can see that you are a human being.”
I’m not talking about the physical form of a human. I’m talking about the dehumanizing treatment that Autistic People often experience. I’m talking about the fact that standards that are thought of as unacceptable for basic human rights, or would be violations of basic human rights for people who are non-Autistic, or not NeuroDivergent are socially accepted in society, because we are Autistic, or because we are NeuroDivergent and because we have brain differences that makes it okay.
Sometimes people who benefit from oppressing Autistic People will, oppress us further, by saying that we “do not have the right” to speak for ourselves on certain issues. There have even been organizations full of non-Autistic People, dedicated to speaking on behalf of Autistic People.
As a minority group, it is, typically, thought that those members of said minority group should be the ones leading the efforts, and leading those organizations, that are focused on the members of that minority.
However, with Autistic People, and you look at the major big multi-billion dollar organizations, and industries, that are set up to, supposedly, support, help, and protect Autistic People… often if they have any Autistic People involved in leadership at all, which many of them do not, will have, maybe one or two, token Autistic People, that are mostly figurehead puppets, so that they can say that they’ve checked off that NeuroDivergent diversity box to say, “look, we have an Autistic board member” … who they, probably, aren’t listening to, unless they’re one of those Autistic People that they’ve put there because they know they’re not going to make any waves.
Thanks to these organizations, who do not include Autistic People in their leadership, we have April: Autism Month, a month that was, literally, created to spread fear, and gloom and doom, and raise awareness of the “big, bad, scary autism boogeyman”, and to scare parents and caregivers into early intervention therapies, to make their children appear less Autistic.
These “therapies” prey on fear and misinformation, selling the idea that if you have hope, and enough “therapy”, and work hard enough, your Autistic child may someday be “normal”, or “less Autistic”, or “indistinguishable from their peers”.
The goal is to no longer be Autistic, or no longer have the appearance of being Autistic, in many of these therapies… which is really cruel and unfair for everyone, because one: the parents have a hope that is unrealistic, so that’s a lie. It’s cruel to the parents. It’s really cruel to the Autistic People themselves, because we’ve now got this bar placed on us, that is an impossible, out of reach goal… NeuroTypical expectations, standards we, most likely, will never be able to meet.
Trying to hold ourselves to these impossible standards, many of us will burn ourselves out, and make ourselves sick, because the bar should be different for us. Our minds work differently. We shouldn’t be expected to be fish that can climb trees, just like dogs are not expected to breathe under water. Our differences should be respected and acknowledged.
I am just as Autistic as I was when I was a kid. I will always be Autistic. Even before I was diagnosed Autistic at 29, I was Autistic, and all of the moments in my life have been tinted, and filtered through, an Autistic, NeuroDivergent lens.
I am Autistic, and you cannot separate me from the autism, or my Autistic experience; and without autism, I wouldn’t be me. It is, literally, who I enjoy the company of, the activities I like, how I experienced the world, how I process information.
Even my gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation are influenced by being Autistic. So there isn’t a world where I can exist and be a non-Autistic version of myself.
Despite the fact that the Autistic mind is so incredibly integral to who an Autistic Person, actually is as a person, these service providers, these vultures, have done a very good job in their language, and their marketing, and their packaging, making it sound as if autism is something that is a separate piece of a person. Like there’s this person here, and then they have this “autism thing” that is latched on that we need to figure out a way to “remove”, and if you can just “remove” the autism, then you’ll have a happy, normal, kid.
Normal shouldn’t be the goal. Non-Autistic, shouldn’t be the goal. Happy, yes! Supported, empowered – yes. Those things are fantastic.
Authentically Autistic, and authentically NeuroDivergent, and able to be their most supported, happiest, best authentic selves… but in order to do that, we have to be able to put down the NeuroTypical expectations, and also the shame.
These narratives, that autism is this bad thing, that impacts people who are Autistic. That, “Oh, those poor Autistic People. If we could just help them be less Autistic and help them fit in, they’d be happier.”
No. I would be happier if you listen to me, listen to what I’m telling you that I need to be successful…and supported me, and helped me to get my needs met. Instead of constantly … -mimics computer sound – constantly telling me that I am being too sensitive about things, I am overreacting to things, or that most people don’t experience what I experienced, and therefore my needs are invalid. That’s not okay.
All right, everyone, thanks for hanging out with me this week. It is February 17th, and this is going to be the last video coming out in the month of April, I believe.
If you are subscribing on Patreon, you are seeing this several months early, just as a thanks for that monetary subscription.
If you’re in the Facebook supporters, and the private supporters group, or as a YouTube channel member, you also have that in the community tab.
I am very grateful for each and every one of you, whether you are supporting in that monetary capacity, helping this blog have resources, such as transcriptioning, web hosting, all of those things, that I could not do without the help of the viewers like you.
Also, I want to take a moment to make sure that I say “thanks” to those of you who are not subscribing monetarily.
You are just as important to the success of the blog, you who are watching these videos, helping share this content, helping me get the word out, and also commenting, and giving your video suggestions and feedback.
I am so grateful for each and every one of you. I will see you all next week. Bye.
Help me get the word out!!! – If you like what I do, and would like more, please consider subscribing on Patreon. This blog is made possible by support from readers like YOU! (Sharing my content is also, equally helpful!)
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With gratitude, – Lyric