As I was browsing one of the Neurodiversity pages I follow on Facebook recently, I stumbled across a post about the harm caused by promoting the disability and cure narrative about Autism. Naturally, I jumped in and commented in support, but a funny thing happened as I was writing my response; it started to sound like a slam poem! Realizing this, I decided to run with it. I mean, if other oppressed and marginalized groups can have their own slam poetry, I figured it was high time we did too! So without further ado, I present my poem - the purposely-titled 'I Believe in 'Curing' Autism! Read it and enjoy!
I Believe in 'Curing' Autism - By Adam Michael
I believe in 'curing' autism:
I believe in curing it through acceptance of Neurodiversity.
I believe in curing it by recognizing that there is no such thing as a 'normal' human brain.
I believe in curing it by stripping it of the stigma and the label 'disorder.'
I believe in curing it by helping Neurotypicals and Autistics better understand each other and their needs.
I believe in curing it by teaching kids and adults both that it is okay to be different.
I believe in curing it by healing the damage caused to many by a health care system that oppresses and tries to change people away from being who they are.
I believe in curing it by helping society see our gifts and unique abilities.
Most of all, I believe in curing us of the conformity and disease narrative that harms all of our attempts to simply be valued as people in this crazy world.
But tell me you believe in curing us of our very natures?
That we are broken somehow because we work and think differently?
That we clearly don't understand the 'severity' of our own situations?
That our concerns clearly aren't valid, and that our anger is 'typical Aspergers/Autistic behaviour?'
That we are clearly in need of being talked down to and cared for because we are incapable of this ourselves?
That you'd like to see pre-natal screening for the fabled 'autism' gene so that we could spare future generations the existence of people like us?
That you'd rather your child get smallpox, measles or any number of vaccine-preventable diseases rather than be born with autism?
That you'd rather rewire you child's entire personality and way of being, and in so doing destroy and rebuild them, rather than live in a world where they have autism?
That is not okay.
If this is your concept of a cure? Then this is where our problems will begin.
For I am Aspie, I am proud, and on behalf of all my fellow spectrum dwellers, hear us ROAR!
As always, yours in diversity,