Friday, August 7, 2009

Checklist of Neurotypical Privilege: New Draft

Many changes suggested by commenters have been incorporated. Items on employment and education have been added. Some items have been combined to make room for other points that had been overlooked. The introduction has been expanded to clarify issues around the words "privilege" and "neurotypical." A link to an article on confronting privilege has been added. Headings have been included to facilitate easier reading.
This is intended as a semi-final draft, and is still open to modification as needed. Please discuss any concerns in the comments section. As with the other posts on this topic, attempts to derail the discussion are not welcome, and will be deleted.
A Checklist of Neurotypical Privilege
Since its publication in 1988, Peggy McIntosh’s essay, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, has come to be seen as a standard tool for examining the often unacknowledged advantages conferred on the white majority. The article has since been adapted to reflect the advantages of many other majority groups, spawning lists of straight, thin, cisgender, class, (temporarily) able-bodied and other forms of privilege. As far as I know, the advantages of being neurotypical (having a neurology that roughly corresponds to societal expectations) have not previously been listed in a systematic way, with the goal of encouraging a similar analysis.

This explains the genesis of this list, but not its reason for being. As autistic adults, we have often found ourselves excluded from organizations claiming to speak for us. We have been told that our thoughts and experiences are of no value in general discussions of autism. Autistic adults who dare to speak openly on topics related to autism are often treated with condescension, ridicule and disdain. Autistic children are restrained in isolation rooms, bullied not only by peers but by teachers, while some of us have been told this is not our concern. Autistic adults are tasered by police for their communication and movement differences. Every year, autistic children and adults are murdered for no reason other than their neurology. A life in which a person can be fairly sure these things will not happen to her/him is a privileged life. Having one’s views taken seriously on these subjects is another example of privilege.

Autistic people are not the only ones affected by neurotypical privilege. Neurodiversity is a broad concept, including the entire range of human experience. We recognize that people labeled with ADD, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and a multitude of other conditions considered disorders by society also experience marginalization. However, this list was constructed by autistic people and allies, and will surely fall short of addressing neurotypical privilege as it impacts other groups.
Additionally, the authors of this list acknowledge that the term “neurotypical” has been identified as problematic, since even persons who may not have a specified neurological difference may not see themselves as “typical,” and that there is technically no such thing as a “typical” brain. We understand—and celebrate—that every single individual is complex and unique. We have chosen “neurotypical” precisely because of its neutrality—it is neither positive nor negative. This is not the place to entertain long discussions about the perceived implications of the term. Those discussions only serve to derail conversations about truly vital issues, such as exclusion, abuse, torture, and murder.

In compiling this list, we have been acutely aware that the topic of privilege is one many people find hard to digest. For anyone who has not come across the concept before, or who feels that he or she does not fully understand what it means in this context, I highly recommend reading the original McIntosh article in its entirety before beginning the list of neurotypical privilege presented here. For those who find themselves feeling defensive upon reading, you are not alone. For most of us, this is a necessary part of the process of acknowledging and understanding privilege. Here are a few basic things to remember about privilege:

Privilege is not your fault. It is an artifact of systems that favor some people over others, systems that have evolved naturally to meet the needs of the majority, but have failed to provide adequate accommodations for those outside it. For more information on understanding and confronting privilege, please see this link.

Privilege is not, in itself, a terrible thing. Having any form of privilege does not make you a bad person. Just about everyone has some form of privilege. No, that doesn’t mean it all somehow “balances out.” A person can have, for example, white privilege, male privilege, class privilege, and heterosexual privilege, while still lacking neurotypical privilege. Likewise, not all autistic people have had the same experiences; other forms of privilege can act as a cushion against many of the harsher realities endured by those who belong to multiple disenfranchised groups.

The statement that privilege exists is not an accusation or attempt to blame. It is an invitation to see your experiences and the experiences of others in a new light. It is not an admonition to change the world, but a simple tool with which to begin considering if, possibly, some changes might be worth working toward.
Checklist of Neurotypical Privilege
Safety

1. I have never been told, because of my neurology, that I am incapable of feeling pain.

2. If I have a medical problem, I do not worry that my doctor will dismiss it as part of my neurotypicality.

3. When attempting to purchase health insurance, I know that I will not be rejected because I am NT.

4. If I am bullied or abused, people will not assume that my neurology means I am at least partially to blame, or that the abuse would stop if I tried harder to behave like someone else.

5. I can assume that police officers will not become alarmed at my natural body language and find it necessary to subdue me in advance of any wrongdoing.

6. I do not have to carry a special card or bracelet with me to explain my natural body movements or the sounds I naturally make.

7. I am not considered more dangerous and more likely to commit a crime because of my neurology.

8. People of my neurology are not generally considered burdensome to our families or to tax-payers.

9. Nobody will murder me because of my neurology.

10. If I am murdered, my murderer will not be let off because my murder was deemed “an act of mercy,” or given a light sentence because of the stress caused by interacting with me.

11. I do not have to fear that important decisions about my life will be made by others who are considered more qualified based on their neurology.

12. I am not expected to accept seclusion rooms, restraints, or neuro-enhancing drugs as conditions of my educational experience.

Inclusion

13. For a child of my neurotype, everyday teaching of the skills they will need to live in this society is called education or parenting—not therapy, treatment, or intervention.

14. If someone of my neurology can do something well, I will not be punished for being unable to do the same thing well or at all.

15. People do not constantly tell me that I need to work on the things which I am very bad at, at the expense of things which I am good at and enjoy doing.

16. People who have power over my education will probably not decide that, instead of receiving the academic education most of my peers receive, it would be best for me if my time in school were spent learning non-academic “skills.”

17. I can reveal my neurology to my boss and coworkers without fear of losing my job.

18. I can ask for technical or social support on the job without being seen as a troublemaker or charity case.

19. People do not automatically assume that the best place for me to live is an institution.

20. The majority of people who make the laws of my nation share my neurology.

21. The services that I need to survive not only already exist, but even if I use those services on a 24-hour basis, I will still be considered independent.

22. When I need help performing a particular task, I can ask for help without having to produce documentation to prove I actually need help with it. The help will most often be provided in a manner I can understand, and will not be considered an inconvenience or an act of pity.

23. No one sees my neurology as being in need of elimination or cure.

24. If I am visibly upset, people generally assume something must have upset me, and will generally try to help me.

25. People do not suggest that groups that are made for the benefit of people of my neurological type be led and ruled by people of a different neurological type, because mine is seen as inherently incapable.

26. I have never had to take a single test that determines, for my entire lifetime, whether I get to communicate.

Relationships

27. My family, friends, and significant others are not told that I am incapable of relating to other human beings.

28. If I am an adult, I can be a sexual being without the assumption that any partner attracted to me must be a predator or pedophile.

29. I am never told that I should not have children lest I pass on the genes that cause them to share my neurological type.

30. No one speculates about whether I am competent to raise children based solely on my neurology.

31. People do not assume that living in the same household as me is inherently “tragic” or “devastating,” or that my family, friends and partner will need a support group to deal with living with me.

32. I will not be asked to leave a public place, or to change where I live, because people are uncomfortable with my neurotypical behaviors.

33. If I am unhappy, people do not automatically assume my unhappiness is the result of me being who I am.

34. My opinions on social mores and societal issues are not dismissed based on my neurology or on the assumption that I am incapable of understanding how these things work. Likewise, my gender identity and sexual orientation are not discounted because of my neurology.
Respect

35. I expect people to presume intellect and competence with me.

36. If I fail, most will encourage me by telling me that I will ultimately succeed.

37. If I fail to understand autistic people, this is attributed to a deficit inherent in autistic people rather than in me.

38. If I have a particular talent or ability, I can demonstrate that talent without being called an “idiot savant” or my talent being called a “splinter skill” or some other demeaning word.

39. The definitions of rude and irritating conduct were developed by and for people with my neurology.

40. I am not praised for acting less neurotypical or punished for acting more neurotypical.

41. I am not expected to alter or suppress my natural ways of moving, interacting, or expressing emotion in most circumstances.

42. If I fail to alter or suppress my natural ways of moving, interacting, or expressing emotion, I do not fear public ridicule or exclusion because of this.

43. When prospective parents and others speak of wanting a “healthy child,” I know that they mean a child like me.

44. People don't accuse me of grandiosity or derisively dismiss it if I suggest that some admirable historical figure might have been neurotypical.

45. It is considered good for people who are not like me to try to act more like me.

46. My natural movements and traits are not used by my peers to ridicule others of their neurological type, either jokingly or maliciously.

47. I am never told that the fact I have a certain cognitive skill means that I am lying when I say I lack another cognitive skill. Nor am I dismissed as incapable of things I truly can do because I lack certain cognitive skills.

48. I can discuss my interests at length without this being viewed as a “symptom.”

49. When I communicate, people do not gather in crowds around me and gawk.

50. My behaviors, abilities, and skill levels at age 2 or 3 are considered indicative of an immature phase of life that will pass naturally, not as representative of my prognosis for the rest of life.

Definition of terms
Majority: The dominant group.
Minority: (1) A racial, religious, political, national, or other group thought to be different from the larger group of which it is part; (2) A group having little power or representation relative to other groups within a society; (3) a member of one of these groups.

Neurotypical: (1) Having a type of neurology that is expected and/or favored by the society in which one lives. (i.e., having a “normal” or “typical” brain, and the typical sensory processing/body movements/facial expressions associated with a typical neurological system.)

We: (1) The people who helped to create this document—most of us autistic or with other less typical neurology; (2) those who support the recognition of human rights for autistic people and others with less typical neurology.

43 comments:

  1. #29: I am never told that I should not have children, lest I pass on the genes that cause them to be like me.

    I don't think this one is accurate as is. TaySachs, SickleCell, and other genetic diseases of NTs are often grounds for recommending against reproduction.

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  2. I see what you mean..but to be nit-picky, in those conditions the parent is heterogeneous for the trait and thus doesn't have the disease that the would-be child would have, if I am correct. A more analogous situation would be with myopia, where the parents have it and someone recommends them not to reproduce for fear the child would be myopic, but that is very rare to happen and people don't dread myopia (except for very low vision) like they would a disease, or like many currently dread autism.

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  3. I think you need to EXPAND your definition of "neurotypical" to "neuroaccepted" or something to that effect. People with AHDD, ADD, anxiety disorder, chronically/clinically depressed and even mildly bi-polar and mildly OCD can "pass" as NT. I have several of those and other than #17 or #18 I have never felt discriminated by anyone other than perhaps myself. Most people with the above issues can be neurotypified with meds. Would I ever tell my boss, I have GAD, ADD and mild OCD; oh hell no! I wouldn't be fired, I could take time off and I think all these issues are covered under than ADD but I would be looked at differently and not promoted, etc. On the otherhand, unmedicated and undiagnosed I passed enough to be seen as NT. My parents knew I wasn't, I had random fits as a child and teen when I couldn't quite handle a situation. I couldn't sit still in a classroom but I knew what was going on and I could reply to the teacher if asked a direct question. As I got older, I adapted by doodling the entire time. Odd though I was, I was never discriminated but I know I could be.

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  4. Anna Martelli Ravenscroft,
    That item does seem problematic, if only because of the wording. Thank you for pointing it out.

    Anonymous #2,

    In the introduction, I did my best to express here that (1)NT does not equal non-autistic, (2)other neurologically different people experience discrimination,
    (3) everyone's experience will be different, and (4)this list is by (mostly) autistic people, and doesn't attempt to either exclude or define the marginalization of those outside that group.

    "We recognize that people labeled with ADD, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and a multitude of other conditions considered disorders by society also experience marginalization. However, this list was constructed by autistic people and allies, and will surely fall short of addressing neurotypical privilege as it impacts other groups."

    I am not sure, but this sounds to me like it covers most of what you are saying.

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  5. Autistic adults who dare to speak openly on topics related to autism are often treated with condescension, ridicule and disdain.

    That description fits perfectly with how members of the neurodiversity movement and the autism hub have treated me when I spoke out in favor of wishing I could be cured and what an affliction I believe autism is.

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  6. @ Jonathan - Perhaps if you would bother to deny that you are Paid to do so, we might listen to you.

    If you're Not paid, well, there's more to life than wishing and whining. There are things you could do, if you'd only try.

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  7. I will never be told that my cognitive age is something other than my actual age.

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  8. Brilliant! I love how this has come together.

    If you need to include any other points, there are a couple items that can be combined to make room. 9 & 10 can be put together with no editing and make perfect sense as a single point. 29 & 30 are another pair that this can be done with.

    I'm not saying you have to include more points, but if you do, here's a good way to go about it without removing any :)

    -Jaden

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  9. Jonathan,
    I don't doubt what you are saying, but I don't think any of the people you are talking about have responded with ridicule or disdain because you are autistic, which is the point of this list. Personally, I don't have a problem with you stating that you want a cure for autism, but I do have a problem with name calling, gossip, dishonest tactics, unfair generalizations and poor logic being used in attempts to silence autistic self-advocates.

    Rusti,
    Thank you. I will add that to the longer list.

    Jaden,
    Thanks very much! I'll keep this in mind if anyone makes a good argument for including another point.

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  10. SadderbutwisergirlAugust 9, 2009 at 11:03 PM

    Hey, Bev. When this NT privilege checklist business is all finished, would it be all right if I send a moderator/admin-wide PM on autistics.org requesting that an official link to the checklist be made through the autistics.org site? I think this checklist is awesome and should be made available through the site, but I'm just one moderator there and I think you should be all right with it before we do it.

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  11. List seems much more digestible with the categories. Good sorting.

    And thanks again.

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  12. It seems I spend too much time in the list and not enough in the intro. Change requests:
    1) Seeing as we aren't trying to speak for ADD, ADHD, bipolar, schizophrania et al, perhaps it should be "A checklist" rather than "The checklist"? Not sure if you want to be a clearinghouse.

    2) I thought the idea was to recognize and revise our thoughts and actions to avoid privilege messing things up. As such, I thought privilege *is* a terrible thing. Maybe I'm doing it wrong or maybe I misunderstood the paragraph. Could be me being privileged, too;

    3) I fit right in the example of privilege intersection: I'm white, male, and am from a fairly well-off family. I wholeheartedly agree that other autistic folks have definitely had a rougher life than I.

    back to 2) Way I understood it, recognizing one's privilege meant that one then uses it to pull those without it up to your level. When everyone has a privilege, it ceases to be a privilege and becomes a right.

    OK, too long. Quieting now.

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  13. I can try to address #2, C:

    *Having* privilege is not a terrible thing. Until we have achieved a society that is truly equal on every plane (which is probably not possible), certain advantages and disadvantages will continue to exist in their many forms. If you're born rich, white, male, straight, conventionally attractive, etc., there's no need to be ashamed of it. There's nothing wrong with being any of those things. (And folks who start to absorb the idea that they *should* be ashamed are being fed the wrong messages.)

    However, failing to recognize -- or outright denying -- that being those things can give you certain types of privilege, or *using* that privilege to directly harm or dismiss another person . . . well, yeah, that's terrible.

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  14. Hi C.,
    Your first point is great. I agree that this should be "a" list, not "the" list for the reason you stated, and just because it sounds less absolute and final.

    As far as privilege not being "bad," I think it is really important to keep this. Yes, privilege for one group results in another group having less of something. Under some belief systems that is a problem in itself; for others it isn't. What is most important is being open to seeing the advantages we do have, and how others can be affected even when no harm was intended. Thinking that these privileges are necessarily bad things feeds into the defensiveness most of us feel when first encountering these ideas. It has a lot to do with your point about privileges becoming rights. For those who have these things, they are already seen that way. Who would want to give them up?

    I think that unrecognized, unacknowledged privilege is dangerous. Once we know we have it and a bit about how it works, we can get it out in the open and start to think about how to distribute power more equitably.

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  15. @evonne
    Having the privileged status is outside one's control, granted. Nor is the Borg generally considered an ideal culture. I think we're on the same page.

    Thanks for the reassurance.

    And thanks again to Bev. I wasn't kidding about not being able to say it enough.

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  16. OK. THanks for the clarification, evonne and Bev.

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  17. Woot! I like the way they're grouped together under headings. And the introduction is good, too.

    The only suggestion I have right now is that I don't think #37 is specific to autistic people. (Those of us with nonverbal learning disorder get that too, and it's controversial/undecided whether we are autistic or not. And I doubt we are the only ones).

    Unfortunately, the only replacement for "autistic" that I can come up with is "neurologically atypical."

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  18. Tera,
    You are right, of course, but I am inclined to leave this one as is, in deference to style and simplicity.

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  19. SadderbutwisergirlAugust 10, 2009 at 11:54 PM

    About #48, I know from experience that if an autistic person talks about his or her interests at length, it goes beyond being called a "symptom." It is also called "lack of social skills" by some people and the autistic person in question is also sometimes ridiculed/told that nobody is interested in their interest that they're not going to make friends that way. I don't mean to criticize the contributor for only mentioning that talking at length about one's interests is often considered a "symptom" in an autistic person. I'm just saying that societal ignorance about that particular trait goes further than that.

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  20. There are a lot of extraneous commas in the list, but otherwise I find it very satisfying. Commas can be removed:

    5. I can assume that police officers will not become alarmed at my natural body language and find it necessary to subdue me in advance of any wrongdoing.

    15. People do not constantly tell me that I need to work on things at which I am bad and do not enjoy at the expense of things which I am good at and enjoy doing. [rephrased this one sightly for clarity, too]

    21. The services that I need to survive not only already exist, but even if I use those services on a 24-hour basis I will still be considered independent.

    29. I am never told that I should not have children lest I pass on the genes that cause them to be like me.

    37. If I fail to understand autistic people, this is attributed to a deficit inherent in autistic people rather than in me.

    40. I am not praised for acting less neurotypical or punished for acting more neurotypical.

    41. I am not expected to alter or suppress my natural ways of moving, interacting, or expressing emotion in most circumstances. [added a comma to maintain continuity--an oxford comma was used previously in the list, so adding one here maintains the style]

    42. If I fail to alter or suppress my natural ways of moving, interacting, or expressing emotion, I do not fear public ridicule or exclusion because of this. [same as 41]

    45. It is considered good for people who are not like me to try to act more like me.

    47. I am never told that the fact I have a certain cognitive skill means that I am lying when I say I lack another cognitive skill. Nor am I dismissed as incapable of things I truly can do because I lack certain cognitive skills.

    My inner copy editor is at peace.

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  21. Re: #29 pehaps replace the words "cause them to be like me" should be replaced with the words "cause them to share my neurotype." Because physically disabled NTs get told that they shouldn't have kids, too, as Anna Martelli Ravenscroft said.

    It's a good list.

    "Thinking that these privileges are necessarily bad things feeds into the defensiveness most of us feel when first encountering these ideas."

    Agreed.

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  22. I thought of something else that could go on the list if more refinement is to be done and some items are to be combined.

    "I am never told that the only reason I don't want a cure or any kind of 'treatment' is that I am afraid of change."

    Not really sure if that's worth including or not, but I'm just putting it out there anyway.

    Littlewolf

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    ReplyDelete
  24. I have made several changes that were suggested here, and now consider this list to be finished. Thanks again to all who contributed.

    ReplyDelete
  25. SadderbutwisergirlAugust 23, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    You're welcome, and keep posting!

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  26. I applaud what you're doing here! I will take more time to comment fully since this is my first read (and my first time at this blog). However, I did want to make one observation as the parent of three young children with autism.

    Our family has been harrassed by CPS at urging of a psychologist who worked with our family for a while. It was the psychologist's opinion that no family should be "burdened" with three children with autism, therefore our children should be removed from our home and placed elsewhere. A contributing factor is that I am a neurodiversity advocate and rejected every goal she suggested that involved trying to "normalize" our children. (An example was trying to reduce the frequency of hugs my son Willy gives to therapists, because a normalchild his age would not hug so often.)

    In investigating what was going on I learned that having a child with a disability (including any diagnosis of autism) is counted against the parents as a sign of abuse/neglect. This means that a family like ours, with three children, already have three strikes against as to how they weigh their evidence, so they can use any excuse to substantiate a case of neglect.

    Considering the CPS worker was actually talking about placing my son (who she called "severely autistic" though that is not what his diagnostician said) in an institution if she could take him out of our home, I would consider this a threat to safety as well as possibly falling under relationships. That is, if you'd be interested in including it this in a list of advantages.

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  27. SadderbutwisergirlAugust 27, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    @Stephanie: Hey there! I feel really sorry that you're being harrassed like that. I can empathize with your situation, however. I'm the oldest at 16 of seven kids (yeah, yeah, I know, Liesel from The Sound of Music and all that stuff...), the six oldest being autistic and the youngest being non-autistic. It is well-known in our town that most of the kids in our family are autistic and we get a lot of visits from the child protective people over the littlest things, like someone coming into school hungry. Once, they got concerned because there were toys strewn all over the floor in our house. Come on! What else would you expect in a house with kids, especially younger ones?

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  28. Yes, toys on the floor were a big concern. It's nitpicking because legally the autistic thing isn't enough to warrant investigate, but the prejudice exists nonetheless.

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  29. How about, people shouldn't act as if when an Autistic person accomplishes something, it's some fantastical miracle. I know NTs would love to get attention like that, but most of the people on the Autism spectrum are stressed out by that type of attention.

    There was a news story about an Autistic child who saved a Cub Scout Teacher from choking.(http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/64465962.html)

    Now it might be that this is a very difficult situation for any 10 year old child to know what to do in. However, I see it as another "Miracle" story that surely will be passed around Autism communities, and regarded as extremely rare. Since those parents who will pass this story around, most likely will be the martyr parents who continue to go on about how they wish on rainbow and unicorns that their child could be "normal"

    I see this a lot in the media, and while the father in this story said, "This is proof that children with autism can do anything others can do and that they should never think otherwise.", there are many others who will still see this as an amazing coincidence. They brought up how the father kept reinforcing the Heimlich Manuver with his son, because you don't teach Autistic children, you train them.

    I'm tired of the fairytale fantasy thinking from the Curbie parents, and that we're told we "Go off into our own world" while these parents have the fantasy world of a 3 year old child. "If I believe hard enough, and wish hard enough, my child will be normal!" Anyone else would be seen as having a break from reality, or a difficulty in remaining in reality if they believed in fantasy to such an extent. However, people are so willing to sympathize with parents of Autism Spectrum children, they think it's okay, they suffer so much. The least we can do is let them keep their delusional sense of the world, even at the expense of their child.

    My mom has a mom friend, who's husband goes from quack therapy to quack therapy in hopes to cure his son. This is where I get this from, but I also get it from parents who I've spoken to who have thrown livid tantrums on Wrongplanet.com at the notion that they should accept their child, and stop feeling sorry for themselves, to the point where I was banned after they told the mods "She's being mean! She's telling me I have to stop beeeellliiiieeevvinnnnng!" Yes, that's the level of immaturity they're able to live on.

    So while those of us on the Autism spectrum are endlessly being criticized for not behaving like adults. I see adults who are permitted to act like complete children, who are so far gone into their "Own world" they believe any story where an Autistic child accomplishes something, is the happy ending to a fairy tale. And that wishing upon a star, will make their child normal.

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  30. from a Mom...

    Please tell me what you think! All talk about a "cure" mystifies me.

    I have described spectrumy people (including my son) as being Macs and NT people as being PCs. That the wiring in their heads is completely different. That the Macs don't communicate that well with PCs; are good at different things; can be "tweaked" (therapied) to interact more effectively OR to pretend to be more like PCs when it benefits them. But that doesn't make them anything other than Macs. Obviously, there is not necessarily anything WRONG with being a Mac. And there are definitely things that are RIGHT about being a Mac. People who are spectrumy are able/less able just as people who are NT are. I know I am missing a segment of spectrumy people who are really trapped inside their heads, but I find this works to explain things to those who have no knowledge... and stops any talk of a "cure".

    Anyway, I love your blog post and it did make me think. It seems like all talk of human rights is just that, talk.

    Elaine

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  31. Can I translate this post in french for Asperansa

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  32. I’d also like to add these to the list:
    *I can be sure that I will be treated as a human being with rights because I am NT. If I am not, I will be able to protest this with better results than if I were not NT. (Ref: http://www.astraeasweb.net/politics/emily.html and many other cases.)
    *I can look at this entire list and either dismiss it because it doesn't apply to me, or say that it only applies for certain people/circumstances.

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  33. Um, this is a bit off-topic, but the link you have for class privilege is really bad. The guy has a list of lower-class 'privileges' that include such gems as "I don’t need to learn to speak properly" which is a rather 'holy shit wow, check your privilege, dude' moment.

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  34. Thanks for including the information near the end of your post explaining exactly what "privilege" means in the context of these lists. Too many people that compile privilege lists forget to add that info and it almost seems like they're trying to be purposefully combative as a result.

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  35. 14. If someone of my neurology can do something well, I will not be punished for being unable to do the same thing well or at all.

    This really needs to be changed. It's blatantly not true; abusive or simply pushy parents will often punish neurotypical or even gifted children with no other neurodivergence for not being able to do things 'as well as the other children,' eg. worse grades, musical talent.

    "If someone of my neurology can do something well and I cannot do the same thing well or at all, my neurotype will not be blamed" is better - still inaccurate, because ableist anti-neurodiverse slurs are often used in this situation.

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  36. I actually have something to add. (I'm clinically paranoid)

    "If I feel as though someone dislikes me, it will be taken seriously and not chalked up to my neurotype"

    "If I express strong emotions, it will be viewed as legitimate expression and not as a symptom of my nuerotype"

    "People will not try to bait me into fear or anger because of my neurotype"

    "I can expect that academic institutions will have resources suited to dealing with problems associated with my neurotype"

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  37. An Autistic encyclopedia (Encyclopedia Autistica) project is in its beginning stages right now, and I was wondering: Any shot of being able to include this list in the article about Neurotypical Privilege? (Credit given, obviously. Also willing to stick you onto the project in general if you wanted to.)

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  38. does neurotypical mean someone without autism in this post? Im not really sure if i would have neurotypical privilege, because i have bipolar II but I don't have autism.

    sorry if i offend you, im not trying to.

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  39. No offense taken, Zeinab Alawy. Several years ago when I compiled this list, many of us were still using the term neurotypical to mean non-autistic. You are absolutely correct that this is confusing and inaccurate, and if I were doing the post today, I would do it differently. Exactly how that would work, I am not sure. Many of the things on this list apply mainly to autistic people; others are just as true for other neurodivergent people. Thanks for your comment.

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  40. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am (trying) to put together a rights/anti-oppression training for (mainly) healthcare service providers in developing countries and am so glad to find this! It's eloquent and the discussion in the comments is also important and eye-opening. I have so little time for the training session that I may just turn it into a one-hour discussion of inclusion and exclusion, with your piece as the starting point. Yes, some of the language is not current, but the points are still crystal clear. I hope you don't mind that I will be passing this around (with credit to your site, of course).

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  41. I don't know if I can link to another blog (I am not affiliated with it at all) but there's some great information on why we need to rethink our definitions of "derailing" because they are inherently exclusionary to individuals who are not NT or have cognitive disabilities, etc. The gist of the argument is summed up like this:

    "As for derailment in general, a lot of people just have a poor attention span due to ADHD or LD or similar. Alternatively, they may be paying attention but have circular (rather than linear) thinking, which means that they make sense of things by connecting topics to other topics. This can again be due to ADHD or LD. It is not necessarily a problem (most often, it is simply a different way of thinking than the norm), but it does mean that they need to be allowed to connect topics to other topics in order to arrive at an understanding of them. So what seems like derailment may actually be a sign of active listening."

    I'm autistic and get accused of derailing a lot when I'm just trying to understand so I can participate. I use a lot of circular reasoning. I know a lot of other people have had similar experiences and we often find ourselves unable to participate in a lot of SJ conversations and communities.

    Idk. This was just something I found myself thinking about when I started reading this post (which is awesome). I thought that it would maybe be helpful to address this since derailing is brought up and the context is an article on NT privilege. I don't mean this as criticism and I hope I didn't cause offense. Thank you for this checklist.

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