I’m autistic, and I am neither shutting up nor going away. I am thankful that I overcame the menengitis when I was a baby. I would have died, but God had a different plan for me. And here I am, 28 years old and autistic. I have been autistic since birth. I know that there are times when I am misjudged, misrepresented, and misunderstood. I was also like that when I was a little girl. Not everybody understood me back then. Today there are some people that still don’t.
Ableism is unacceptable. Ableism is wrong and cruel. I am glad that every day I fight against it. I believe that all of us should, whether we are disabled or not. Autistic doesn’t mean that we are an epidemic, tragedies or burdens. Autistic doesn’t mean we are monsters or puzzle pieces that need to be fixed. We as autistic people are not broken appliances. We are not diseased. We are not a plague. We are not machines, we are human beings. There are some people that need to realize that. We autistic people are not dangers to society. Just because I’m autistic doesn’t mean I am a danger to society.
We as autistic people need to be treated with kindness and respect, just like everybody else. It’s sad when society tells us that we are wrong for what we say, think or do. It saddens me when we as autistics are being treated unfairly, and treated like we are less-than or Othered. I hope that one day all churches will be more accepting of autistic people. That would be wonderful. There are some churches that aren’t accepting of us, which saddens me the most.
I have gotten hurt by the church several times because I am autistic. I’ve been told some hurtful things, and it’s really discouraging to me. I don’t think it’s a good idea for churches to pray our autism away because we as autistic people are not going away. We as autistic people need to fight against ableism and allow others to join in the fight with us. This is why I believe churches can do a better job at caring for the disabled people.
It’s a Christian’s job to take care of the disabled people, but sometimes, it never happens, because there are always gonna be mean comments, misunderstandings and judgements. This needs to change. I am hoping that changes soon. I am hoping that one day we as autistic people will be treated with kindness and respect. We need to be loved and cared for.
Please take the time to make us autistic people feel loved. Don’t talk over us, talk TO us. Don’t dismiss our feelings. Don’t abuse, tease, make fun of, criticize, torture, judge or condemn us. Listen to us, because we autistic people will not go away. We will not be silent. We will not shut up. We will fight against ableism and the misjudgements and hatred towards us. Because there is nothing about us without us.