We get together, we put on special and reinforced gear, we arm ourselves with weapons we know will, at least, hurt our enemy, or even exterminate the “evil”.
That’s the mentality, the current picture of a nation and a world so deep in wars, refugee camps full of diseases and despair, and of people without hope.
When I hear the word “combat”, I see men and women wearing heavy war gear, armed with machine guns and night vision goggles; I see an army of doctors and scientists, wearing hazmat suits, ready for a battle with the latest outbreak of a dangerous disease that can kill millions.
I am Autistic. I am very disabled and I need supports and accommodations. I am also an activist, with great plans for my future and with a lot to say. I am accomplished and happy. I have friends that I love and they love me back.
I am NOT:
Why do I have to hear my government saying that who I am needs to be exterminated, like the enemy or a disease?
Why are the hateful words of groups like Autism Speaks, which completely ignore the voices of Autistic people, more important than my right to exist?
Why is the complacency of other so-called advocacy groups considered more valid than the outcry of Autistic self-advocates and our families, friends and allies?
The Combating Autism Act spends more than 97% of its budget on research that seeks to find a cure for autism. Since a cure is not possible, the research moves to finding a cause for autism.
After that, comes prevention. Preventing me. Preventing people like me from being born.
Combat autism, prevent autism.
Destroy autism, prevent more Autistics from being born
Why is my government in the business of eugenics?
All this “combating” is an attempt to make the larger public believe that autism is an epidemic, that Autistics never experience joy, that our existence will bankrupt the economy.
This is fallacy.
I am Autistic and autism cannot be separated from me.
Combat autism, you combat me.
I was promised equal rights, which I am still fighting for.
Before that, I was promised the right to life. There were no conditions. I am a person, I have the right to be.
There is a lot we need to combat, exterminate, eradicate.
Autism is not one of those. Autistics aren’t either.
Let’s combat segregated housing
Let’s combat unemployment of Autistics
Let’s combat segregated classrooms
Let’s combat restraint and seclusion
Let’s combat silencing of Autistics
Let’s combat therapies that seek to “normalize” us, therapies that hurt us
Let’s combat lack of acceptance
Let’s combat ignorance
Let’s combat hatred
Let’s combat stigma
Stop Combating Me
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About the Author, Amy Sequenzia.