It’s that time of year today, and not I’m not talking about spring. Spring doesn’t start in New England until May.
I am writing this on April 2. It’ World Autism Day, the day organizations like Autism Speaks rams their Light It Up Blue campaign down your throat like (insert incredibly inappropriate analogy here). I’m not a fan of this day, or this month in general. This is the month where many organizations will pretend they’re woke about Autism when their main goal is to make Autism look so scary that you will open your wallets and throw money at them in hopes of slaying the mighty Autism dragon.
Parents of children on the spectrum will often be publicized primarily when it comes to the hardships of having a child with Autism. You won’t often hear the joys of raising a child on the spectrum, not this month, not ever. That’s unfortunately why we have books like I Wish My Kids Had Cancer: A Family Surviving the Autism Epidemic (I shit you not on that one 😥).
I constantly see Autism painted in a negative light, and it never ceases to sadden me. If you don’t know me very well, you should know that a lot of this irks me because I myself am on the Autism Spectrum. I’ve spent my entire life being told what I would and wouldn’t be able to do. It saddens me that even with the strides we’ve made when it comes to medical research, we’re still perpetuating the same damn stereotypes about people on the spectrum.
Once, I heard two women talking about the show “The Good Doctor” and claimed the show wasn’t realistic because there was no way an Autistic person could be a doctor, or handle many of the situations presented on the show. I’ve also had parents of those on the spectrum tell me I had no business speaking on Autistic issues because my Autism wasn’t severe enough. I even had a woman accuse me of self-diagnosing myself because my Autism was nowhere as severe as her brother’s.
One of the many reasons I write a blog and simply exist is to remind people that Autism isn’t a list of symptoms, stereotypes, and nevers. Autism is a very mystifying disorder that continues to amaze those who are willing to give it a chance. I have met many brilliant minds on the spectrum. A good amount of them have never spoken a single word in their lifetimes.
I implore of all of you to open your minds no just this month, but for the rest of your lives.
Also, Never hesitate to email me questions firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m a pretty open book and will be more than glad to speak on my experiences on the Spectrum.
Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.