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Autism Advocacy

Autism (noun)a neurological condition of variable severity with lifelong effects that can be recognized from early childhood, chiefly characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication, and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior.

Let's take a quick look at how each political party views issues surrounding autism advocacy:

Republicans: Being "on the spectrum" should be disqualifying and shameful. We don't want anyone in government who thinks differently than we do.

Democrats: Autistics face discrimination just like other people with disabilities. We advocate for policies that benefit autistic individuals.

My View: "You laugh at me because I'm different. I laugh at you because you are ALL the same."


Republicans on Autism Advocacy

Just a few months ago (Jun-2023), it was insinuated that then-Presidential Candidate Ron DeSantis (R-FL)  was "a little on the spectrum" in an attempt to draw attention to DeSantis' awkward public presence. As far as I am aware, Governor DeSantis has never disclosed whether or not he has a form of autism and I believe that it shouldn't matter. This obvious attempt to delegitimize DeSantis by leaning into and perpetuating the stereotypes that people have about autistic folks makes it seem as if "being on the spectrum" (even a little bit) is somehow shameful and should be a disqualifying criteria in running for a political office. 

"Making arrows out of pointed words, giant killers at the call."


Democrats on Autism Advocacy

Democrats have recognized the significance of autism advocacy and actively work toward creating a more inclusive and supportive society for individuals on the spectrum. The Democratic Party’s platform acknowledges the importance of addressing inequities, including discrimination against people with disabilities (meaning they view autism as a 'disability'). Their commitment to “healing the soul of America” involves enacting ambitious measures to fix structural issues, including those affecting autistic individuals.

"Too much fuss and bother. Too much contradiction and confusion."


My Views on Autism Advocacy

Let's get this out of the way at the beginning: I am autistic, but not super-human. I cannot perform any of that comic book/movie nonsense (although I think that having some form of telekinesis might be fun). It probably seems unusual for a politician (new or otherwise) to make such a statement, but my condition obviously has an influence on not only what I say, but how I say it.

"Different eyes see different things. Different hearts beat on different strings."

I have a form of high-functioning autism that used to be known as Asperger's Syndrome (A.S.). Like all of the other variants of autism, Asperger's Syndrome is a neurological condition (not a 'disorder', a label that I personally find offensive). I was officially diagnosed over 20 years ago, so if I seem to have an unusually passionate defense of those who might be considered "different" -- regardless of the "difference" -- I think I have good reason to be.

No person with autism ever has all of the identified traits for their particular autism variant; they may have several of them, but not have a few of the others. Their "collection" of traits and the "intensity" of those traits combine to make up that person's individual autistic "pattern", and no two patterns are ever the same. So, if you know someone else who also has Asperger's Syndrome, you can rest assured that we have differing "patterns" even if we share similar characteristics.

"Peel away the mystery, here's a clue to some real motivation."

One aspect of my condition is my desire to understand things; why they exist, how they work, and how (or if) they can be improved. Sometimes, this manifests in wanting to understand why people do some of the things that they do. If that makes you uncomfortable, or makes you believe that I either don't or won't understand the problems that you face every day, I can respect that. But then I would ask, "what is it about my being autistic that would make you believe I would be unable to understand the issues that matter most to you, and possibly find a way to resolve them?"

After all, some of these issues have been around for decades, and all of the neurotypicals (non-autistics) haven't resolved the issue yet. Why not try something/someone different?


Some of my opinions regarding autism advocacy:

Committee to Elect Darren Hamilton
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