Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities: Why We Need Compassion for All Walks of Life

Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities: Why We Need Compassion for All Walks of Life

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Off-blue colored wooden wall background with orange and white text that reads "This is what we hear when you mourn for our existence... This is what we hear when you pray for a cure... that one day we will cease to be and strangers you can love will move behind our faces. ~Jim Sinclair"}

 Why do people insist that curing autism through eugenics is a great way to help the cause? …. Let me rephrase that: Why do people enjoy killing us off? It does no justice when the perpetrator does not recognize how harmful and unethical it is to actually remove something out of the equation. Would you go and use eugenics on yourself? Of course not. But just because someone does not live with something they will never fully understand, that does not mean it is a terrible disease that can be “cured”, or even a mental illness that can be managed. It is quite humorous that this society still refuses to understand things from the actual person who lives with the disability. Why do we make you uncomfortable?

Margaret Sanger was not just an abortion rights activist, she also supported eugenics and worked with the KKK.

She was very systemically racist and ableist.
Most people are unaware of the “successful” founder of Planned Parenthood, and while I do personally support abortion, I do not support parents who decide to abort the baby due to fears of a developmental disability and/or intellectual disability. Those of us, ya know the ones who are #actuallyautistic and those who are allistic are human beings. We are not robots, made for parents to cure, fix, and dehumanize, as if we’re all cogs in a machine. Autism should not be feared.
In November into December of 2018, the #BoycottToSiri hashtag was going around Twitter, Facebook, etc. To Siri, With Love, one of the most popular autism books out there for parents (written by Judith Newman) currently, is one of the most harmful novels out there. What am I talking about?
Forced sterilization.
Forced sterilization is not only inhumane, it just shows that history repeats itself over and over again…
This is what Judith Newman did to her son. People think that this is socially acceptable, wiping out an identity of people just because they think that our behavior is not natural and should be fixed the minute something happens. People only ever look at the extremes too, because they unconsciously pick on us for stimming in public, but consciously focus on when we have meltdowns. Autism is perceived as a problem, and disability is “always the issue”, and not accepted.
I have a letter for Judith Newman. Below is a picture of the book itself on the left, and a reason why to #BoycottToSiri on the right. What she says about her son is unfair; we do not lack empathy…. To sit there and tell someone that they completely cannot take care of themselves is just as bad as saying someone can take care of themselves one hundred percent of the time. It’s falsified, inaccurate, and misleading. It suggests that we don’t read others at all, entirely, which is not true.
Source: Jorge Silva
Dear Judith Newman,
You wrote this novel to try and prove a point. But was it a point to hurt the ones you love, or to help them? It seems as though you made this entire novel about you and your “burdensome” son, as if he is a “tragedy”. He is not a tragedy, and never has been. Do you perceive him as human? Do you value consent? Autism is not only a white male disability, and you are denying the systemic racism and ableism, as well as sexism that is ever-present in you perceptions and in your writing. What was the point of this book? To convince other parents that their autistic children should also be sterilized and cured? Parents, like yourself, are not listening to anyone who actually is autistic, simply because you think we autistics are “diseased”. You do not get to speak for your son, but you can speak with him. How do you know that he wanted to be sterilized? Did you ask? Or did you ask and only hear what you wanted to hear? Breaking consent is against the law in other states, and should be where you live. It seems like you’d rather not have your son, unless he is either cured, sterilized, or both. Why did you have a kid? Autism is incurable. How is autism bad? We’re human beings, just like everyone else. You seem very selfish about publicly complaining about how this is affecting you, so how do you think your son perceives your lack of acceptance, and what you did to him? Autistic acceptance is key to a healthy, successful relationship with your son. Please stop. Why would you allow it for someone else, if you, yourself are not getting sterilized? How would you like it if we told you that you are a disease; that you should be sterilized? You have this unique perception about autism that just is simply very skewed and irrational. Those of us on the spectrum need to be accepted, loved, and welcomed; not told that we are a disease, and that we should be sterilized so that future kids of families are not autistic. That is discrimination. Just because your son is not what you wanted, it does not mean that you have the right to sterilize him. Thank you for your time.
Newman does not know the difference between love and hate, and she is not the only parent out there like this…
Judith Newman never considered how much pain and harm she caused to her own son. That is child abuse, right there. To tell someone they should be sterilized because of the way they are born, and then force it? That is not consent; it is control, and abuse. And it sickens me, to my core. Why? We autistics, every single day, are treated like dogs and robots, and it is absolutely disgusting. We are told how to behave, how to act around others, and yet there is no empathy for us at all. And the worst part, is that the publisher company went through with this novel. ‘Thank you HarperCollins for being so ignorant and narrow-minded.’
Here is material from another site that I agreed with entirely:
“Because if I had been born a little bit earlier, or been a little bit more “classically” or stereotypically autistic, it’s very possible that I could have actually been forced to undergo something like forced sterilization. It’s not unheard of at all, and may even still be legal in some states, to sterilize people with disabilities. Targeting a population for sterilization is known as eugenics, as the author noted before going ahead and saying that she wanted to do it anyway, and it’s generally frowned upon these days. (Why, yes, that was use of understatement, a technique related to sarcasm that some autistic people can and do grasp.) More than that, it’s terrifying to me as an adult human in one of those populations that could be affected by forced sterilization if ignorance such as Ms. Newman’s is normalized.”
“I would be a damned good mother if I chose to have children. Lots of autistic people are good parents. That’s why it’s ignorant. Her own son is only about 16; how the hell does she know what kind of parent he’s going to be yet to be talking about getting him a vasectomy? Based on reading some of her writing, her self-awareness doesn’t seem good enough for her to be in charge of those types of decisions, frankly; even if she were, her son is still a person. Autistic people are still people. You published a book in which a person blithely talked about taking away the reproductive rights of another person.”
“Autistic people are angry about this book because we are people. We are not chattel; we are not required to submit to inspections before being deemed worthy of breeding. The bit about forced sterilization isn’t even the only ignorant thing she says in the book that dehumanizes autistic people, by the way, but it’s definitely an unsubtle, hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-sledgehammer thing that should have raised some flags in your organization. By allowing it to pass, you have helped normalize the idea that people like her son–and people like me, and people like, I dunno, Anthony Hopkins and Gary Numan and Daryl Hannah and Dan Harmon and every other autistic person out there–could and maybe should have our reproductive choices taken away from us. Because you vetted this book. You exchanged money for this book and legitimized it as something that you, a publisher, a gatekeeper, deemed worthy of being read by others.”
Source: Susie Rodarme

I could continue talking about Judith Newman, but instead, I won’t. I’ll let you interpret things, reader, on your own. Even people with intellectual disabilities are being aborted all the time. All of this is unacceptable. It’s not morally acceptable to wipe an entire population of people out of a country just because we do not deem fit to the country’s standards. We continuously have people who speak for us, rather than with us. In 2018, ACLU published an article, stating that Washington State considered making forced sterilization legal.
Autism Speaks is a culprit of sterilization as well. Eugenics has not died down. Imagine if the LGBTQ+ community or people of color were forced into sterilization. Not acceptable, right? Why, then, would it be acceptable to sterilize us?
No one can speak for us, and yes we do know what you say around us. Stop the eugenics, and stop sterilizing, please.
#BoycottToSiri #ActuallyAutistic