something a lot of neurodivergent people would do well to remember is that not everyone can thrive in this society even with accommodations, & not everyone can live in their brain if they hate it. it’s not a coincidence that most people i see opposed to the social model are white
the specific kind of opposition i’m talking about is white people who see any argument in favor of the social model of disability and any argument for systemic change and shout it down or dismiss it as toxic positivity. systemic change is needed to end white supremacy.
white supremacy is inextricably tied to ableism. ableism is the justification for other kinds of oppression like racism, misogyny, and classism. calling people incapable and inferior makes oppression look natural and unavoidable. do not mock the need for systemic change.
many people who have been socialized to feel incapable and inferior need to change their narrative about themselves in order to survive in this world. they deserve that. requiring neurodivergent people to see themselves as disordered is oppressive and cruel.
the main culprits of this devotion to the medical model are white people with ADHD who want their experiences taken seriously and want their meds so they can keep up with the demands of modern capitalist society. i get that. but white people aren’t the arbiters of the truth.
i see a lot of white people who can’t tell the difference between toxic positivity and radical liberationist disability activism. that’s fucked up. that means you have only ever listened when white people talk. do not dismiss disability justice bc of white ADHD TikTok coaches.
to insist on keeping society the same - or at least not prioritizing systemic change to create a universally accessible world - so you don’t lose your accommodations leaves out all the people who NEED systemic change. meds and extra time on deadlines aren’t enough for everyone
reclaiming the right to define your own mind and love yourself is important to a lot of marginalized people and if it isn’t important to you, that doesn’t give you the right to dismiss it all as toxic positivity. negativity can be pretty fucking toxic. it can be fucking fatal.
there are many pride and self-love-centered movements that show the political and personal power of reframing a narrative. gay pride, Black power, fat acceptance - all movements that have created change and made people’s lives better and faced furious opposition.
for me - i cannot hate my brain and survive. when i have wished it were different and tried to change it, my brain and body literally, physically started breaking down. i can’t survive being suicidal. i don’t owe you that. refusing to hate my brain is me asserting my humanity
when i see people shitting on the social model of disability, i see people who are happy to let this society kill me because they think given the right accommodations, it won’t kill them. fuck you for that.
toxic positivity is when people tell you to just go on a run, to just make yourself overcome executive dysfunction with willpower, to decide to not have mental illness & cure yourself with a positive attitude, to see your divergence as a superpower & magically succeed in society
toxic positivity is not the social model of disability, neurodiversity theory, or disability justice. someone expressing love for their brain the way it is and wanting society to change so this world is made for them too is not toxic positivity. come on. how is this difficult?
the arguments you are hearing disabled people make that come from traditions of disability activism are not the same as arguments you’re hearing from neurotypical people and ADHD coaching grifters. it is your responsibility to be able to tell the difference. you should want to.
the backlash against the social model of disability & neurodiversity theory is disappointing because it’s steeped in prejudice and it’s establishing a terrifying precedent. white people are insisting that questioning bad science is in itself anti-science. this is white supremacy.
i got into neurodiversity because i am pro-science and the extraordinarily bad science the medical model of autism rests on horrified me. being pro-science does not mean unquestioningly accepting racist, ableist, sexist research. that’s being pro-white supremacy & patriarchy.
stop thinking in a binary. there is no rule that you can believe in one model of disability only. if you think that - you have not been listening to disability activists. you haven’t. changing society doesn’t mean disabled people should not get medicine anymore. what the fuck?
if you think people who advocate for systemic change in line with the social model of disability believe that means the need for healthcare will be over, you have only been listening to very ignorant white people co-opting an idea that clearly none of you bothered to research.
dismissing an idea because people who don’t really understand co-opted it and started to use it in an ignorant way is fucking ridiculous. we will not get anywhere this way. two arguments that use a few of the same words aren’t the same argument.
The ADHD subreddit banning all criticism of the medical model says that science based on the biases and research of and on cishet white men is science and anything that has not been validated by white neurotypical men isn’t science. Criticizing biased research is anti-science.
You know who advocated for systemic change using the social model of disability? The disability activists whose work in the 70s, 80s, and 90s made the ADA happen - any accommodations we get, we owe to them. We are part of a history here. We need to respect that.
Is the ADA toxic positivity? Were ADHD TikTok influencers the ones protesting in the streets to make sidewalks & public transportation accessible? Can you see how fucking ridiculous this conflation is?

Start being able to tell the difference. Stop obstructing disability rights.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Erika Heidewald, Proud Autistic Bitch

Erika Heidewald, Proud Autistic Bitch Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @erikaheidewald

9 Apr
I was a very existential kid so I don’t remember a time before this & it’s been the biggest struggle of my life. eventually i found a few ideas and ways of thinking that helped me - they’re very specific to me but if any of it helps anyone feeling this way, they’re worth sharing
If nothing matters, then everything matters. it’s the same thing. Every moment of joy for me or someone else matters. every moment I learn something and I like it, that matters. Every time I help someone, that matters. It doesn’t have to go anywhere. I’m detached from the results
there really are no rules. I do not have to listen to ideas I don’t respect and people I don’t respect. This is my one life and I will not let it be limited by people who think the rules of this society mean something. how I feel and what I think about myself are always up to me.
Read 31 tweets
9 Apr
It has been distressing me how many people think you can only believe in one framework for understanding an issue - if you believe in one, that means you think it is the only framework necessary. This is deeply incorrect & I want to help you break out of that way of thinking.
This might verge on patronizing, I don’t know, and if so I’m sorry, but critical thinking skills are *skills* that must be taught and practiced and it doesn’t make you stupid if you’re not good at it - it means your education system failed you. You can get this if you want to.
A theoretical framework or model is one way to look at data, categorize it, and derive meaning from it. It is a social construct. The data is not. In the context of autism - autism is a social construct, autistic people are not. Autism is a way to describe what we have in common.
Read 24 tweets
9 Apr
i remember when i was in high school and i very much wanted a diagnosis to describe what was going on with me because without it, that meant everyone was going through what i was going through and i was just worse at handling it and i KNEW that wasn’t true. i needed to prove it.
the problem is we’ve given people only one option besides erasure - diagnosis. there’s only one “get out of conformity free” card and it’s that biologically, medically, you are incapable of doing so, and you have had that affirmed by an authority trusted by the ruling class
THIS IS SUCH A FALSE FUCKING BINARY. the answer isn’t to play their ableist, classist, racist, misogynistic, transphobic, deeply cruel game. we need to refuse to play and start validating and recognizing each other without an authority telling us we have to.
Read 7 tweets
9 Apr
pretty sure this system just sucks and instead of fixing it we pathologize people for the misery it puts us through
i know this society is very resistant to admitting that anxiety and depression might ever be happening for a reason but feeling the immensity of how much the world sucks and that most people don’t give a shit has definitely always played a big part in my depression
i know society has trained everyone to be reactionary, binary thinkers (gee, wonder why) but the fact that external factors might have something to do with depression doesn’t make depression not real. you don’t need a context-free chemical imbalance to be valid
Read 6 tweets
8 Apr
if we really wanna have some fun let’s talk about how fucking traumatizing gym class can be for neurodivergent kids 🙃 i think gym class is a secret neurotypical plan to break the young neurodivergent spirit. make it illegal
the most pitiful moment of my high school experience might have been when we had to do a skills test in volleyball that involved setting the ball off the wall four times in a row. i could not do this and kept sending balls flying around the gym as i begged them to let me stop
people kept telling me that eventually i’d find the sport i was good at so i tried every single sport & i can confidently report back that i am bad at every single sport. i don’t think my body was designed with any physical skills in mind. maybe it’s made for hibernating
Read 4 tweets
8 Apr
the only good thing about homework for me is it gave me something to do in class. that’s the only reason i wasn’t super disruptive bc i definitely couldn’t just pay attention so i did all my homework. any bigger project that i had to do at home i just .. did not do
i would completely forget about the existence of these assignments as soon as i was out of school which ended up in things like me inventing a book to do a book report about bc i forgot that assignment existed until the night before. pulled that one off
it did not go well when we had an assignment of building a musical instrument in science class, which i was supposed to be doing over the course of about two months and i only remembered the weekend before it was due so i built one & it didn’t work. had to play it for the class
Read 8 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!