Chapter 8

4: Some autistic people think they’re better than other autistic people.

There are a lot of different ways to be autistic, and no way is better than any other way.

Some autistic people talk, while others don’t talk. Some autistic people only need a little help, while others need help all the time. Some autistic people also have intellectual disabilities, while others don’t. This is all okay! All of these autistic people belong in the autistic community.

But society tells us it is not okay to need help. Society tells us it is not okay to have an intellectual disability, and it’s not okay to be non-speaking. Some autistic people believe these things. They think it’s bad to have intellectual disabilities, to be non-speaking, or to need a lot of help. They look down on autistic people who have intellectual disabilities, are non-speaking, or need a lot of help. They might treat these people badly or not let them into their group.

Sometimes, people don’t say these ideas out loud, and show them with their actions instead. They might say that anyone can come to their group, but get mad if someone needs extra help. They might say they care about all autistic people, then make fun of people who can’t use big words.

Autistic groups should include all autistic people. All autistic people are important, and deserve rights and respect.

5. Autistic people can discriminate too!

Lots of different kinds of people are autistic. Some autistic people are also:

  • People of color
  • Women
  • Trans
  • Non-binary
  • Gay
  • Muslim
  • Jewish
  • Lots of other things!

Society discriminates against lots of different kinds of people, and autistic people are a part of society. That means autistic people can also discriminate. Sometimes, autistic people discriminate against other autistic people. An autistic man might discriminate against an autistic woman, or a white autistic person might discriminate against an autistic person of color.

For example:

  • Yolanda is an autistic woman of color. She goes to an autism group, and talks about a time that someone was racist to her. The other people at the group tell her to talk about something else. They say her story isn’t important because it isn’t about autism. They make Yolanda feel bad about being a person of color, so she leaves the group and does not come back.

Discrimination keeps people out of groups. If your group discriminates, people might feel left out and stop coming to your group. If you want your group to include everyone, don’t discriminate.

What can you do?

There are lots of ways to leave people out of the autistic community. You might be doing some of those things, but don’t worry! You can stop doing them. Here are some things you can try.

1: Pay attention to what you think, what you do, and how you treat other autistic people.

You might be doing things that leave people out. You might not mean to do them, and you may have never realized you were doing them. That is normal. Now that you know, you can stop doing them.

2: Look at your autistic communities and ask yourself who is missing.

Is everyone you follow on twitter white? Does your group only have men in it? Who are you missing? Figure out who is missing, and think about why and how they got left out. Then, you should try to fix those things.

3: Learn about ways to help everyone feel like they belong.

Talk to different kinds of people, and learn what makes them feel like they belong. Ask them where you can learn more. You can also learn more online. Lots of people are trying to learn more about these things, and there is always more to learn. It’s important to keep learning.

Chapter 8 Resources