Springingtiger's Blog


The Month

On Tuesday the month ends. This year I have to admit Autism Awareness month, or Autism Acceptance month, has made little impact on me as my focus has been very much on National Poetry Writing Month. It has been the least stressful April for years, I have argued with no one, despite there being a Measles epidemic over here, I haven’t managed to pick a fight with an anti-vaxxer, I am feeling chilled and virtuous. I have even made a positive connection with a cure seeker, I wouldn’t have predicted that last April.

The month may be ending, autism isn’t and our respective struggles continue, even if the spotlight has been turned from us. If I would want us to take anything forward over the year, it would be respect and tolerance; how can we expect acceptance when we present the world with a model of vicious intolerance and division. One thing autistics come to learn is that other people are very different, in all honesty it sometimes manifests more as “why are normal people so weird/horrible/wrong?”, but they are definitely different.

There is an NLP presupposition that, “People do the best they can with the resources they have available” and another that “all actions have a positive intent”. If someone espouses a ridiculous point of view, it does not mean they are are bad, it merely means that the data they have is flawed or is it? Before we correct them let’s double check our own sources first; are they empirically sound, are they up to date? Autism is a subject that provokes strong emotional reactions from some people, particularly the neurotypical who are less prone to rely on reason. We need to put our emotions aside and treat their opinions logically and respectfully. There may be some beliefs from which no amount of science or reason will sway them, but this is no reason to hold them in contempt, they remain human beings. Far better to find common ground upon which we can build, than insist on wasting energy in pointless struggle. If they are unwilling to put aside differences for the sake of the greater goal then shake their dust off your sandals and pursue more fruitful activities. At the end of the day we have a goal that is too important to allow us to waste time in fruitless argument, better to focus on reaching out with the truth where we can make a difference and hopefully allow that which is unhelpful to wither from neglect.

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