I hate teachers, schools, and pretty much everything in the formal education system that the Western world has today. This is for a reason.
I do not work well with other autistic activists, either. You know this already if you have read enough from me. But the truth is that whilst I see them as largely being far too passive and closed-mouthed about certain aspects of what Autism Speaks For Normie Assholes does, I also see why they might be reluctant to adopt an aggressive stance.
The authors of Emma’s Hope Book, for example, are not as aggressively against Autism Speaks For Normie Assholes as I am in that they are not wanting to arm every autistic adult in the world yesterday and kill anyone who threatens them. That is fair enough. The authors on the site who are not Emma, her two parents, have professional lives and bills to pay that amount to needing some moderation in how best they prosecute the fight for Emma’s rights.
I am very different from Emma’s parents, and indeed Emma herself. Although I have my computer, my home theatre, and possessions like that, other than those things I have very little to lose. My health is steadily getting worse. For example, after thirty-some years I have found out that I was born with a defective gene that makes blood clots in my veins five to seven times more likely. The number of medications I have to take has bloated from three (two insulins and a sleepy-time medication) to eight. And I am not even old yet. Given how badly I am being treated in general, I find it difficult to believe people fail to see how much disincentive there is for me to live to be forty years old, leave alone the sixty-three or so that my maternal grandfather was when he died.
I think that is what initially causes me to gnash my teeth at first sightings of publications like Emma’s Hope Blog. I look at it and I think it is great that they have a loving family model that works well enough, and I am happy for Emma in particular. But I cannot help feeling like my face is rubbed in such things. Which is a problem on my end, because if I were as wealthy as the Wrights, or even the comparatively wealthy that Emma’s parents seem to enjoy (note: comparatively), I would be seriously considering putting out a contract on my male parental entity.
Which brings me to the following image.
This is an image made by Emma’s father. I am refraining from using actual names here because I wish to let people reserve the right to identify themselves. That said, there are a few things I would do differently in this image, but they are few and minor. Perhaps in place of “it’s time to not listen”, I would address Autism Speaks For Normie Assholes more directly and write “autistic people want you to shut the hell up”.
Autism Speaks For Normie Assholes have a terrible desire to conflate autistic with retarded. Indeed, such language was the language of the day in the 1980s, when Rain Stereotype Based On A Man Who May Actually Not Be Autistic premiered. It is not just my personal opinion that I utterly refute this conflation by breathing. Everyone who speaks to me and learns that I am autistic, including professionals like Anthony Attwood or Isabelle Hénault, say the same.
Emma’s father, during commentary in the post on which this image is shared, gave me permission to share the image. But the subject of the post alarmed me. I will let him speak for himself in part because he puts the problem more eloquently than I can:
[Redacted for privacy/disclosure considerations] has been going to school with Emma this week because we tried to get her into a better class. But the supposedly more advanced class was reading the kids nursery rhymes and beginning each morning with a sing-song speech: “Where are your eyes? Look at me! Open your ears! Close your mouths!” Would ANY teacher in ANY non-special-ed school talk to 12 year olds that way?
The answer is of course no. But it brings me to a point about my own schooling that I feel society does not investigate or understand nearly enough. Years ago, media outlets like newspapers were moaning about violence from children in schools towards teachers. Well, look at the above quote. Imagine a child with an intelligence quotient of over 120 being forced to sit in a class like this day after day after day. And whilst these stories are second-hand in terms of Emma’s responses and reflections a lot of the time, I do not doubt that Emma is in the same intellectual group as myself.
So with that in mind, why are people so surprised that children might lash out after being subjected to this day after day after day? (And please do not try to tell me that children can choose to not be subjected to this kind of downward pressure on their intellect. School without options to suit the intelligence of the child is compulsory downward intellectual pressure.)
In the media of my childhood (1980s, mainly), a popular subject was intellectually advanced children and adolescents being segregated into classes that were aimed at their intellectual level. Head Of The Class is probably the best-known example, although there are others. In these classes, in place of “now I know my ABCs”, children were seen to talk to the teacher and each other about why I for example might write almost exclusively about a world where the economic model more closely resembles socialism, and the political system a mixture of monarchy with intellectual elitism. As an example, I mean.
We talk so much about “special ed”. How it is a victim of funding cuts, how it is often cut or absent in charter or private schools, and so forth. The court system in America has ruled that disabled children have a right to education, and money is no object in providing it.
But we never talk about our more advanced children. Children who are ahead of the curve. Advanced classes, classes for gifted children are not merely victims of funding cuts or lapses. They do not even exist most of the time. And that is bad. It is bad because a child who might have difficulties in mainstream schooling because they are literally attuned to the level of a brain surgeon or surrealist painter, rather than being nurtured in their advancement, are instead bullied into fitting with a level that is beneath them.
In the years before Autism Speaks For Normie Assholes, songs taught to children included such conjunctions as “bend and stretch, reach for the stars”. Now it seems “be a stupid ignorant moron like everyone else” is the expected singalong for the child. And whilst this sort of thing might go over in the Babble Belt or indeed America in general, the consequences in another thirty years are going to be difficult to live with.