Attacking Autistic Bloggers
While some on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum blog about how their condition is just a form of eccentricity, those on the lower end often cannot talk at all and have difficulty expressing their needs, desires, and fears. Some will never be toilet-trained. Others engage in frequent self-injurious behavior—a nightmare for parents. Sleep disturbances are common. And while the high-functioning bloggers may disagree, it’s hard to find the blessing in a condition that prevents so many who have it from making any long-term, meaningful decisions about the direction of their adult lives.
The real "victims" of autism are ALWAYS parents. When autistic people injure themselves, the damage it does to their bodies and to their spirits is not worth mentioning or thinking about-- all Brown can see is "a nightmare for parents." Although it is not fair to hold her responsible for the headline, it does accurately describe her attitude-- "As Scientists Race to Diagnose Babies, Autistic Kids, Families Suffer On."
Brown mischaracterizes autistic bloggers in two ways-- the messages we send about autism and our functional level. She is telling a general audience that a disenfranchised group is unworthy of their attention. It's the old "If you can talk about your autism, you aren't autistic enough to know anything about what REAL autism is like" routine.
It makes me really sad that hateful parents like Hannah Brown get published in The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times, while autistic writers ourselves tend to have no platform beyond our own blogs.