Trigger warning: ableism, Christian ableism, abuse, mentions of strong language
I’m an autistic adult, and I am writing a blog to tell my story. The reason why is because I’m fighting against the ableism and hate that we as autistic people face. I have been through ableism throughout my life. There were a lot of good parts in my childhood, and a lot of bad parts as well. In my teenage years there were a lot of good and bad parts too. And now as an autistic adult, there are a lot of good parts and bad parts.
The bad parts about my childhood were that I had a stepdad who was really cruel to me. After my younger brother was born, my stepdad started to be mean to me. This went on for several years. One day I wandered off and my stepdad smacked me. One time he even pinched me in the legs. And his cruelty went on and on for many years. I don’t feel that he was a very nice guy toward me at all. Especially in my teenage years.
In elementary school, I was bullied by a fifth-grade student. He was also cruel to me. He called me really nasty names, and it was really awful. He even swore at me when he knew swearing wasn’t allowed at the school I went to. I just hated it so much. It’s tough to be autistic and have somebody be cruel to you.
When I was in seventh grade, I was in class crying. I had an aide who was super-sweet to me, but sadly I ran her off. I had a meltdown and a series of screaming fits. She was really nice too. I was sad that she had to quit, because I ran her off. I still have that pain with me that I ran her off.
The good parts about my childhood and teenage years was when I went on road trips and vacations with my family. I had such a wonderful time on those trips. They were really awesome to go to. I’ve been to Tennesee, Chincoteague Island, New York City, and on the left side of my state, Pennsylvania.
The bad parts about my teenage years were that I was made fun of. I was called a pig by a couple of male students, and a poser by one of the male students. That was the hardest thing for me, the most heartbreaking. The aide that I had in high school told me that I smelled like either pee or body odor. That really saddened me. I was deeply hurt by her words. Then she made me walk the same pace as she did, and she also judged me for the way that I looked. I felt ugly in my high school days.
Sometime ago, on my facebook page, in 2012, or something like that, I was on a facebook page that I was a part of, that was a Christian page. I thought I would like that page. But then, when I told my story and told the admin of the page that I was autistic, the admin said to me, “You’re being lied to!! You’re not autistic!!” I was deeply hurt at this. Then another Christian told me that she would pray my autism off of me. Sadly, this is a form of Christian ableism. A few weeks later I felt really hurt at this. And there was another Christian who told me that I have “divine health.”
Ableism is unacceptable, and it’s never okay at all. We as autistic people are being treated unfairly all the time. We as autistic people are discriminated against all the time. We as autistic people are teased, made fun of, gaslighted, eradicated, murdered, abused, and tortured. We need to fight against ableism because as autistic people, we are called a burden, a disease, and tragedies. And we are told that we lack empathy, and we as autistic people are denied services, and get no help from anybody at all.
I believe that as autistic adults, we must stand together and fight against ableism, and we need our voices to be heard. We are not to be silenced or muzzled. We need to be loved and be treated with kindness and respect. We notice when people stare at us, and we notice when people whisper and gossip about us behind our backs and we notice when people don’t allow us to be in churches, synagogues, synods, sporting events, schools, etc.
As autistic people, we need to be accommodated as well. We as autistic adults are treated as less-than and Othered. It’s really sad when people don’t accommodate us and treat us like we are human. As autistic people, we are still human beings regardless of what people say and think about us. We notice the dirty looks, the stares and the negative comments. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, caregivers, pastors, deacons, youth pastors, aides and teachers need to step up on the plate and show us autistic people kindness and respect. We as autistic people need your love and acceptance. And we cannot and will not fall for ableism anywhere.
Thank you for listening to my story.