This post is part of today’s “Autistic People Should” flash blog where Autistic bloggers are writing about positive things that Autistic people should do. Why? Because if you type “Autistic people should” into either Google or Bing’s search engine query box, the autocomplete results–the most popular searches starting with those words–are disturbing and upsetting, especially if you’re Autistic or love someone who is.
Please be forewarned that I’ve posted a screenshot of the text from Google’s autocomplete at the end of this post.
AUTISTIC PEOPLE SHOULD: QUESTION EVERYTHING.
When we’re given an autism spectrum diagnosis, we’ve also given a model of what it means to be autistic.
Question the model.
A wordmap of Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnostic criteria. The larger the word, the more frequently it appears in the diagnostic definition.
What does your word cloud for autism look like?
Question the assumptions.
Is there a right way to play?
Question the research.
How do they know?
Who paid for it?
Question the stereotypes.
Question the experts.
How do they know?
Are they sure?
What if they’re wrong?
Question the language.
Disorder, deficit, disability, difference?
Cured, recovered, coping, adapting, passing?
Label, slur, identity?
Person with autism, autistic, Autistic, aspie, autie?
Locked in, trapped, uncommunicative, nonverbal, nonspeaking, unvoiced?
Question the hype.
Burden to society?
Question the fundamental fabric of humanity.
What is empathy?
What is love?
What is communication?
This textbook author says that Autistic people don’t recognize that other people have minds.
This Uk newspaper devoted an entire article to an autism expert who wants us to believe that autism is an “exaggeration of male habits.”
This popular autism information website wants you to believe that Autistic children play the wrong way because they lack imagination and creativity.
Autistic people don’t get married or have children? That’s what these experts at Yale and UC-San Francisco want you to think.
Question what you read, what you hear, what you see, what you are told.
Question what you think.
Most of all . . .
Question the hate.
If you type “Autistic people should” into a Google search box, these are the results that Google suggests based the most popular recent searches.