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The Autism Community “Not Like My Child” Argument Has Been Updated To “My Child Is Too Disabled To Be A Self-advocate.” – Eve Reiland

Eve Reiland

8 hrs · 

I see the ‘not like my child and ‘too autistic and not autistic enough’ bs flying about right now.

Now that argument has been updated to “my child is too disabled to be a self-advocate.”

Which means what? I’ve been mute, having wild body twitches, tics, tremors, and drooling and Bill still communicates with me so I can give indication of what I need. That’s self advocacy right there. Body autonomy too. That’s also my loved one supporting me, being ‘my person’ in this life journey, and supporting MY voice when he’s advocating for my needs with others when I’m not able to do so.

I’ve had people hand him papers I’m supposed to sign while I’m in a state of non-verbal, getting electricity zapping through me at odd moments due to sensory overload and my skin is on fire due to it, and I can’t speak words … and he took the papers and gave them to me to sign.

If parents are saying their children can’t be self-advocates … that makes me very concerned for those Autistics. The way we’re interpreted by others can be devastatingly wrong. It makes me worry about parents infantalizing their children … and not understanding body autonomy and they aren’t connected to the disability community, independent living centers and others who could be a real support network for them going forward.

These organizations have set up a battle of parents against Autistics so they can keep the money flowing in for their goals: funding research they want done. Sadly, none of that is going to help their Autistic loved one in their lifetime and it leaves quality of life for Autistics buried in the dirt.

If you want something there when your Autistic child is grownup and you’re not there to help them … then help us get the ugly mess of no help help, stigma, lies and misinformation cleaned out of our lives and focus on making a better life for ALL Autistics born already, born today and make it a better future for them.

Autistics aren’t going away. We have networked worldwide to battle the organizations that silenced us, lied about us, used us as props and commodified us for their gain. Whether it’s Autism Speaks, TACA or Generation Rescue – they’ve all harmed so much and are fighting to keep the wool over parents eyes. That’s a real tragedy.

So don’t fall for the bs. this pattern of clapback is well noted over generations …


These arguments are well known in the disability community – as well as the Autistic community. Here’s a reminder of that pattern …

From Jim Sinclair | Any attempt by a group of disempowered people to challenge the status quo has been met by remarkably similar efforts to discredit them.

The discrediting tactics used most frequently are:

1) If at all possible, to deny that the persons mounting the challenge are really members of the group to which they claim membership. This tactic has been used against disability activists with learning disabilities and psychiatric disabilities as well as against autistic people. As people with these disabilities often look “normal” and … many of us have been told that the very fact that we are able to express ourselves, object to the ways our freedom has been restricted or our rights violated, and demand change proves that we cannot truly be autistic, or learning disabled, or psychiatrically impaired.

2) If there is incontrovertible evidence that the activists are members of the affected group, to aver that they are rare exceptions who are so unlike typical members … that what they have to say is irrelevant to the group as a whole.

3) If it is not possible to deny that the activists are authentic representatives, … to appeal to the very prejudices and stereotypes the activists are seeking to overturn, and use those prejudices and stereotypes to claim that the activists are incapable of fully understanding their situations and knowing what is best for them. Often this approach incorporates the belief that disabled people need to have their freedom restricted for their own good, to protect them from coming to harm through their inability to act in their own best interests.

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