…..then you’ve met one individual with autism”
We’ve all seen this phrase before and if you haven’t, well now you have. It’s supposed to represent diversity with countless variations among autistic individuals and yet one must ask…..
How can we expect the world to accept this about us when we have trouble accepting it ourselves?
No two autistic people are exactly the same, we know that. We even get offended when people take one look at us with stereotypical phrases like, “You don’t look autistic”.
So why is it when a film, TV show, book or some form of media with a representational autistic character is released, we’re so quick to analyse and criticise what should and shouldn’t be?
These actors, authors, directors ect, may have gotten first hand information from actual autistic people on how to incorporate their autistic traits into the character. Emphasis on their because we’re all different…..only to then have a swarm of us nitpick that it’s all wrong based off our own unique traits and experiences, and to even go so far to say that it’s damaging.
Well let me break it down in simple terms……
Even if every single trait on the spectrum was incorporated into one character, it wouldn’t make any sense. Half the traits would contradict each other, how ridiculous would it be to see someone who’s non verbal but verbal, who’s a savant but has an average IQ, who’s over-sensitive yet under-sensitive to the exact same thing.
I wish we could just be a little more appreciative of these people who take the time to learn about autism let alone even think about including an autistic person in their work. Just because a single character they’ve chosen to work on doesn’t relate to all our individual traits doesn’t mean that it’s all wrong. I’m autistic and I don’t relate to having to hit myself when I’m overwhelmed with sensory issues but I don’t get into my feelings about it because I know there are autistic people who are actually like that. There’s so many things that needs awareness, can we honestly expect the world to keep up with all of them let alone a whole autism spectrum? Honestly, I’m just happy that there even is some form of recognition out there. The world isn’t perfect and if this upsets you then you’re very welcome to create and present your own masterpiece that shows all the possible variety of the autism spectrum.
Autism is unique to each individual and there is no wrong or right way to it.
Thanks for reading.