Note: This piece was originally published by the blog “Extemporary Sanity.”
As you may have heard, many Autistic people like routine. Well, I’m one of them. Every morning I get up, shake off the three hours of refreshing melatonin-induced sleep that I got, and head downstairs. Sitting down with a steamin’ cup o’ joe I fire up the computer and find out why I’m Autistic today. Were my parents old, fat, Republican? Was my mom, dad, anyone, exposed to a viral infection in the first trimester? Perhaps I was raised in a toxic waste dump or born on a Tuesday. The possibilities are endless. What matters is that the routine never changes. Ever.
In these turbulent and uncertain times it is good to know that we can rely on something. Leaders may come and go, empires may rise and fall, but there will always be some researcher somewhere spending money that could be used to keep Autistic adults out of institutions on finding out useless crap about autism. And thank God. What would society do without the knowledge that Autistic people lack empathy because we don’t assign the same personality traits to anthropomorphic triangles on a computer screen as “normal” people? How would people form stereotypes about us without modern studies based on outdated, discredited, ambiguous and arbitrary data from 1947? This research is absolutely essential.
What frightens me is that someday some irresponsible (sentient) person may decide that this money should be spent in other ways, like helping Autistic adults overcome decades of discrimination to thrive in the workforce. Who needs that? What we really need is more studies on why Autistics are so … not normal … and how we can fix them, or better yet, prevent them all together. Hey, nobody needs another Albert Einstein on their hands.
I’m not really worried though. Luckily, we have plenty of big groups that will keep raising money for the “right” autism causes. Remember, the best way to make sure that nothing ever changes, is to keep listening to those groups instead of actual Autistic people. We wouldn’t want to mess up our routine.