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Be Mighty Yourselves!

mighty

…it must be a ‘good thing’…

I guess I never really noticed “The Mighty” website as it built up their disability community writings and subsequent following. When I started seeing people excitedly sharing their work there I thought it MUST be a good thing. When I went to the mighty site for my first time, I looked for it. I looked all around for it. I never saw it. Where was the good thing? I was not sighting anything mighty in my opinion. Why were people so excited to publish there? The majority of what I absorbed there was sad. A lot of sad stories about Autism written by sad (sometimes even mean) people not fully understanding Autism and most significantly and painfully…not understanding their own Autistic children. Stories from the eyes of people confused about what Autism even is. Parents and therapists alike.

 

That wonky feeling of all wrong.

Reading a cross section of writings there gave me that yank in the pit of my stomach. That wonky feeling of all wrong. The woe is me, resentful, morose outlooks I have actively been avoiding my entire life before my Autistic son was even born. These pitiful ”outlooks” that are sadly quite common place and YES even expected from parents of “special needs” people. Writings that center 80-100% upon what the author and readers feel about Autism and disability. Stories that objectify the Autistic or disabled person as an object of the story. The object of how all of the reader’s feel and are made to feel. Most of these stories never cite how the Autistic person is feeling and most negligently the how’s and why’s that surround those feelings. Feelings which should be the centerpiece of the story. Pointing at an Autistic or disabled person and their difficulties without really considering what those are is not how you write about disability. Considering how people at a restaurant or a theater feel about Autistic people attending those venues is a non story unless you ALSO focus on how the Autistic person feels about it.

 

IT IS INSULTING!

The mighty is not so when it is full of stories that objectify and dehumanize disabled people! Driving their numbers up with these “feel good” stories that do NOT make everyone feel good is a very ugly mission. When will abled people realize they seem ridiculous when they patronize, infantilize and dehumanize disabled people and idolize abled people for interacting with them? Is our society hard wired to be so horribly unaware and selfish? If parents of disabled people freely disrespect them for clicks and likes on the mighty what else will they do?

IT IS DANGEROUS!

We saw just how dangerous this toxic mindset is in the case of Kelli Stapleton and her “Status Woe” blog about her daughter’s life. Her snarky “woe is me” blogging and tweeting against her Autistic daughter for “attention” was epic and some of the most despicable in recent memory. Her on-line exploitation of a daughter she woefully misunderstood led to the attempted murder of that daughter and a mere 10 yr. prison sentence for Kelli. The entire case was a horrific microcosm of the incessant dehumanization of disabled people. In this case; before, during and after the horrific crime. It starts with language that degrades and bemoans going unchecked that can and will take any number of horrific turns. The list of victims added to The Day of Mourning list just continues to grow. So no, they are not just words.

 

 

…growing Autism IQ since 2010…

I have been writing about my growing Autism IQ since 2010. My son who is now almost 17 has taught me plenty about Autism without uttering a single word. How to shift, be flexible and go with his Autism flow. I respect my son and the Autism that is intertwined to his being. I love him and Autism is a big part of who he is so when I read the words of parents who disrespect and distance themselves from Autism it hurts my heart. It pains my soul. It can also make me angry. I do not support people not honoring their disabled loved ones and you shouldn’t either. Many of us realize just how soul crushing it must feel for the beautiful Autistic people in the homes of these authors that write about them, without them.

 

Their words are the mighty…

Gaining these Autism/disability insights has been the most unexpected joy of my life. What an unexpected blast of wisdom. This wisdom has come in wonderful and whimsical friendships with Autistic adults I have met virtually, physically and through the written words of many others I have never met and never will. Their words embrace, empower and support my son. Their words teach me all of the things I need to consider and explore. Their words are so often on point when everyone else seems puzzled. Their words are THE MIGHTY not some ‘woe is me blog’ clearinghouse banking on exploiting writers and their content for their feel-good profit. Pledge to do better. Pledge to not share dehumanizing stories about disabled people written by and FOR abled people.  Pledge to raise the bar in conversations when people tell you…”Oh well, that’s the way of the world” or “that’s the human condition.” Pledge to push back on the mighty and people like them too lazy and/or greedy to be human.

 

STORIES about disabled people need to include them respectfully or remain unwritten.

 

 

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