1) When an Autistic person is told to pass for normal, we are usually told AAC is not allowed to communicate with others. The people we interact with tell us that we must speak through our mouths.
2) When an Autistic person moves differently through ticks and stimming and the way we walk down the street, we are told that we must not do that and in fact must ‘Quiet Hands’.
3) When an Autistic person desires to be by themselves, non-autistic people think it’s weird, unusual, and/or strange making us look like freaks and weirdos.
4) When an Autistic person fulfills a dream of a painting, writing, music, inventions, or other special interests so the world can enjoy something from us, we are often told we are obsessing over things and to enjoy life without thinking.
5) When an Autistic person wants to spend time with animals more than people, we are told to spend more time with people.
6) When an Autistic person prefers to hang out with other Autistics because we feel less pressure to pass we are often told our Autistic friends are too weird.
7) When an Autistic person interacts with non-autistic people, we are told we lack the social skills necessary to interact with them. However, we are often not taught the real social skills (check out the REAL social skills) and often are only taught social skills from a child-like or very basic thing.
8) When an Autistic person is advocating for themselves and the Autistic community, we are often told we are being rebellious, obstinate, or misbehaving.
9) When an Autistic person uses their voice to speak, we are often told to lower our voices or raise our voices. We are never encouraged to use AAC (Augmentative and Assistive Communication devices) unless a non-autistic person truly has trouble understanding the Autistic person. Then, the non-autistic person typically mocks or mimics the Autistic person who uses AAC.
10) All too often Autistic people are mocked or mimicked for being Autistic and used as the ‘joke’ or for ‘comedy’.
By these Non-autistic ways toward Autistic people, we are far too often not allowed to be our authentic selves. Autism is a different way of life, it is a different dialect, different language, different way to move, and different sensory experience. Every Autistic person expresses autism differently. That is the beauty of Autistic culture.
Believe it and hopefully those non-autistic people stop making Autistic people feel too anxious to ‘pass’ for a normal that is too stigmatizing from the medical model. Thus, we are far too often stereotyped as well and for those Autistic people who do try to conform to the normal way from society are far too often objectified or seen as ‘posters of inspiration porn’.
AAC is important to me for communicate like any other Autistic person, but like many others like myself have always been told to ‘pass’ instead.
Inspiration Porn is when society objectifies Disabled people in the community like Autistic people have been objectified for the past 10 years especially by organizations like Autism Speaks. Inspiration porn is creating stigma by objectification because society thinks disability is shameful, that it is destructive, that is a tragedy, a burden, and a negative thing that should not exist. However, society is wrong!
Please watch Stella Young’s amazing video from last year. Every time I have seen this video since it first came out, to educate others has explained specifically why objectifying anyone is not good and not healthy for anyone in the human race.
Disability does exist, Disability will exist, Disability has existed since the dawn of time. Why? Because Disability is a part of the human experience and no one, I mean no one can take that away from anyone in this world especially when d/Disability is what makes us human. In addition, let’s get this straight, NO ONE is an inspiration to us all, because we all have to be motivated and work hard for ourselves by supporting and guiding each other.
Everyone has their own struggles in life, and that’s okay. Why? Because it’s part of our humanity to struggle to get to the peak where we will eventually ‘cross over and rise above’. However, we all have to get through our struggles until we have done our duties or missions completed.
If you try to find inspiration to inspire you to do something or be a someone, then you won’t be doing anything except looking around your whole life finding nothing. So, please do something with your life and stop looking for inspiration from others especially the disability community. Why? Because we are human too. We have our own struggles too, to get where we want to be at, and by any one trying to find inspiration from the outside world like from the disability community to make us look bad and everyone else look good is the real tragedy. Â That’s why inspiration is travesty and the word should not exist since it causes pain.
Struggling is a part of life. We need to have fun with our life. That’s right, we all need to have fun. Everyone’s fun is different. Some people try different things before they find it like with me. Some people like myself are Disabled activists and scholars, some people are media analysts, some are investment bankers, some are artists, some are writers/journalists, some are politicians to help the government to create/enforce laws, some are lawyers, some are social workers (or help with mental health maintenance), mail clerks and drivers, landscape workers, sanitation workers, janitors, some are medical doctors, some are engineers, some are teachers, some are construction workers, etc. We all do whatever it takes to become the success we want to see in our life with the support network in the community or life we build for ourselves.Without the support network and without the motivation in ourselves to do well, we become lost in our efforts. However, it does not always have to be that way.
We all have struggles all our life. We all can stay in the disability community our whole life or walk in and out of the disability community at different parts of our life. I just don’t want any one to ever think disability is a tragedy because it really isn’t. Acquiring d/Disability from birth or from life, is a part of life’s journey. We all can become disabled at some point or become more disabled, and that’s okay. It’s okay if we have to use a wheelchair or any other assistive device or machine to help us live our life if you need it or if we want to feel more mainstream or not. It’s our personal choice!
It’s okay if you are feeling very obstinate or unsure of how disability helps us with gaining empathy we all struggle with. Empathy is a learned human trait for everyone in the world. Some are born with more empathy than others, but no one lacks empathy since we all have emotions that frustrate us at times. Â Sometimes we may not realize that our empathy can be misleading sometimes when we struggle with discriminations and stigmas in our life which is ableism. Ableism is a problem for the world. There are millions of people in the world struggling with ableism right now. Some people may not even be aware of it, but Â it is inside of them already especially when the person has been objectified in their life at some point or their whole life. I feel for those people who are struggling more from their ableism because society doesn’t understand their language and dialect.
Ableism is about objectifying people while this needs to stop. ItÂ is also a struggle when everyone who has been hurt by ableism and internalizes this stigma, the stereotypes, and even can become the oppressor after being oppressed since ableism is also like a virus. Ableism is not only a curse, but it’s the biggest oppression that confuses people into thinking they are not worthy and unable to do something unless they become an inspiration to become objectified by others.
Objectification or ‘Inspiration Porn’ exemplifies and manifests a person’s persona to make them something they are not. There are so many people who objectify others that it becomes really pathetic in our society, but it does not always have to be that way. Change means allowing yourself to guide others into their own self-determination to live their life with just encouraging people to do what they love to do just the way you do for yourself. No one is a random act of good because we all are good people who can do whatever we want to do to help others.
We just have to think about our own mission to help, how we can guide and support others, and know how to advocate for change in our society to think about why we can’t hurt others in any way. Life is a journey with emotions that does not mean we can say or do things to others to hurt them since that is not only ableism, but is also other forms of pain too, inflicted on others. People can be hurtful which is also a part of life, however, we need to know that what we do and say affects other people either instantly or over time. Over time, we all internalize the pain unless we start healing the pain(s).
So, let’s start healing the pains we all may have to become the person we all are meant to be with the guidance from the support network we are born into and choose from the billions of people in the world to be a part of it too. This is how ableism can heal from the pains we have all felt at some point, some a lot more than others especially those people struggling to ‘pass’ for society’s norm or standard of how to speak, think, feel, see, or hear.
Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions which means we all have the freedom to speak our mind respectfully and respecting others. No one can curse at, hurt, silence, or tell others that what they believe for themselves to contribute is bad. It’s not black and white ever (like Â organizations like Autism Speaks suggests about autism), it’s all gray, and it always has been gray. There is good and bad in everything from the yin and the yang as long as we know what is good and what is bad, we can focus on the positive aspects of our life. Thus, focusing on the positive aspects of other people. Finally, becoming a contributing member of society from our own individual self-determination which is different for everyone in the world.
Some need more guidance, some need more support, though we all need mentorship to get through our life as we all fulfill our goals we want to achieve. That’s not inspiration, that’s just doing what it takes to be a success in what all of us want individually. Part of what having support is, is motivating our family members and peers who come in contact with to move forward with what we want.
Struggling to achieve something can be difficult, but not impossible. Impossible does not exist. The very word means ‘I’m Possible’ and we can’t let anyone take that dignity away from us. We know who we are and what we want regardless of what are identities are by identifying how we want to for ourselves. As an Autistic person and a part of the broader disability community, I have understood that disabilities helps us live our life better by embracing our own humanity.
No one can tell us who, what, and how we are to live our life. We are gift in this world. If we unwrap the gift with taking in negativity from the outside world, we become negative. Otherwise if we unwrap ourselves with positive feelings on how to help the world, we become the most positive force the world has ever seen embracing and celebrating life in of itself.
I struggle, you struggle, we all struggle with something we need. Some of us struggle more than others, but that just means they need more guidance and support. Since we all live our life with struggles, it just means, that once we need to figure out how to use our skills, our talents, and our strengths to do what we feel will help the world is when we can we feel our own humanity. Sometimes this is very small, sometimes very big, and/or sometimes it can just be teaching ourselves to become Â a contributing member of society who positively affects everyone. We all are here to motivate each other to do well, not be jealous of any one.
We live our life positively, but most importantly, we live our life to do whatever we can to reach out and touch our spirit. If you can’t find yourself, if you don’t know what it is that you need to do, and you want other people to feel inspired by you saying your life is better than theirs (or vice versa), than you are wasting your life.
Please don’t waste your life trying to find this thing called inspiration especially from my fellowÂ Autistic peers and any one else from the disability community. By calling us inspirations, you are also saying that your life has always been better than ours. The medical model suggests that the only way we become inspirations is by overcoming a burden or tragedy within ourselves to become an inspiration for others. However, this is a travesty and a false belief system that we don’t need to hear or see.
Inspiration is taking what others say as face value without thinking of yours or their own life because of the way the mainstream media and the masses objectify so many people including people in the disability community. The use of the phrase ‘Inspiration porn’ is to say that objectifying anyone the media wants to ‘use’, ‘stigmatize’, painfully stereotype, and dispose of later after the mainstream media has had enough of the person is hurtful. The media as a whole needs to change their way of thinking, how they think about humanity, and stop personalizing one’s own life of struggle as a tragedy that a person’s overcame to become a human being. We all our human beings from birth. Humanity means struggling to live our whole life through emotions we all have while finding our authentic voice and self to fulfill our greatest mission to do what we love to do. That’s what I’ve always known and was taught.
Do you want to try to find inspiration or do you want to do what it takes to live your life they way you always wanted it to help others? Humanity is about helping ourselves while helping others.
We need our own tenacity to work hard toward living our life, building our experience in life the way we want Â to without anyone else trying to live it for us or will live it for us or even mimic other people’s lives. Â I’ll tell you this that by trying to imitate other people’s lives, people won’t be their true authentic self. That’s why if we become obsessed with inspiration, we no longer know how to live our life. Please don’t do that! I want all of you to live your life and work hard for who you all are in this world.
There are billions of people in the world. From the billions of people in the world, that’s one big support network to help each other work independently for our own self-determination which means striving for whatever positive contributing factors we want to live our life. Â We can all be supportive while guiding ourselves in our life through thick and thin. If someone is struggling, they need to think about getting back on track while if someone is struggling a lot they need you to lead them more with guidance.
Getting back on track is not inspiration, it’s just life. We all fall back into situations where we need to get back on our feet, however, that does not mean we look for someone else for inspiration, it just means we have to push ourselves to live do whatever it takes to get back on our feet with whoever is supporting and guiding us. Remember, there is always someone who can guide you, any one just has to ask, as a self-advocate.
Life is not about inspiration, it’s about self-advocacy and helping others achieve that self-advocacy!