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autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

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If you identify with Asperger Syndrome, I want you to do some self-reflection about this. Why this label? If you're self-diagnosed, why did you feel this fit better than calling yourself autistic? Alternatively, why did the person who diagnosed you chose it?

The Asperger's label has been used to maintain a hierarchy between autistic people who are viewed by neurotypical standards as more 'intelligent' and those who are not. This goes back to Hans Asperger himself, the Nazi collaborator who only saved the autistic children he considered intelligent. Those under his care that he thought had no place in the fascist machine, he sent to die.

This hierarchy still exists. I was painfully aware of it growing up autistic. Other autistic kids I knew proudly calling themselves Aspies or 'high-functioning' to differentiate themselves from other autistic people. I myself hoped and prayed I was an Aspie and not one of the 'bad' ones.

So think about this. Do you want to throw your autistic comrades under the bus to maintain a label that only values your ability to fit in better in a capitalist - or even fascist - society?

Here's a source I got lots of info from. CW for ableism, eugenics, death, child abuse, and Nazism: scientificamerican.com/article

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa Some of us are old enough to have been diagnosed that way, before ASD was offered more generally. Living your whole life under one label makes it difficult to change once something else comes along, especially when that something else doesn't provide useful language.

I'm not generally public about my diagnosis (maybe more on here) and I think it's often used as a crutch to avoid accountability (see RMS). Self-diag is not enough.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa Unfortunately labels can be useful because labels describe something, and there aren't sufficient labels for proper treatment of things on the spectrum. Shoving it under ASD is also useful for the likes of Autism Speaks to paint us all as non-functional to be mourned like we're dead.

It's not useful on its own, IMO, any more than saying "I fall on the gender spectrum." We need acknowledge ASD falls into different categories, too

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa Unfortunately without better categories, I feel like a lot of people are stuck with bad language.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa And it's not just about "the good ones" vs. "the bad ones." ASD as a spectrum covers a multitude of different concerns that need to be addressed appropriately. Some with ASD are very social; others aren't. Some have more trouble with non-verbal cues than others. You can't apply the same help to everyone any more than you can have one pill called "medicine."

We need better language to address our needs.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor Why specifically does the ASD umbrella benefit Autism Speaks, can you explain your reasoning? I don't understand.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa Autism Speaks is very quick to speak for ASD folk without listening. Their materials paint us all with a very broad brush and, as mentioned, encourage parents to mourn their child as if they were dead when the diagnosis comes in. They'd rather we don't exist at all. The more they can dehumanize us, the easier their job is. They absolutely want society to see us all as the worst thing they can imagine and infantilize us.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa By giving them a single label that has such a broad range, it's easy ammo for them to convince comfortable middle class parents that none of us will ever be able to live a normal or happy life. I look at others I know whose parents have them under conservatorship who really don't need to be. It's exactly the kind of thing Autism Speaks wants.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor Autism Speaks is evil and must be destroyed, true, but do you personally resent being seen as sharing characteristics with a person who can't live a 'normal' life? I'm one of those people. I need help from my partners for a lot of things. Which is obviously not to say that people who can live independently should be infantilised and treated like they can't, but if you want go make a distinction between yourself and people with high support needs, you have to do that in a way that doesn't reject us just because we can't accomplish what capitalism wants us to.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa No. Categorically no. But I do resent them trying to paint us all as people who can't speak for ourselves. The fact we're having this conversation means we're both capable of that. That's why I think ASD should be broken up into symptoms for proper aid. It takes away something that's not a useful descriptor for us, but is absolutely a useful one for them.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa I guess to clarify and summarize, I believe we need labels useful for our own aid, and not useful to those who want to deny us agency. Asperger's as a diagnosis is very problematic in almost every way, but I do see why people would want something that's at least descriptive, when the alternative is often viewed and promoted as the worst case scenario. That's why we need better distinctions.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa This is a failure (possibly intentional) of the medical complex, and absolutely steak to the wolves who we have to fight through. DSM is not your friend, but it has power. I would rather it gave us power than them. And for that, we need to make the language move beyond "good and bad" and "eh, all of them, I guess" toward something that describes concrete traits.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor @mearcstapa asperger's isn't descriptive though, it's *literally* just a functioning label. it's literally allistics saying "you don't need to be cured"

autism is such a huge spectrum that you can't have useful labels with it. any useful label would just be an in-depth description of how autism might make a particular person nd

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@kezzy @mearcstapa Asperger's has a narrower set of traits, which yes, are intended for a very specific "usefulness" purpose. Again, read my other posts. I advocate for things like "Autism Spectrum Non-verbal Learning Disability" that describes concrete traits. "Autism Spectrum Disorder" is like saying "bacterial infection." You can't treat all bacteria the same; you can't treat all autistic traits the same.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@kezzy "ASD" is useful only as an umbrella term and is not specific enough to be descriptive. "Asperger's" absolutely needs to go away, but we still need better terms to describe our individual needs. "ASD" should be treated as a class of diagnoses, not as a diagnosis in itself. It doesn't tell anyone anything on its own.

Words have power and I want a series of useful ones, not just one that says nothing about us and lets others corrupt it.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@kezzy I can't count the number of times when people were surprised I'm on the spectrum because their mind immediately goes to the worst thing they can think of. I had a boss ask who takes care of me at home, because he himself has a son who's non-verbal and even he didn't have resources to understand my situation. This is what we're fighting and we need better language for comprehension. A blanket term doesn't facilitate that.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor "
symptom" terms won't help that either. it's the fault of allistics, it's something they need to handle, and labeling ourselves for them won't do anything

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor also, this post kinda played yourself
being nonverbal doesn't indicate anything about whether someone needs a caretaker or not. your own attempts at labeling are showing why they aren't useful

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@kezzy Maybe I did. Maybe that's why language is so important and why having a better list of words is important. The point is that you're absolutely right that "non-verbal" as a symptom is NOT linked to other symptoms and that there's an inherent bias in assuming it is. I'm not free from that bias, either. Unfortunately I was raised on medical language that does equate those things, which needs to go away. I WANT better words b/c of that.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@kezzy To bring it back to another personal thing, I lived my whole life thinking I was broken until I learned what "demisexual" was and suddenly it clicked. It wasn't just me. I wasn't broken, just different.

Words can offer comfort, too. I had known about the ace spectrum previously, but it didn't feel like it added up until I had one that described ME. How many people struggle because they're "not autistic?" How many could find help?

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor if an autistic person chooses to identify with the specific ways they're neurodiverse, that's totally cool

but that's not helpful as a diagnosis, i don't want to have to recount my entire life's story to people when i explain i'm autistic, and i *really* don't need doctors making assumptions and discounting certain things because "that's not in your specific diagnosis of autism"

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor autism fluctuates. there's too much flux in neurodiversity to diagnose it specifically

sometimes i'm nonverbal, sometimes not. sometimes i'm sensitive to touch, sometimes not. everything about my autism fluctuates, and that holds true for most people. if you want a specific label, you're free to use one (ie "i'm autistic and have issues with sensory processing), but forcing them on people is akin to functioning labels

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor for most autistic people i know, there are so many "symptoms", and so many words missing from english, that the only *possible* label to describe it is "autistic"

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autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@kezzy I see it as an education problem as well, but having a word for something allows people to file it away. We see that with a lot of linguistic studies on things like color. Russian has different words for light and dark blue that allows them to more accurately recall what they saw than English speakers. The same goes for teaching about immune systems. The term "body soldiers" has given a name to an important concept where none existed.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor Ah, okay, I see what you're getting at. Personally I see the ASD umbrella the same as 'queer'. It's vague and there's lots of diversity in it, and people can identify as they choose within it. Or you don't have to be specific be queer and/or autistic. Or you can choose to nit identify with either of those umbrella terms if they don't fit you. But for the people who do use them, it can be used for solidarity because we share a lot even though we're all different.
Agree to disagree (and agree on other things), I guess?

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa Agree. I don't think "ASD" has to go away, but it need to move from a diagnosis to a class of diagnoses, much like "queer" is a class of identities.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor To clarify, I'm not accusing you of being ableist towards anybody, but I think it's good to keep certain things in mind.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor @mearcstapa this is exactly what the op was talking about; the idea of "hey don't kill autistic people, *some* of them are useful and good"

i've talked to autism warrior moms. they use functioning labels, they understand it's a spectrum. they don't care. they constantly say things like "well if you were in *my* place you would want a cure too!"

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor @mearcstapa this is the worst kind of respectability politics, because it's literally saying that we need to differentiate ourselves from "the lessers" to prove we deserve life

no, we all deserve life. they want us dead regardless. we cannot abandon our fellow autistic people for respectability

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@kezzy @mearcstapa Please go ahead and read my additional replies, because even this post had 2 more attached. Labels are useful, but I advocate for ones centered around symptoms to provide useful language for assistance.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor Autistic people do all have different needs, but that doesn't bring any validity to a label named after a fascist who sent children to die. The specific parameters used to describe Asperger Syndrome are tied to this man's values, it's a label we need to reject. Just because we need to be able to address our individual needs doesn't justify using the old shitty labels once you know they're shitty.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa I agree. I would like for a more modern approach with better language. I have never identified as "Aspie" even when my diagnosis was "Asperger's Syndrome." And I don't identify by "Asperger's," either. I unfortunately don't identify as "ASD," either, because I don't think it actually describes anything. But I do see the allure of choosing the one you can see a narrower set of traits in. That's why new language is so important.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@bluestarultor It'd have to be a label chosen by people for themselves so that it won't be as easily used to claim that people who use one label are 'better' than others.

I'm not against specific, precisd labels (I identify as genderflor and abrosexual, lol) but I'm wary of new ASD labels essentially falling into the whole outdated 'high/low functioning' idea. Which I deeply resent as an autistic person who also has learning disabilities.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa Agreed. I wouldn't say each needs its own name, because there would be hundreds, but like "Autism Spectrum Non-verbal Learning Disability" kind of stuff. Just not putting it all under one name that makes it sound like everything is the same.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa Shamelessly paraphrasing someone else here:
"High functioning" is used to deny support.
"Low functioning" is used to deny agency.

It's respectability politics with an unhealthy dose of internalized ableism and eugenics.

I'm happy and proud to be autistic. :nd:

(Fully agree with the post, just wanted to make my voice heard on this.)

autism, ableism, alcoholism vs capitalism 

@mearcstapa the high-functioning label basically means: can perform under capitalism while hiding their issues for the duration of their work

i used to be a high functioning alcoholic
i was still an alcoholic, tho…

autism, ableism, alcoholism vs capitalism 

@meena Exactly, it's a good comparison

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa obligatory fuck hans asperger

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@kezzy FUCK Hans Asperger.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@mearcstapa this is all why I stopped identifying with that label. Especially as ‘higher communication skills’ has been used to deny me support I’ve needed over the years.

Just because I can communicate verbally and texturally in an eloquent way doesn’t mean I don’t need support. And those who can’t communicate as easily aren’t lesser than me and still have valuable things to say.

autism, Nazism, ableism, eugenics, death, PSA 

@Plugs My communication skills vary hugely. Sometimes I can speak and write pretty well, sometimes I'm totally nonverbal. But people see me on a good day and don't believe I have spoonless days.

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