Chapter 8

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

There are a lot of different ways to be autistic.
No way is better than any other way.
Some autistic people talk.
Some autistic people don’t talk.
Some autistic people only need a little help.
Some autistic people need help all the time.
Some autistic people also have intellectual disabilities.
Some autistic people 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.
Society tells us it’s not okay to be non-speaking.

Some autistic people believe these things.
So, they think it’s bad to have intellectual disabilities.
They think it’s bad to be non-speaking.
They think it’s bad to need a lot of help.
They look down on autistic people who have intellectual disabilities.
They look down on autistic people who are non-speaking.
They look down on autistic people who need a lot of help.
They might treat these people badly.
They might not let them into their group.

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

Autistic groups should include all autistic people.
All autistic people are important.
All autistic people 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.
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.
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.
They might stop coming.
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.
Don’t worry! You can stop doing them.
Here are some things you can try.

1: Pay attention to what you think.
Pay attention to what you do.
Pay attention to how you treat other autistic people.
You might be doing things that leave people out.
You might not mean to do them!
You might 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.
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.
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.
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.
There is always more to learn.
It’s important to keep learning.

Chapter 8 Resources