I say this with strong conviction, as an Autistic who has been hurt by the “awareness” campaign.
The Autism Awareness message does not reach the larger public in a way that helps us and our families. In fact, it hurts us in many different ways, sometimes leaving deep scars.
Awareness brings pity. We are seen as unhappy, suffering, tragic people who cause pain and despair to our families. Our most vulnerable moments are constantly on display, as if only Autistics have bad moments, as if we never experience and share joy. Those are wrong assumptions.
Awareness brings the grading of Autistics. That absurd notion of “low” and “high” functioning is spread around to silence Autistics whose disabilities are not so visible, and to make Autistics whose abilities might be still hidden look like a big bag of deficits in need of fixing.
Awareness brings dangerous practices. The use of questionable…
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