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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Aubin, LCSW

Accommodate autistic people, don't exclude them.

Autistic centered therapy

It's funny how our brains will have no idea something exists and then once we figure it out, we see it everywhere. A couple of years ago, I didn't even know what ableism meant. Now I see it everywhere including experiencing it firsthand.

There are a lot of well-meaning folks out there. They might even follow me and want to learn more about autism. If you aren't autistic and you follow me because you actually want to learn about autism from the autistic perspective, I appreciate you. You are a rare gem and you are awesome. Unfortunately, you are not the norm. The norm is that people don't know pretty much anything about autism and continue to treat autistic people in ways that are hurtful.

Please, please. If you do not understand this meme, I implore you to follow more autistic people. Learn about ableism. Autistic people don't need to be patronized and have decisions made for us such as if an event would be too much for us or not. We need people to want to include us. We need people to help us think of accommodations instead of excluding us based on assumptions about our capacity and needs.

I have worked with countless autistic individuals who were not taught how to cook or invited to parties or included in various activities because others assumed that they would have a meltdown or it'd be too hard for them. But if they had actually asked the autistic person, they would've told them that they did want to learn but they needed support to accommodate themselves so that they would be able to do it.

If you aren't autistic and you have autistic people in your life, please take the time to listen to them and their self-advocacy. Never assume they cannot do something just because of what you observe. There are so many things that are possible for autistic folks if they have access to the right accommodations.

When you have an autistic person in your life, you can safely assume that this person has most likely experienced rejection and people discounting them and their experience. In other words, we have trauma. So, if you exclude us without ever asking us what we think or offering accommodations, what is really happening is discrimination.

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