Monday, November 16, 2015

Autism Parents Aren't Autistic..?

CW - some ranting and swearing.

I've not posted a new blog in a few days. Mainly because I"ve been tweeting my rants instead, or posting on facebook. But this morning I'm really annoyed.

I keep seeing things around social media and in blogs where people call themselves an "Autism Mom" or "Autism Parents" or once I saw something along the lines of "Autism Twin Mom". Being a literal person as I am, I figured an "Autism Mom" is someone who gave birth to an autism. I'm not sure what one of those looks like though and it seemed a little strange to me so I figured let's look for another meaning. Ahhh, someone who is both an autism and a mom? No that doesn't work. It must mean a mom who is autistic!

Guess what? It actually means a mother of an autistic child. Which is bizarre to me that any mother would reduce her autistic child into an "autism". I'd think that mothers of autistic children would be the ones fighting AGAINST people trivializing their little bundles of joy and energy  by calling them simply "autism". I guess we're straying FAR from literal here... so an autism mom feels like she's raising autism. Like her whole entire little lovebug child is nothing but autism. That's a great sentiment (this is sarcasm).

So if an "Autism Mom" or an "Autism Parent" is a parent who has an autistic child, I guess I can see where "Autistic Twin  Mom" is going. Never mind that it literally means a woman who has a twin and they're both autistic and both have children of undefined neurology. Apparently this means a mother who has autistic twins.

How twisted is this nonsense?

*I* am an Autism Mom. I have Asperger's and children. My children's neurology is irrelevant for the sake of this label. This label doesn't say anything about the child. It describes the Mom.

Happy Mom
Sad Mom
Active Mom
Tired Mom
Educated Mom
Silly Mom
Red-shirted Mom

All of these describe who? The mom.

So how does "Autism Mom" suddenly describe somebody ELSE?

This is wrong and misleading.

So I ranted about it on twitter, saying that oftentimes the same people who claim to be an "Autism Parent" are the people who say Person First Language is the "right" language to use, so I suggested we go all PFL with them and change their "Autism Parent" to "Parent with Autism" since they want to define themselves with the word "autism" and also want people to use PFL. I pointed out that this is a great way to watch them squirm and suddenly become VERY uncomfortable with PFL, once it's aimed at them.

So what happens? An Autism Parenting Magazine twitter account instantly added me to their "AutismParents" List.

*epic facepalm*

Are you even kidding me?

Where did I ever say I have an autistic child? I never saw their page before, never tweeted to them before, they don't follow me, I don't follow them. They simply ran a twitter search for the phrase "autism parent" and saw my rant and put me on their f'king list of "Autism Parents".

WTF Autism Parenting Magazine? That is so freaking scammyspammy. Don't you dare diagnose my children and then assign a label to me that I hate. What the everloving f*ck. Seriously. Who the heck do you think you are? Don't assume sh*t about me or my children, and ASK ME FIRST before deciding I'm an "Autism Parent" and labeling me as such and adding me to your bewildering list of twitter users who might or might not have autistic children. What are you going to use that list for? Marketing probably.

Fuck right off or apologize and explain yourselves, then do better in the future. Otherwise, see the beginning of the previous sentence.

(updated some months later to say that terminology is starting to feel less and less important the more time goes on, even though WORDS MEAN THINGS and you'd think this would be something that would be understood by the very people who tend to get it into their heads that words mean EVERYTHING and that without words a person can't even THINK let alone be a valuable part of society. You'd think those people would understand how important wording is but apparently they only value the ability to make words, not what the words actually MEAN. funny, that.)

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