like if you claim to support disabled people you need to be standing up for all disabled people, not just the ones who are useful to a capitalist society, not just the white, cis, het, thin, rich or male ones, not just the ones who aren’t angry, not just…


Is There an Underlying Problem With How We Frame Autism? Gender, Race, and Misdiagnosis


Read this.

This is important.

Is There an Underlying Problem With How We Frame Autism? Gender, Race, and Misdiagnosis

My Son Is Not An Error.


With thanks to geekycubil, whose original comments regarding anti-vaccination and autism can be found here; the response is to the question or idea of “what would happen if anti-vaccination parents had to explain to autistic adults that they’d prefer their children die than be like those autistic adults?”

The thing about the implicit social contract between parents and children is that it’s supposed to be invisible.  Parents promise to love their children no matter who they turn out to be, and in return they expect a child who doesn’t challenge them too much.

Anything that permanently breaks the parents expectations, being disabled, being a GSM, sometimes even having the wrong talents and interests, risks breaking this assumed contract.  Of course, the parents can rarely just say they don’t want to spend their time and energy on the wrong kind of kid, so the truth of it works its way out in terrible, cruel ways.

I’d love to see this exchange, but the truth is we all already know the answer.  A dead kid is the closest thing to a refund that disappointed parents can get.

I’m sad to say that this isn’t the first time that this idea has come up in our household. We’ve had this conversation more than once with our Young Man, and we’ll continue having it as he moves through his teenage years. The idea continues to come at him, though, as he gets older. Over and over, he’s told: there’s something wrong with you. This is more and more enforced by the idea that people would rather have their children get measles, mumps, polio, rubella, whooping cough, diptheria, chicken pox, or die than be autistic. Over and over again, we have to say it, to him, and to everyone else:

My son is not broken.

My son is not flawed because of his autism.

My son is not a mistake.

My son is not the bad outcome that you are willing to have your child die in order to avoid.

My son is beautiful, hyperpossible, challenging, wonderful, soulful, sweet, frustrating. He closes his eyes or looks away from the camera when people take pictures of him, and he comes running upstairs to ask me whether our grill is non-stick, because we haven’t had it replaced since I got diagnosed with celiac disease, so maybe it’s contaminated. He leaves pencils, chopsticks and kebab skewers all over the house because his stimming is closing one eye, squinting at the pencils he’s holding in his hands, and tapping them together, and he brings in books to tell me about his latest elaborate theory about how the world fits together. He drives me crazy sometimes because doesn’t know when it’s time to end a conversation, but because he doesn’t know when people are “supposed” to be rejected, because he never got that download of who he’s “supposed” to shun, he’s always the first kid to greet a new kid at the bus stop.

My son is not the bad outcome that you are willing to have your child die in order to avoid.

Now, on the other hand, my grandfather did have whooping cough when he was young. He didn’t walk until he was three as a result, and his brother died. When I heard whooping cough was returning, I thought — this has to be some sort of joke. Measles, whooping cough, rubella: these were the diseases that we conquered. These were relics of another time, like druids and ruff collars and cobblestone streets. Those diseases only happen to people in novels assigned to you in high school, or in stories told by your elderly relatives; they don’t happen to anyone in the real world. Not anymore.

Except that’s not the case anymore, is it? People are so afraid of their child being like my son that they’re willing to have their children die, and not just have their children die, but expose others to very possible death through their gross negligence, science denial, and deliberate inaction. Their child not being like my son is so important to them that they would willingly kill other people in order to avoid it. 

My son is autistic, and even if vaccines caused autism, even if I had to make that decision again, I would make that choice, without a second thought, because I love my son. I love him no matter what. I had more than half a dozen miscarriages and one child, and that one child is so utterly precious to me exactly the way that he is, with all his beauty and his challenges, that I would not trade one genome, one hair on his head, one tiny change. 

My son is not an error, and anyone who wants to say otherwise can say it to my face, because you’d damn well better know better than to say it to his.