Z is for Zenith…
What can be said as a culmination, what is the zenith of this series? What is the key point of all this anyway?
Why have I gone to the effort of pouring out myself onto this blog over this last month?
I don’t believe there is a definitive answer to any of those questions. I think what there is, though, is a sense, a sense of the why and what purpose.
That overarching purpose is, that as an autistic I am different not less, that I am actually autistic, and most importantly that autism acceptance, celebration and pride is a good and positive thing to work for and to embrace.
It is a truism that an autistic always understands autism better than a non-autistic. I have at times been told this is a statement of arrogance, but it’s not arrogance it just is what it is.
The fact is, that no matter how much a person who is non-autistic tries to experience autistic reality, empathises with, gets to know autistics or listens to them, they will not ever be in the situation that an autistic is in. That situation is that the being autistic is a non-changeable reality. An actor can get to know their character and be that character to a certain extent, however, they will also always be in the position of being able to step out of that character and returning to being who they are.
And so the Zenith.
Being autistic is good.
Autistic acceptance is good.
Autistic pride is good.
Autistic celebration is good.
There is also the not so good, the bad and the ugly.
There is cure culture, and that’s bad.
There is narrative of brokenness, disease and disorder and that is bad.
There are terrible therapies and they too are bad.
The lists could go on. So many examples could be added, yet what is the point of that. In the end, the culminating message, the zenith of all I have to say is essentially this.
Autism Acceptance is a good thing. It is a good thing because it acknowledges and embraces the reality that autistic people are human people, who are not lacking, not lost, and not in need of being released.
Autism Acceptance is a good thing. It is a good thing because it leads to Autistic Pride. Autistic pride is good because it allows an autistic person to have self-worth, to believe in themselves and have an inherent pride in who they are, and in turn an underlying belief that they are worthwhile, and they have the potential to achieve their dreams.
Autism Acceptance is a good thing as not only does it lead to Autistic pride but also to Autism/Autistic celebration. In the face of the awareness paradigm it is pretty hard to celebrate autistic achievement because it is always seen not for achievement in its own right but within a paradigm of pathology, a paradigm that says, oh look what that little special person did, isn’t that wonderful. It’s celebration lite.
True autism celebration can be so much more, it can be a celebration of achievement simply for achievement. Not in spite of autism. And even better than that can be, celebration because of autism.
Because I am autistic I had the ability to harness the way I experience the world and make this, do that, write this, paint that, say this, make that.
Autism acceptance is a good thing. It is a good thing because Autism is not an inherently bad thing.
Z is for Zenith and the zenith is Autism acceptance is good, autism is good, the world is better because…