Framing The Autism Narrative

Framing The Autism Narrative


Hey everybody, Ultimate Oddball here. Today
I want to talk about a common problem in the autism community: unethical individuals taking
advantage of the desperation of parents of autistic people and their desire to help their
children. You see it all the time in a variety of ways; supplements, special diets, all sorts
of treatments not backed by scientific study, many of which defy even basic logic in their
approach, let alone scientific understanding of the human body. I have to point out that
this desperation that parents experience has an obvious basis in the medical model of autism
which perpetuates the idea that autistic people should strive to be more like neurotypical
people. I find this to be especially problematic, personally. I believe strongly in personal autonomy. Any
adult who wants to subject themselves to scientifically unproven treatments for their A.S.D. should
be free to do so, within obvious legal constraints. What I do have an issue with is when a parent
becomes so desperate to not have an autistic child that they harm their child by forcing
them into treatments or “therapies” which affect the child negatively. Some may be annoying
or anxiety inducing, while others may actually be dangerous or seriously detrimental in the
long term. I understand wanting to help your child, but
if your point of view has a focus on seeing autism as a tragedy, then you are approaching
things from an inherently negative perspective. This point of view will only increase feelings
of desperation to help, and this is where it gets easy to be taken advantage of. Many
individuals have zero ethical qualms with selling various types of treatments and “therapies”,
knowing that most parents are already overwhelmed to the point that they aren’t likely to do
the proper research necessary to determine whether it’s legitimate or not. We aren’t
talking just placebo here: some of these things have serious negative effects. Most are not
covered by insurance and cost a considerable sum of money. If your goal is to make your autistic child
no longer autistic, you are going to be disappointed. I implore you to see autism for what it really
is: a type of neurodivergence which varies greatly and may change in form over time but
will never disappear. It’s important to keep in mind that how we choose to frame the autism
narrative has a tremendous impact on the social stigma surrounding it. A lot of parents and
society in general still see autism as this great tragedy, and because of that we, the
autistic community, are pitied, looked down upon, considered burdens, seen as less than.
This is unacceptable. An ally does not undermine the capability of the group that they claim
to want to help. An ally does not stigmatize. An ally does not center the dialogue around
themselves. There will always be people who will try to
take advantage of others. This is why it’s so important to change the narrative so that
parents no longer feel like the only hope for their child being able to live in society
is to fundamentally and seriously alter who they are as individuals. Everyone listens
when parents speak of autism as a tragedy in public. We, the autistic community, hear
this. Non-autistic parents hear it. Society hears it. And it’s doing damage. Keep that
in mind next time you choose to speak. Words matter. How we frame things matters, in more
ways than one. Well, thanks so much for watching, thanks
for coming by, and have a great day. Hey everybody, Ultimate Oddball here. If you
want to stay up to date with my videos, click subscribe. I release a new video on Monday, Wednesday,
and Friday. I do gaming commentary and review, I talk about my experiences on the autism
spectrum, and I share my opinion and thoughts on a variety of matters. My hope is that, through my videos, I can
help to dispel some of the misinformation, confusion, and negativity people have regarding
autism. Thank you for helping me do that by watching
these videos.

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