The autistic community is a myth - Unapologetically Autistic

The autistic community is a myth

The autistic community is a myth, in the sense there is no monolithic and homogenous group of autistic people who share a common goal, aims, or values. Hell, they don't even present their autism the same way.

But this doesn't stop an awful lot of them trying to co-opt the rest of us into the autistic community and to rally round to what I can describe only as a cause.

The amusing thing is autistics seem quick to claim (correctly) all autistics are individuals and so are different and unique, and if you've met one autistic, then you've met one autistic. It boggles my mind we have to tell people this since it's no different from having to tell them not all black, gay, trans, Chinese, or left-handed people are the same. 

No one having more than a couple of brain cells to rub together needs telling any of this, but, for reasons I've yet to fathom it seems perfectly acceptable to the point of routine for neurotypicals to tell us their mother's hairdresser's aunt's nephew is autistic and we're nothing like him, so we must be making shit up (curiously knowing an autistic person, no matter how vaguely or superficially, apparently gives some people deep knowledge and insight into all things autistic, and they love nothing more than to share their wisdom with us, often telling us how wrong we are about our own condition. It's extraordinary).

But, I digress.

The same autistic people who rightly rail against pigeonholing and stereotyping don't hesitate to do exactly the same thing when it suits them.

If something's somehow generally perceived as negative, then the trait is either a stereotype or down to the individual; but if it's a positive or favourable trait, then it's a label to slap on the whole of the autistic community.

No, NO, and three times bloody NO!

Some autistics are intelligent; many are not (several studies correlate autism with lower intelligence, not higher. We're not all fucking Rain Man, you know).

Some autistics are decent people; some are not. Some even turn out to be rapists, child-abusers, and murderers, just the same as some individuals from every other social grouping you care to think of do.

In other words, we're just people, and we're inherently and intrinsically no better or worse than any other individuals. What we make of ourselves and how we develop our characters is up to us. Personally, I find a lot of autistics to be entitled and whining crybabies who'd be happier if they took responsibility for their lives and feelings instead of pissing and moaning about how hard things are and clamouring for "someone" to "do something" to make their lives easier.

You know why revolutions always end up failing and becoming that which they despised and revolted against?

Because, like all causes, as they reach each successive "common goal" the differences between the individuals start to cause (heh) fractures.

They all want the same thing... more or less... and any differences aren't important until they become the main differences. 

"You are all individuals!"

"Yes, we are all individuals".

As it went in The Life of Brian.


Jon McCulloch, The Evil Bald Genius

Author, speaker, business owner, and autism advocate

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I'm Jon. Husband, father, business owner, author, speaker, and outspoken advocate for autism awareness. I struggled my whole life knowing I was different, but not knowing how or why. I was finally diagnosed in 2019, but had informally self-identified as autistic for a couple of years before that. I live on a remote farm in Ireland with my wife and an assortment of cats and dogs.