Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The Devastating Evidence of the Work at Hand

I was thinking about what today’s post was going to be yesterday while sitting on an Air Canada plane while we were stuck in Indianapolis. It was annoying and allowed for me to spend too much time on social media. As I was scrolling I came across a lawyer’s page trying to drum up clients for a class-action suit regarding the autism spectrum. There were 12 comments so I decided what possibly could’ve been said, and that’s when I saw it. 

A self-advocate was questioning the imagery portrayed stating that some people on the spectrum find it offensive. In response, a person commented that they shouldn’t have an opinion due to their diagnosis. The self-advocate responded stating they, along with everyone, should have an a voice and an opinion and that’s when it went off the rails.

To counter the advocate, the commenter, who seemed to have a legitimate account and not a dedicated troll account, stated that they should only have a voice if they have a job and pay taxes. I share this with you because I was deeply troubled, and still am, by that notion. The commenter further said that if a person is any sort of drain they should have no say in anything. 

I cried when I read this. Thankfully I was in the front of the plane so no one could see, but how could anyone cast such a viewpoint publicly? Maybe I’ve been too sheltered in my social media usage to not see such extreme statements, but I shuddered to think what those on the spectrum would think if they saw that. 

If I saw that in 2009, it would’ve reinforced my belief that I was nothing but a drain and that I had no prospect of bettering myself or the ability to achieve anything in life. I proved that wrong though! I’ve given over a thousand presentation, have reached hundreds of thousands of people, and have even made it to the flagstand of the NTT INDYCAR Series. 

What would’ve happened though, had I read that type of comment in 2009? Would any of my life played out the way it had? I’m unsure, and that troubles me that I say that because I know I was susceptible to such negative talk. 

We still have a lot of work. Never for a moment forget that. We still have so much work to show the world the entire spectrum that exists within autism. We must strive forward because to become complacent will mean that those voices that say we won’t achieve a thing will become louder than ours. There is so much growth, potential, and life in all of us on the spectrum and we must strive for a world where we can grow, meet our potential, and not have to worry about outsiders questioning if we deserve a voice in life. 

No comments:

Post a Comment