I Fear for My Fellow Autistic People: On Media Misrepresentation

Paginated Thoughts

Recently, a piece appeared ina major news outlet. The main premise of the article described a mother’s fear that her autistic teenage son will kill her, her other son’s wish that his brother would die, and the lack of respite services where she lives. It was a very personal piece. This article more than irks me; it plays into very dangerous stereotypes. It plays into the idea that autistic people are inherently dangerous, that we are burdens. And dangerousstereotypes in the media, whether in fiction or opinion pieces or livetweeting an autistic person’s meltdowns have real life consequences.  

First, let’s talk about autism and violence.

Autistic people have many dangerous stereotypes about violence, particularly mass shootings (the idea that we are likely to be perpetrators) surrounding us; the mass shooting one is false. However, when individually aggressive, we usually have an outside stressor. When I was…

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Published by Autism Candles

My name is Nathan Young. I'm the founder of the Autism Candles project. I am a self-advocate. The candle project exist to make a statement about inclusion and opportunity. My email is nathan@autismcandles.com. Feel free to contact me. https://www.autismcandles.com

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