What #ActuallyAutistic people want you to know about 'Autism Mommies' on the internet
There’s a revolution brewing. Actually, it’s been brewing a long time, but the non-autistic world — well, we weren't paying attention. And then, thanks to Twitter, for a moment we were. The ~radical~ idea that parents are not necessarily the best advocates for Autistic children was given a push by an inflammatory book that came out this past summer. In case you missed it, here’s what happened: Judith Newman published a memoir about her autistic son called To Siri With Love, in which she said she’d seek power of attorney over her bright, affectionate, transit-system-loving son when he turned 18, to force him to have a vasectomy. For good measure, she also insulted a few autistic self-advocates. Nevertheless, the book became a bestseller, celebrities applauded it, and the non-autistic world generally received To Siri like it was the best thing since sliced bread.
But Autistic Twitter boiled over with rage. Their message? Judith Newman is on the wrong side of history. Autistic adults are tired of hurtful stereotypes depicting them as robotic and inhuman — and they're sick of having their voices ignored. Autistic people don’t want to be called broken, and they’re tired of non-autistic parent advocacy that demonizes “autism” and wails for a “cure.”
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- 23rd January 2018