Disability Double-Standards


Patronizing an adult is never acceptable, no matter what developmental difficulties the individual may face. Being patronized is one of the most frustrating, belittling experiences imaginable. A lot of what the Bard warned NT’s against was different ways NA’s are often patronized, ways that NT’s may not even be aware of. His basic message is to not generalize and to not change someone’s individuality.

At one point, he mentions, “Every autist is unique.” Here is where I have a problem with his argument. Clearly he has experienced a lot as an autistic person, and clearly he has some very strong views on what is or isn’t acceptable… but if every autistic person is unique, these rules he makes may not apply to everyone. Some autists may appreciate stories about an NT’s relationship with another autistic person, or may want to hear encouragement and congratulations for using an iPad to communicate.

Of course, I have no authority to base this on, being neurotypical without any autistic relations. But does the Bard, being NA, have more credentials than I do? He certainly can say what bothers him – indeed he is entitled to – but in his Goldilocks lecture, he critiques parents of autistic children who think he cannot empathize with them or give valuable advice because he can speak. And if every autistic person is so different that NT’s should never make comparisons, then how can he claim to make those comparisons either?


3 responses »

    • First, I would like to apologize.

      Second, I would like to be honest. My first reaction to your comment was to mention that I have several transgender friends, as if that legitimizes my mistake. Then I remembered your first commandment for NT’s, to not mention relationships with autistics, and figured saying the same thing except about transgenders would accomplish just as little.

      I appreciate your telling me my mistake. I apologize for it. I changed the pronouns in my post – before I even saw your comment, in fact! And I bid you good day 🙂

  1. I would have to agree with everything you said. I found the “commandments” a little more of his own opinion because I do believe it’s true that all autistic persons are unique therefore they think differently and are not as easily angered, upset or offended. His blog was like a double standard because it was more of generalizations and his opinion, not everyone thinks like him and the article by DJ Savarese “Cultural Commentary: Communicate With Me,” appealed to me more than bard’s and made it more of a inviting post so therefore I wouldn’t be as afraid to talk to someone autistic like DJ Savarese whereas most people in our class are a little intimidated by Bard’s blunt opinion.

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