Monday, October 5, 2015

Vilifying People With Autism

One of the most disturbing things that I have encountered recently has been the creation of a Facebook page, "Families Against Autistic Shooters." To find out background on this situation, read this article.

I really do not know why anyone would do such a thing. Were they really afraid of people with autism? Was it just a gimmick to get attention? I really do know.

What I do know is that there is no excuse for such behaviour. Are people with autism more likely to be involved in shootings? No, not at all. Those shooters who may have been somewhere on the spectrum, would not have been violent because of the makeup of their brain. Having something does not make it a cause.

I also know that there is fear of people with autism. Some may fear violence and it is a good idea to not be in the middle of an autistic meltdown. But I have seen neuro-typical people punch each other in the face for getting impatient and honking a horn. Autism does not make it more likely that someone will be violent.

The fear is usually more about the unknown. I have seen people afraid of my daughter. They don't know what she will do or how she will react and so they get scared. She senses that fear and gets stressed out. The truth is that no one has anything to fear from Abby. She is a sweet girl.

One of the main points of autism awareness is to help stop the fear. People with autism are simply people with different wiring in our brains. The autistic community does not need people like the creators of that Facebook page to increase the fear.

I am glad that so many people have been outraged by that page. I would ask that you take it to the next step and get to know people with autism and spread the word about no fear.

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