Why autism should NOT be seen as a disease:

The following post is from a very talented young lady, who happens to have autism. She wrote it in response to this front cover of Time magazine, which features the founders of Autism Speaks.

Time Magazine

Time Magazine

I absolutely agree with everything she says, I am sure you will too.

I am sharing with her express permission. If you wish to share this post and her words, please will you request permission by following this link to ABC Leeds and messaging the page?

Why autism should NOT be seen as a disease

When people say autism is a disease, it really makes my skin crawl. When you say that, you are basically putting it in the same category as HIV, Ebola, cancer etc.  It perpetuates the idea that it’s something that needs curing.  Most research points to the fact that it’s genetic so wanting to cure autism would mean you have to use eugenics. EUGENICS IS HIGHLY UNETHICAL.

The fact is autism isn’t a life debilitating thing but, people’s attitude to the condition make it so. For example, people may not give a non verbal autistic person the equipment they need to communicate with. People see people who aren’t like them as sick or inferior just because there aren’t as many of them and it’s someone they dont understand. This makes people scared and that is really nothing new.

Like being LGBTQ, autism should be positvely portrayed and be given a voice by people who are actually autistic in mainstream media. Autism is not a rare condition, around 1 in 88 people are autistic.  Autism Speaks says it gives autistic people a voice but, it does the opposite, as the organisation makes us feel silent and like we need fixing. Autism is a neurological difference, not a disease!