This is hard to stomach.
No one wants to “eradicate” autistic people. It took me a minute to try to figure out why you would write this.
The tell is where you said, “As I see it…” Yes. You see it that way. You. By virtue of writing this article, you have skills that my daughter — and so many other — autistic people do not have. You are informing your view on the whole of the disabled community by your own experience.
Your privilege is showing.
The fact is that functionality does matter. You don’t get to tell the family of a non-verbal kid who moves to a different state in order to access therapy in the hope that someday he may talk, that they are doing it because they don’t “accept” him.
You don’t get to accuse me of trying to erase my daughter’s “autisticness” when I seek out treatment.
When I take her to occupational therapy, I’m trying to treat her Sensory Processing Disorder so that swallowing isn’t prohibitively uncomfortable and she doesn’t interpret having a full stomach as pain — because 65lbs is not an acceptable or safe weight for someone who is 5'1".
And when I take her to physical therapy, its because she needs to be able to sit upright for more than five minutes, despite her low muscle tone — which is very common in autistic kids and causes her to fold in on herself like a spaghetti noddle. She needs to be able to support her own body weight to be safe in a car and participate in the world in even the most basic ways.
And her speech therapy isn’t designed to make neurotypical people more comfortable. It’s so she can learn to correctly use language and communicate with the people around her. They’re not going to learn Charly-speak…and when they don’t, she will suffer, not them.
She needs to learn things that will help her be a functional adult when I’m no longer here to take care of her.
You’ve said that, for you, autism has a lot of benefits. Bully for you. Maybe you should’ve called me up after my second year of being unable to leave my house with my daughter — because if someone accidentally made eye contact with her or touched her, she would scream and thrash and howl like she was in pain — and told me how she didn’t need therapy. I’m sure that would’ve helped.
I’m glad autism works for you. That’s great. But your myopia is damaging to other people for whom it doesn’t work.
And I won’t apologize for trying to help my kid become a functional adult in a world that, despite all fantasies otherwise, is not responsible for accommodating her.