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Whale_Tuune
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03 Jul 2020, 9:02 am

I'm not completely certain what it means to be "proud" of being Autistic. I gather that it's a mixture of emphasizing positive traits associated with the spectrum or being proud of having overcome the obstacles associated with being Autistic.

This can be good, although if you take the concept too far, you may end up with people who are resistant to learning about things that are valued in the wider world (sometimes things valued with good reason-- personal hygiene, sensitivity to others, conversational reciprocity and learning to convey empathy). ASD is a disability, so part of being on the spectrum should be coming to terms with the imperative to grow and develop as an individual, perhaps with greater effort than NTs.

I also think NTs would do well if they thought of ASD acceptance not as being a doormat and letting someone with ASD cause discomfort or offense (nor being passive aggressive to the person with ASD, or being polite to their face but negative behind their back), but being open about their feelings and allowing more of a back and forth explanation of how there can be miscommunication between the AS individual and the NT one.

Acceptance of my flaws and coming to peace with the idea of change seems like a good mentality to have with ASD. Appreciating my strengths as well, although we're aware that ASD as a diagnosis is about impairment, not strength, so those affected may or may not have accompanying strengths.


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Edna3362
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03 Jul 2020, 9:16 am

For most part, I side with the concept of acceptance and the extent of it's meaning/s.

Neurodiversity happens to be a very user-friendly paradigm to those who sought the paths of acceptance.
The medical stance requires a harsher, a more emotionally mature approach to enter the paths of acceptance with it.


Pride though? I don't see it. It's like I get to be proud of... What I have and not for what I could?
For dignity's sake, maybe.
But to counter patriotism and pity may or may have nothing to do with it. Otherwise, it's ego.

Aceptance through pride can get confusing to those who can't discern and process in between.
This blur can easily ease one into being stuck at a state of conditional or partial acceptance. :|
It's the type that refuses to expand beyond the comforts of whichever one based their idea of pride of.

Pride through acceptance... May not even need pride to start with. :lol:


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carlos55
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03 Jul 2020, 10:07 am

The word “acceptance” means many different things to different people and is open to abuse and misuse.

I “accept” I have a disorder of the brain for which there is no current effective treatment for

NT people should “accept” all disabilities including autism as equals and treat us with respect.

Many on the ND side want a different kind of “acceptance” though, accepting autism as a normal human variance that shouldn’t be interfered with.

Of course that kind of “acceptance” is not really acceptance at all because it encroaches on other parties with the same condition that want effective future treatments with direct consequences on them.

As far as pride is concerned autistic people should be proud of having battled a major life impediment and carried on as best they can.

Ironically many on the ND side by whitewashing autism are actually undermining their own achievements in overcoming their disability, by claiming autism is no big deal they deceive themselves and cheapen their own life struggle.



vermontsavant
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03 Jul 2020, 10:48 am

carlos55 wrote:
The word “acceptance” means many different things to different people and is open to abuse and misuse.

I “accept” I have a disorder of the brain for which there is no current effective treatment for

NT people should “accept” all disabilities including autism as equals and treat us with respect.

Many on the ND side want a different kind of “acceptance” though, accepting autism as a normal human variance that shouldn’t be interfered with.

Of course that kind of “acceptance” is not really acceptance at all because it encroaches on other parties with the same condition that want effective future treatments with direct consequences on them.

As far as pride is concerned autistic people should be proud of having battled a major life impediment and carried on as best they can.

Ironically many on the ND side by whitewashing autism are actually undermining their own achievements in overcoming their disability, by claiming autism is no big deal they deceive themselves and cheapen their own life struggle.
I like your post,I generally scorn politics but I like this post.


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Edna3362
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03 Jul 2020, 10:57 am

carlos55 wrote:
The word “acceptance” means many different things to different people and is open to abuse and misuse.

This is correct. :lol:


The rest?
It ain't my fault if the culture's or personal context means 'to give up', 'to submit', 'to close off' or whatever dead end but charming crap anyone can come up and cling about.

:twisted: Or that people never question certain thoughts much or explore about it -- except yelling about it as if it's a religious doctrine of some sort.

Emotional processing is always slow painful to most humans.
Words are a funny thing -- it's as funny as idolatry.


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Whale_Tuune
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03 Jul 2020, 11:47 am

At least with younger NTs, sometimes the idea of "neurodiversity" seems more palatable to get them to listen. They love to hear about how everything is a social construct and we all just are different people with different ways of functioning.

The issue is that ASD and neurodiversity is trendy in theory, but in practice the NT who is liable to spout that politically correct stuff one day is just as likely to turn around and be scornful or judgmental of the weird kid in their class or the creepy coworker the next day.


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greenmm37
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03 Jul 2020, 12:06 pm

Whale_Tuune wrote:
At least with younger NTs, sometimes the idea of "neurodiversity" seems more palatable to get them to listen. They love to hear about how everything is a social construct and we all just are different people with different ways of functioning.

The issue is that ASD and neurodiversity is trendy in theory, but in practice the NT who is liable to spout that politically correct stuff one day is just as likely to turn around and be scornful or judgmental of the weird kid in their class or the creepy coworker the next day.

Thank you for the addition to your post, I definitely see this being the reality. I do think that a lot of 'neurodiversity-positive' talk can be lip-service that people say because they know it's 'right' but at the end of the day, they don't put it into practice. As I was undiagnosed for most of my educational life, I was always perceived NT, and I'm certain I came across many different ways (negative) to many of my peers. Not all, by any means, but 'camouflaging' autistic people will likely persistently be perceived by NT peers as 'bad' or 'wrong' in many ways as the condition is not understood outside of special-ed classrooms (my high school had one) and movies/TV in which autistic characters tend to be very exaggerated.

While I'm more of the party that looks at many things as 'social constructs,' I think autism goes further than that. For instance, I hate loud noises, or just noise in general that is outside of my control. However, in what world am I going to be able to demand everyone around me be quiet? I can't, at least not without coming across like a 'b****' or a 'Karen.' And I don't make those demands of people, but it's a huge sensory issue that causes me a lot of stress. Also, even if a lot of our social constructs are hindering in general, they're still in place - i.e. someone can advocate all they want for accepting autistic behavior (stimming, facial expression difficulties, lack of eye contact, etc.) but at the end of the day, people are still conditioned to find these things uncomfortable, and even outright 'bad.' I know I myself have been guilty of finding what I now know are autistic traits/behavior in others as negative in some way (not proud of it).

I think on a personal level (as an autistic person) I see "autism pride" as a very personal matter. For me, I don't know if I'd call it "autism pride" but I do feel a sense of surety in myself given the fact that I have autism, and I know that I don't have to measure myself by a NT stick, so to speak. If I feel deficient in certain areas, knowing I have autism is reassuring to me in that I don't have to feel like such a screw up, a feeling which has absorbed the majority of my life.



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03 Jul 2020, 8:35 pm

Autistic Pride is way to counter to negative self esteem issues created by disabilities, marginalization and discrimination. If not taken to far it is a good thing. It is a bad thing when it is part of ones autistic supremacist thinking.

As for me personally I see no reason to be proud of something I was born with. That I accomplished graduating college getting jobs despite the obstacles that came with living a large portion of my life when me and few else knee what autism is, is something to be proud of.


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Whale_Tuune
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04 Jul 2020, 3:03 pm

Quote:
I think on a personal level (as an autistic person) I see "autism pride" as a very personal matter. For me, I don't know if I'd call it "autism pride" but I do feel a sense of surety in myself given the fact that I have autism, and I know that I don't have to measure myself by a NT stick, so to speak. If I feel deficient in certain areas, knowing I have autism is reassuring to me in that I don't have to feel like such a screw up, a feeling which has absorbed the majority of my life.


This is true. It's really difficult to be a young person on the spectrum and have NT-level expectations of myself. It is easier on my psyche to think of myself as disabled and measure myself by that yardstick (as you said). And to know that being NT is not the only way of being in the world. (Even if it is a much easier way of being.)


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05 Jul 2020, 3:06 am

It's ironic but many NTs themselves admire the different way people on the spectrum think. I don't think younger NTs think that deeply about neurodiversity though - rather they more believe in neurotolerance.



Whale_Tuune
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05 Jul 2020, 7:12 am

Maybe so, on an ideological level. They don't exactly practice what they preach. I think the idea of "Autistic people" is a very abstract concept to many NTs. They support us in theory, but in practice they don't really speculate on whether every person they meet is Autistic vs NT, nor do they really have the tools or drive to be "tolerant" or "appreciative" of the Autistics they see day to day (assuming they even recognize that we're Autistic and don't merely classify us as "rude", "weird", "creepy" etc...)


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Lilinoe
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17 Jul 2020, 12:57 pm

Good question, and something I've been pondering quite a lot lately. Please note that English is not my first language, so I might perceive some concepts differently...

To me, personally, Autism pride means that I accept myself as an Autist and think I'm ok as I am, not flawed. I have right to be me, without resorting to masking behavior. I find pride to be a countermove to common way of talking about Autism. Where I live, Autists are portrayed in public quite negatively: we are said to be people who have all sorts of problems and special needs, we are generally rude and difficult persons etc. We are being actively marginalized by people who don't think that people like us really exist. Being a proud autist means to me accepting that Autism is a bundle. There are problems and challenges, but also lots of good stuff too. At least most of the time if not always, we need more understanding, equality and kindness than a "cure" that would turn us into NT's. Like LGBT pride, Autism pride is not about trying to say that we are somehow "better" than NTs, but that we are equally valuable and deserve to be treated as individuals instead of through some moldy stereotype. Many problems and challenges we face are same problems that other minorities face -and that suggests that whatever is not "flawed" may not be us but a society and societal structures that fail to perceive the diversity of real people.

Autism acceptance, on the other hand, is what I hope to get from NT:s. It's being accepted as who we are and not forced into doing and tolerating things that are highly stressful and even painful. I don't like Autism being used as an excuse for eg. treating others badly, but I do believe that we could use a little tolerance for our quirks and kindness instead of cruelty every now and then.



carlos55
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17 Jul 2020, 3:25 pm

Lilinoe wrote:
Good question, and something I've been pondering quite a lot lately. Please note that English is not my first language, so I might perceive some concepts differently...

To me, personally, Autism pride means that I accept myself as an Autist and think I'm ok as I am, not flawed. I have right to be me, without resorting to masking behavior. I find pride to be a countermove to common way of talking about Autism. Where I live, Autists are portrayed in public quite negatively: we are said to be people who have all sorts of problems and special needs, we are generally rude and difficult persons etc. We are being actively marginalized by people who don't think that people like us really exist. Being a proud autist means to me accepting that Autism is a bundle. There are problems and challenges, but also lots of good stuff too. At least most of the time if not always, we need more understanding, equality and kindness than a "cure" that would turn us into NT's. Like LGBT pride, Autism pride is not about trying to say that we are somehow "better" than NTs, but that we are equally valuable and deserve to be treated as individuals instead of through some moldy stereotype. Many problems and challenges we face are same problems that other minorities face -and that suggests that whatever is not "flawed" may not be us but a society and societal structures that fail to perceive the diversity of real people.

Autism acceptance, on the other hand, is what I hope to get from NT:s. It's being accepted as who we are and not forced into doing and tolerating things that are highly stressful and even painful. I don't like Autism being used as an excuse for eg. treating others badly, but I do believe that we could use a little tolerance for our quirks and kindness instead of cruelty every now and then.


Regarding the “turning us into NTs” I think you find all of that stuff happens before age 18, in childhood through ABA and other therapies.

This is done to try to give autistic people the maximum skills to live independently and as close to a normal life as possible.

After 18 that all finishes at least in the UK anyway. In fact one major complaint is the lack of adult autistic help out there in the UK.

A young man autistic man killed himself last week on UK news he was 19. His mother complained about the lack of help after he left school.

Another young man I know of with severe symptoms, his mother says he never leaves his room. Since leaving special school his routine has gone, many learned living skills have since perished, he has his meals brought to him.

One day he will have to leave his room though, his mother will no longer be able to take care of him and he will have to live in a home.

That’s where autistic pride “I don’t want a cure invented” ends for many autistic people. Spending the rest of their life bossed about / possibly abused and drugged in a chair for years on end by low motivated min wage NTs.

What good is that surely there has to be a middle way.

Accommodations with medical research progression for future biological drugs and therapies that can give us a better quality of life.



Whale_Tuune
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17 Jul 2020, 6:38 pm

"Masking" behavior... it depends on the behavior I suppose. Some traits associated with Autism (particularly behaviors that can cause offense to others) are inherently debilitating. But it's true that I don't think I should be ashamed of or hide being Autistic, just as I should not feel ashamed of or hide having cancer or diabetes. (Or being deaf or blind.)

When it comes to me being "fine as I am"... I mean, some stuff is okay as it is, like I said, but other things aren't. Who would not want medical treatment to alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and/or to help them socialize and pick up on cues? Not to mention the people on the spectrum with more severe difficulties.

The thing is that "Autism" does not have one cause and so will not have a "cure." More likely, the dxed AS population and subpopulations with specific ailments (severe sensory issues, nonverbal, self-harm, poor theory of mind/executive functioning) will receive treatment targeted for those ailments... there is no one-size-fits all blanket solution.

It's also more of a two-way street than many NTs or AS people make it out to be. I absolutely think that wasting time trying to force a kid to stop flapping his hands or something is resources wasted on something that is unnecessarily stigmatized.

Other aspects of being ASD can't really be de-stigmatized and need further treatment. (And, may I add, better treatment than what we've received in the past.)

ASD isn't a disease, but it's also not exactly its own "cultural identity". (I came across an interesting article the other day where Autistic self-advocates commented complaining that people who were into "Geek Chic" and fidget spinners were culturally appropriating Autism.... lol.... like Autistics invented being a geek or liking to fidget?)

It's a complex thing that can't be summarized by analogy or comparison to race, religion, gender, sexuality, or illness. I think the AS community needs to understand that we're grappling with something completely different from being LGBT or PoC, but also markedly different in many ways from an illness. I don't even know how long "Autism" as a distinct category that we all fit into will last.

That being said, whatever you call Autism (disease, disability, difference, disorder...etc) I'm not ashamed of being "Autistic." I never asked for it. I'm not exactly proud of being Autistic although I'm proud of the obstacles I've overcome due to my diagnosis.


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17 Jul 2020, 6:44 pm

I think autistic pride often turns into people refusing to adapt to the world out of pride. I think that autism acceptance is a good cause but isn't necessarily realistic. There's alot fo resentment floating around disabled people. I think the better cause is helping people understand autism. Preventing all the misinformatino that spreads around.


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Lilinoe
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18 Jul 2020, 4:24 am

I think "curing" Autism should be separated from the fact that most Autistic people need help with some things non-Autistic people manage. And yes, without getting help and support where needed, tends to lead in tragedy of some kind. Suicide is extreme, but underachieving and failing to reach your true potential in life are more than common among Autists.

The thing about help is, that everyone needs help sometimes, including NT's. It's no wonder Autists need help in a society that was designed to NT's, complete with strutures and conventions that sometimes seem to be designed for the purpose of making Autists struggle and fail. IMO, need for help means that one is human, not that one has a flaw that needs to be cured.

At the moment, it is very difficult or impossible for an adult Autist to get help when needed. The solution to that problem, however, isn't IMO making Autism go away, but providing help that enables us to thrive and contribute into society. Often, the biggest problem seems to be that we don't seem "disabled enough" for our need for help to be taken seriously -then when we fail, we get judged and blamed just because it turns out we would really have needed that help we asked for... :roll: