(Trigger Warning: neurotypical privilege, ableism, the Cure Autism Movement)
I met up with my best friend (I’ll use his nickname rather than his own name for privacy) yesterday. Blitz’s Aspergers is much more noticeable in him than it is in me. We met whilst in nursery, and his mum childminded me for ages, before I went into full time foster care. We went to the same special needs secondary school for a few years before I transferred to mainstream. We would keep nattering away whilst I sat my GCSE’s and then went to college for my film and television production course. He was (and still is to this day) my voice of reason.
So, we went to the pub, and chatted everything aspergers. We talked about how it can be tricky to be ourselves, as almost as if we have to be two different people, one person in front of our mainstream friends, and someone else to our families/fellow aspergers. We talked about how irritating it is to be put into a stereotype, for example, all of is are supposed to be amazing at maths. Blitz and I SUCK! I just scrapped my C! We talked about relationships, and how sometimes it is tricky to find someone patient enough to cope with our eccentric behaviour.
Later on, I brought up the Little Blue Pill.
The Little Blue Pill is a concept I invented when I was eighteen, out of curiosity. Basically, it is hypothetical. If an aspergers/autistic person takes that pill, they will be cured of their ‘disability’. I started asking my friends if they would take it or not. Most said no. I asked Blitz.
Me: So, there’s a little blue pill sat on the bar, right now, with a glass of water. If you take this pill, you will be cured of aspergers. Do you take it?
Blitz: (horrified) Aw, hell no! Why would I want to be cured?
Me: There are people out there trying to invent that little blue pill…
Blitz: Why do we need to be cured? I mean, sure we struggle socially, we might never be fully independent. But there are so many things that being Aspergers has given me, like my passion for gaming, my art skills (his manga artwork is awesome!) And my ability to judge character properly. Where would I be without that?
Me: I don’t know…
Blitz: Exactly. Now, let’s have another drink!
All the people I asked who have Aspergers or Autism said they wouldn’t take that pill. But, what I’m worried about is that one day, that cure will be made, and children with autism will be forced to take it, they wouldn’t have a choice. This is because being ‘neurotypical’ is the only way that people accept you, apparently. Never was autism mentioned at the women’s conference I attended, only physical and educational disabilities like dyslexia and dispraxia. You never get a job interview when you say on your application that you have this disability. People mock you, saying ‘you don’t seem autistc’ and if you show some signs, then people mock you further by telling you to act more grown up, more professional. My college stopped my additional support, as they didn’t think I needed it. I almost failed college. It was thanks to my tutor going that extra mile to help me, even though he didn’t have to.
Then I discovered the Cure Autism Movement. Basically, they are pushing for the cure, of both classic autism and high functioning, all the way to aspergers. These people are the ones who would ensure that no person ‘would ever endure the suffering’ that this ‘terrible disability’ causes. Sure, there are days where I wish I wasn’t autistic, where I could make some sense of the world, and be able to go to festivals without crying in pain at the volume of the music. But usually, I remember that without it, I’d be pretty lost, I would lose a very important part of who I am. I probably would lose my love of reading, my writing skills. Goodness knows what I, or Blitz would be without it.
So, would I take that Pill?
Well, all that’s left is to spring my experiment on you lot.
That Little Blue Pill is sat next to you, with a glass of water. When taken, it will take away your aspergers/autism.
Do you take it?