A Complete Slap to the Face

Don’t you just love being stripped of humanity? Being denied a voice because you belong to a certain group? Being called a burden to everyone around you? I sure don’t.

So a few days ago, an op-ed piece was published on a certain organization’s website on how autism and people on the spectrum, in short, make everyone else’s lives a living hell (article here) and that should be stopped.

Last I checked, my brother and I are not burdens. Sure, we haven’t been able to do as many things like other regular families but it’s not like we haven’t managed. We have made mistakes but everyone else does; to err is human after all. Why exactly does our placement on the spectrum, let alone being on it, label us as burdens to society?

Yes, I am on the spectrum. It’s the only life I’ve known and will ever know. If given the chance, I wouldn’t want a cure. I’ve made progress and had experiences that most people wouldn’t have. I’ve gone so far on my own hero’s journey that hitting the big history eraser button would be a grave mistake.

I ask you to look at the name and byline of my site. I use movies as a learning tool for navigating life. Of course I take each movie with a grain of salt and don’t imitate anything in the movies in real life. All the same, I would say that movies are my guide for the world.

As to the whole representation in media, that’s an issue for another day. All I’ll say now is that there are ways to go.

My reaction to this slop-ed is a quote from The Elephant Man that really sums it up: “I am not an animal! I am a human being!” Let me speak for myself, thank you very much.

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