OPINION: Autism doesn’t need a cure; it needs to be understood

In+this+illustration%2C+a+non-verbal+character+holds+a+poster+decorated+with+rainbow-colored+infinity+symbols+representing+neurodiversity.+%23RedInstead+supports+Autism+Acceptance.

Lacey Buckley

In this illustration, a non-verbal character holds a poster decorated with rainbow-colored infinity symbols representing neurodiversity. #RedInstead supports Autism Acceptance.

Lacey Buckley, Staff Artist

People with Autism are constantly silenced by the mainstream media because they think we aren’t supposed to care. They think of us as apathetic robots, and it is dehumanizing. I’m upset to see billion dollar companies such as Nickelodeon delete comments of those calling them out for supporting Autism Speaks, an abusive company that wants Autism to be cured.

Autism does NOT need a cure. It needs to be understood. And unfortunately, many neurotypical people think they know better than us. We will not let our voices be censored! We are people! Listen to those who are all over the spectrum! Only those with Autism truly know what it’s like.

I’m also upset that a well-known musician, Sia, produced “Music,” a film that shows traumatizing scenes of the physical restraint of a character with Autism. Sia has refused to apologize for her ableist actions and has blamed others but not herself, a very childish way to go. Both Sia and Nickelodeon are well-respected but chose not to do the proper research for this movie.

I wrote this because I have very strong feelings when it comes to Autism, as I was diagnosed with it at age 3. Living with it has been a bit difficult, as I was treated like a baby by adults as recently as age 11. I went through a period of time where I was ashamed of myself and wanted to not have Autism. Today, I’m trying to accept myself for who I am.

Info

April is Autism Acceptance Month. To learn more, visit www.autism-society.org. For more information about #RedInstead, go to www.learnfromautistics.com. Check out https://exceptionalindividuals.com/ for information about neurodiversity. Other useful websites include https://ttautism.org/no-light-blue and https://intheloopaboutneurodiversity.wordpress.com.