The Florentine philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli once said something that defines modern aid and the actions of compassion towards those in need today. That was that the reason why there will be no end to poverty or injustice is because who stand to lose from change have all the power. Those who stand to gain from change have none of the power.
In honour of world autism awareness day I as an autistic person want to make people aware of the abilities that autistic people have. They have little power to show the world that they are amazing. Not only do the people who claim to better autism have no power. But they are being dismissed as vulnerable and defeated as if they have no use but to be pitied with showmanship. That charade needs to be turned into a display of acceptance for autism.
As it stands over 85% of people with autism of working age in Britain are unemployed. That is a terrible indictment for them to suffer. Whilst they get a good amount of support from charities, handouts and awareness campaigns they don’t get any recognition for their abilities. That kind of sympathy is on a par with the way compassion and charity works in this world where giving money to good causes seems to be everywhere. But this giving of money is creating dependency, which keeps people from advancing their potential and making something of themselves to lead an independent life.
Well that doesn’t work, it just puts autistic people in a position where they are kept in isolation, disuse and defeated which puts them at a disadvantage. I know this from my own experiences as an unemployed person on the spectrum.
The waste of good talent for people on the spectrum is frightening and horrid. There are a lot of good people on the spectrum with amazing skills and abilities that need to be realised. This vast pool of talent was reported by Forbes magazine in 2015. This untapped job market is worth over $8 trillion dollars in disposable income. It’s this kind of growth that business and enterprise needs to realise. It’s an authentic, loyal and creative culture. But it’s not just the businesses that need to realise it, it’s also the charities and social awareness groups.
The problem that I and many other disabled people have with charities is that they only focus on the most vulnerable and weakest of individuals. They tarnish all autistic people with the same brush where one person’s vulnerability is perceived as all the others of that person’s kind. So they give them no hope for their aspirations but only focus on their care and promote a dereliction of duty to what it is that the autism community wants. Thinking that they know better because they are run by experts in autism research. Well most of these social justice warriors don’t know autism like those who they stand up for. Charities like Autism Speaks have no staff members on the autistic spectrum at all. So how would they know better?
In 1981 Ian Dury released a song to mark the UN’s International Year of the Disabled called Spasticus Autisticus. It was a song that was crafted into the style of a cry for freedom, rather than a cry for help. It was about a slave restricted by his impairment who wanted to be free to roam in ‘normal land’ and to recognise the abilities of himself. Dury himself was a disabled person and often protested for the disabled. His aim was not to get sympathy, but for the disabled to be respected and admired for their potential and great wealth of knowledge and charisma.
One politician who is speculated to have Aspergers is Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States. He once said ‘Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power’. It’s time for us to stop thinking about helping autism based on the vulnerability of that man and try to give him a chance in power and to give him the freedom to create and build a better world.
No more of this Machiavellian dealing with speaking up for autism and granting them charity for no change. It is time to recognise the power and magnificence of autism and to show what it can bring to the world. With Abraham Lincoln we outlawed slavery. With Einstein we unlocked the secrets of the universe. With Bell we opened up communications with the world. With Edison we lit up the world with a bright light that reflects imagination and beacon that brings hope to the world.
Speaking as an autistic person I don’t demand sympathy for my situation, I want the power to bring change to my life. It is time to accept the abilities of autism, no more awareness campaigns promoting vulnerability. We will be judged on what I achieve through change with power.