Content/TW: Abuse. Physical and emotional. Restraint. Deliberate causing trauma.
I am livid.
Shaking with rage.
There's this essay going around, in the Washington Post, hailed as brave and courageous.
A non autistic mother of an autistic young person wrote, triumphantly, about the time ten years ago she physically forced her kid into a crowded arena to see a show featuring one of their favorite characters, not despite their terror of big crowded indoor places but because of it so she could forcibly expose them to it. She physically restrained her kid, who was having a meltdown and maybe a panic attack, in public to forcibly drag them into the arena and even, laughably and horrifically, invoked the A D fucking A to claim she was somehow being "a reasonable accommodation" (this is eleven kinds of twisted) by carrying them in against their will.
She recounts other parents as aghast at her behavior and dismisses them as ignorant by loudly proclaiming that her kid has autism (because that's a get out of jail free card for abuse), when another parent is literally telling her it's obvious her kid doesn't want to go and she should drop it. (The other parents were upset not because they don't understand autism but because, shock, they were minimally decent people who recognized abuse when they witnessed it.)
She literally described the moment her kid got inside the arena as being "indistinguishable from his peers."
That is the exact phrase word for word that Ole Ivaar Lovaas used to describe the goal of behaviorism. To make us indistinguishable from our peers (by stamping out the autistic) (by shocking our feet in water) (by punishing us for displaying autistic traits and rewarding us for supressing our natural selves). He founded what we know now as ABA, the supposedly evidence-based treatment for autism that every single autistic adult I know who survived it describes as abuse so traumatic they ALL have PTSD or CPTSD from it.
And she literally calls her kid and every other autistic young person "a burden." Yes. She out and says it, directly. What we know most of you all already believe but think it's politically incorrect to voice. (It's not. It's normal.)
I won't dignify that article by linking to it here.
This parent is publishing a book. The title is Autism Uncensored, as if to imply that what she's got is the real deal instead of euphemistic autism prettified by buzzwords like neurodiversity which really must just apply to the supposedly "high functioning" and "mildly affected" (there is no such thing). I am so scared and angry for her kid (who she proudly brags that she has further tortured by forcibly dragging them to many more scary overwhelming huge indoor spaces), and terrified for what it will do to the many autistic young people whose parents will read it and consider doing the same.
Every time you think we have gotten somewhere, we must be reminded, quite violently, we have not. This kind of bile is still worthy of publication more than ten years after I Am Autism and Autism Every Day, and it never really went anywhere in the meantime.
All these horrifyingly ableist parents seem to be wealthy, white, and resourced enough to get these books published and profit enormously off of abusing and exploiting their kids, and other than Temple Grandin and John Elder Robison (who have made clear they are not invested in our community), where is that support for cultural work by actually autistic people? Books and memoirs and fiction and chapbooks we've created about autism as autistic people? That's right. Nowhere. Nothing.
Back to business as usual.
I dread March 1 next year because I know the list will only grow longer. People like this are only worsening the conditions that will get us there.