I am one of the autistic adults who spent much of her youth being bullied for her differences. I am fortunate that the only abuse I suffered was at the hands of my peers. Many autistic people today are still hospitalized against their will simply for being autistic. They often are forcibly restrained and suffer electric shocks in hopes of being “cured.”
I am one of the autistic adults who is fortunate enough to have been born into a loving, supportive family that did everything in their power to teach me the coping skills I needed to function in a neurotypical world. Many parents of autistic children teach them that what they are is inherently bad early on. Some of them end up killing their own children and get applauded for their “acts of mercy.” These parents tend to face drastically lighter prison sentences than parents who harm their neurotypical children, if they’re convicted at all.
“Autism awareness” is not a laudable goal. Awareness is cheap. Anybody can put a puzzle piece magnet on his car and call himself “aware.” Being aware and accepting of autistic people as people instead of puzzles takes more effort. —Lizzy Miller