Hey everybody! Ultimate Oddball here. This week’s blog post is right at the last minute, but I wanted to fill you in on what I’ve been doing. November first I participated in #AutisticsSpeakingDay , which was wonderful. I really enjoyed reading all the posts by other autistic voices, all of the great points made by them and the varying points of view. The blog for #ASDay is here, and all of the posts are archived for future viewing:
I’ve continued to connect with more autistic advocates and self advocates through Twitter, and today I sent out a bunch of tweets with the hashtag #TheAbleistScript , which was created by Lydia Brown, a.k.a. Autistic Hoya (link to website below). It’s use is to display the treatment and attitudes that disabled people face in a systemically ableist society. There were some incredible posts sharing the various things that people have heard, read, or feel our society implies. The tweets can be found here:
Autistic Hoya website post: http://www.autistichoya.com/2015/11/theableistscript-original-tweets.html
One theme that came up which I found interesting is that ableism is ingrained into our collective unconscious as a society to such a point that even disabled people are not exempt from that. I, and many others, were forced to confront head on that we are not free from bias, and should be ready to address it if it comes up rather than convincing ourselves that, as disabled individuals, we cannot possibly hold internalized ableist points of view. The key to all this is being willing to see the problem behavior and work to fix it, rather than continue it, accompanied by feelings of guilt.
I wanted to share a couple of my tweets, and my actual responses to them here:
(Pictured is a Tweet which says: “” #TheAbleistScript ” I know you were diagnosed, but when you call yourself autistic, it takes away from the focus on *real* autistic people.””)
The idea that people like me take away from nonverbal autistic people is a logical fallacy. Every person has their own place in society to speak and share their views. I have the right to mine, just as every other person has the right to theirs. I would never claim to speak for all autistic people: I only speak for myself, and that’s my right as a human being.
(Pictured is a Tweet which says: “” #TheAbleistScript “It doesn’t matter if I speak disparagingly about my nonverbal autistic child in front of them.They’re in their own world””)
Whether a person seems to be paying attention to you or not, they still deserve the same respect that anyone does. Talking about a person right in front of them as if they aren’t there is rude and disrespectful. Neurotypical people don’t do it to each other, so I can’t begin to understand why anyone would think it’s okay to do to autistic people. Autistic people are still people, and they deserve to be treated with the same respect that social niceties afford everyone else.
This is one of the most common misconceptions about autism. The key to understanding where this misconception comes from is in understanding the difference between “cognitive empathy” and “emotional empathy”. Cognitive empathy is something that autistic people often have difficulty with. It is the ability to read and understand the emotional states of others, and does not actually reflect the expression of emotion, only the ability to read it and convey it. Emotional empathy is what people would typically associate with the word empathy, and it is the ability to feel emotions vicariously that another person is feeling. Autistic people don’t usually have an issue with that being a deficit: more commonly, based on studies, as well as my experience and what I’ve read from other autistic people, the problem is being overly empathetic rather than less empathetic than the average neurotypical person. I feel emotions, especially for others, in such an overwhelming fashion that it can be too much for me at times.
Reading everyone’s Tweets was wonderful. I have really enjoyed connecting with other people and discussing these subjects. This week I wrapped up the four part NHL 15 Hockey Ultimate Team Tips and Tricks series, available here:
Next week I will be starting a new let’s play series which I’m very excited about. Everything else will be continuing for the foreseeable future. Thank you to everyone that has watched so far!