, 14 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Respectful words. A thread.
The #BBC #Panorama show re abusive behaviour towards lovely people who need support in care homes showed a wall in the centre's building. On it, words of respect. Person-centred,rights, equality, fun, safe, choice...
And yet, the spoken words.../
...from the care staff were words of hate, of contempt. Some too shocking to write on here. The violence and abuse were very much part of that narrative. That #autistic people and people with learning disabilities were just there for staff entertainment and gossip, for abuse/
Autistic people receive a narrative of hate every day of our lives. Some of it so traditional that its writers and speakers don't even realise what they're saying, I suspect.
Deficit. Disorder. Fault. Burden. Cost. "Service User".
That narrative poisons. It kills. It harms/
As we know, autistic people have a very high rate of suicide, a very high rate of developing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Sometimes we see people say, "I wonder why - it's a mystery, isn't it."
Well, no, it's really not./
It's not a surprise that when you define everything about us as a fault, and describe us as nothing that should exist, we end up traumatised by it.
We can see the results in the rising number diagnosed with PTSD and cPTSD/
When our teams have the privilege of working with autistic people and those with learning disabilities, it is from a place of mutual respect. Not least because our teams are led or co-led by autistic people of various kinds, as professionals, trainers and experts/
As part of my Post Grad academic explorations, I have to wade through all the research papers. Endless negativity. Anything we do is portrayed as a negative. If we're good at something, it's 'obsession'. If we need something, it's to be taken away and used as coercive tool/
Whatever did we think was going to be the outcome of all of this negativity?
More jobs? Of course not.
More respect in society? Well, no.
More learning of the wonderful gifts of self, friendship and skills that may await, on encountering us? Nope.
Just hate. So.../
I want each of you in the professions to think about the language you use, and the language you permit.
Think, "Would I want to be described as a set of deficits to be corrected?"
And read your way through this lot. annsautism.blogspot.com/2019/01/autism…
If we want to stop situations like those exposed by Panorama, we have to change the narrative. Our organisation's #Synergy training is about that. It's about teaching respect, about acknowledging difference and diversity. About enabling support in the right ways./
Am I selling you something to make me money? No, I don't choose to get a penny from this. It's a choice about making a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable, and re-investing in the work.
Together, we can make a difference. As respectful partners with one another.
Through the Autistic Pride networks, we enable autistic people to feel confident in themselves. To be creative.
We put together events designed by autistic people, led by autistic people..., and the result is so positive,so well received by most.
Not a deficit. Different.
PS - note that I refer to autistic people, not people with autism.
That is the correct term for a general group of us, and anyone whose preference isn't known. This is a typical poll result. Different from some other disability groups. (Always ask for individual preferences).
...and what is it with the 'othering' language for everyday activities?
Tell me, when you decide to nip down the shops for a loaf of bread, or get on the bus to go to the cinema, are you 'accessing the community'?
Hey, family, fancy Accessing the Community today?
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