Written by: Ivanova Smith
Being autistic is not a disease or tragedy, being autistic is not being a monster. Being autistic is being different from what society values. Autism Speaks never saw the gifts and unique perspective of autistic people. Instead they used their platform to attack autistics and say we are burdens, we are the problem. But I don’t think we are. we have abilities that are very valuable.
We have passions that drive us. Lots of times this is ignored because of the how we are portrayed in the media and by Autism Speak saying we cause all the problems to families. That we are the reason for parents getting divorced. It not autistic people fault that divorces happen. It not autistic children fault that they struggle in school and don’t do traditional childhood things. It not autistic people fault that services are scares for families to get extra support. That is the fault of society saying we burdens and don’t matter.
Parents need to understand this, autistic people are not against you. We just want to be respected. We want our abilities and passions acknowledged and supported. We want to be treated with dignity and not be put because we lack living skills or need extra support. That not our fault. Society need to put those supports in place. We need to work together.
Autism Speaks doesn’t want that.
They don’t respect autistic people. They degrade us and even threaten to drive us over a bridge. When parents accept their autistic children the way they are it fairs way better outcomes. Autism Speaks wants us fixed. We can’t be fixed. I don’t want to be fixed. I like some my impairments to go away, but not a cure. Being autistic is a part of me. And it not something I should be ashamed of. I love being the way I am. And I want all autistic youth to feel like that. Autism Speaks wants to see us disappear. But I say we celebrate who we are. Autistic and proud!-
-Ivanova Smith Washington State disability advocate and happy autistic.