i complained to my wife this morning. about how autistics have only two faces in Media – either ‘fantastic, brave, inspirational’ or ‘a burden, disabled, abnormal’. we are only ever shown when we do things that would be extraordinary for anyone (like saving someone from drowning) or when our parents, caregivers and the general public kill us because we are ‘burdens’. no normal autistics are ever shown, and never any adult autistics – unless they are cute autistics. in which case it looks like this:
it is never about the authentic autistic experience. it is always about the extraordinary, the tragedy or the white-washed.
this is not only abusive and inaccurate – it is insulting. it is also dangerous because it gives people the idea that they know something about autistics – “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” – but as the other saying goes –
“when you have met one autist, you have met one autist”.
i am not Alex Spourdalakis, i am not Colbi Heard and i am definitely not Sheldon Cooper.
Alex Spourdalakis was killed because he was autistic. Colbi Heard is hailed a hero because he is autistic and Sheldon Cooper is a comic relief because he displays what the public understands as autism.
neither of these images of Autistic People serve the autistic community in any positive way. honestly – autistics would rather not be portrayed on TV, in the movies and in the News at all, and definitely not this way – because it does so much harm. it gives the general public a license to abuse and kill us. it doesn’t promote acceptance, it sets us apart and demonizes us.