Saturday, February 23, 2013

Autistic People Should...

I saw this on Facebook today:

So of course I went to Google and typed "Autistic people should."  It auto-generated this: 

I'm not surprised after all the hatred that flowed toward people with Autism after the Sandy Hook shootings. I tried to ignore that. But this bothers me. So I'm creating my own post on what I think Autistic People Should Do. Because it's certainly not to crawl into a hole and die.

Here is what the Autism Society of America had to say about the discussion: 

Autism Society: No Link Between Autism and Planned Violence

December 18, 2012
By Autism Society 
The Autism Society continues to mourn the lives lost on Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. We join the nation as we keep our collective attention focused on those directly impacted by this tragedy.

In the nation’s rush to understand the reasoning for such an awful occurrence, the conversation evolved to include the alleged shooter’s possible diagnosis on the autism spectrum. The Autism Society feels it is imperative to remove autism from this tragic story.  Race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation are seldom, if ever, linked to the actions of an individual in a causal relationship.  It is imperative that developmental disorders and disabilities be treated in the same vein.  

Further, the Autism Society is committed to informing, educating and securing appropriate services by providing reliable and unbiased information. To that end, we are compelled to dispel any myths about individuals with autism:

No evidence exists to link autism and premeditated violence. Suggesting otherwise is wrong and harmful to the more than 1.5 million individuals living with autism in the United States.1

Individuals with autism and those with other disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence than the perpetrators.2

Many of individuals with Asperger’s syndrome who have committed crimes had co-existing psychiatric disorders.3

Individuals with autism who act aggressively typically do so because they are reacting to a situation.

Please do not judge any individual with autism based on the discourse surrounding Friday’s tragic event. Instead, please strive to educate and inform your communities. Help the Autism Society ensure that individuals with autism are not marginalized due to a misunderstanding of a complicated disorder.  

Of course, it's better to use the words "person with Autism" instead of "Autistic." But since we want this post to show up on Google's feed, we'll use their terminology.

So here's my vote, to spread the flash blog and Hope for Autism.

Autistic People Should:

have a nice place to live (i.e., clean, safe, and cheery)
not be restrained or put in seclusion
receive proper medical, behavioral, social, and nutritional care
have a say in their own treatment plans
have a say in the laws that are made for and about them
participate in community and public events
be taught and encouraged to make positive choices in their life 
receive schooling and employment training in their least restrictive environment
have a job they enjoy, just like everyone else
be encouraged to live a happy, healthy, productive life, just like everyone else
be loved by their family
be free to find love

What did I forget? Do you disagree? Add your suggestions below in the comments. What do you think Autistic People Should Do? 


Alyssa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sonneside said...

Autistic individuals when they reach adulthood should have a court appointed Legal Guardian if they are non-verbal or unable to make their preferences known or unable to make health care decisions for themselves, so that they have someone to speak out and advocate for them. This can be a family member, if they have one who can do this, or it can be a trained professional Guardian who is Certified by the National Guardianship Association on how to represent those who need a Legal Guardian.

Sheila Damron said...

Good point!

Sheila Damron said...

I saw that your original comment said you liked my post, but then you withdrew it and wrote on your blog, "(MAJOR CUREBIE WARNING. LIKE WOAH.)" I think I'll take that as a compliment.

Yes, I think that there are things you can do medically to help improve the severe behaviors of Autism, including inability to speak and control emotions. I don't see anything wrong with wanting a person to have a better life.

Do I think someone like you, who can express herself, needs to be "cured"? No. But I think people who cannot communicate can and should be helped to improve their quality of life.