Friday, 16 November 2012

A Call to the Autistic Community


This is, first and foremost, an appeal for unity, for united we stand, divided we fall. If we're ever going to win the fight which we were born into, if we're ever going to forge a better world for everyone - everyone, from the most severely Autistic to the NT's - we need to put aside our differences. Some of us wish for our own separate communities. That is okay, as long as we always remember that everyone is equal in intrinsic worth, and no-one is intrinsically superior to other people just because they are better suited to the environment they are in.

So this is my call. I call upon everyone to unite. There's been a lot of talk these past few years, a lot of arguments, pitching both ends of the spectrum against each other, the Autists against the NT's, and yes, different Autism groups against each other. This needs to be done away with. I know, the Autist community is young, and will mature as time passes. But the problems we are facing leave no time for juvenile bickering. It's a tragedy when people are sent to institutes rather than the problem that is posed to society by their existence - and I use problem in the sense of a puzzle to be solved, not as a comment on their worth - being dealt with. But polarising the matter does not help them, and accusations will not quicken their release. Working to build a better alternative will. So we must stand together, or we will be dealt with individually. No-one poses a threat to a rotten system when they are pounding their fists futilely against the walls, but united together with others, they can build a battering ram.

However, we cannot pretend everyone is the same. Does an ear feel inferior because it is not a hand? We all have things we can contribute - we must not be afraid to admit that we are not all as able to do the same thing. It is vital that we always remember that we are all equal in value. But it is equally important that we remember that we are not all equal in ability; pretending otherwise is the path of foolishness. Once we grasp this, we can utilise our strengths and cover our weaknesses. Though I am not a Marxist, or by an stretch of the imagination all that left wing, those who are the most capable must shoulder the most burden. Only those who can speak can be spokesmen, but in such a position, they bear the awesome responsibility of speaking, not just for themselves, but for those who cannot speak or who will not be listened to. In this we must always remember that extrinsic superiority is no reason to boast, when for want of complications during birth one may have been severely brain damaged and reliant upon others for ones entire life. So do not be so quick to boast of alleged superiority.

It was Benjamin Franklin who said, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." These words are as true today as they were back then. We have a choice facing us. If we choose wrongly, we may as well fade back into the woodwork, back into stealth, back into trying to make it in a world that does not understand us. I am not willing to choose that option.