This distinction can raise many questions but the simplest as I see it is a question of identity.
When you are autistic you have an identity, an awareness of yourself and your way of being, you simply are.
The issue arrises when your identity is stripped from you and turned into a label something that has been tagged onto you using a joining word a “With”. A with is by definition derogatory, the simple implication of the word immediately implies that autism is not a different wiring or another way of being but something that can be appended on to you.
How can we enable and allow Autistic people to develop and thrive if we as a society strip them of their identity, their awareness of self.
This fight against intolerance is by no means unique, we have seen it time and time again where certain groups of society have been marginalised and stripped of their identity.
The question is do we repeat our past transgressions, do we perpetuate our intolerance and lack of consideration and understanding. Do we continue to seek to marginalise and decrease certain groups quality of life ?
The damages of the simple word “with” can be devastating, we know the weight of history that the word contains, we know that the word in the context we see it used is by definition dis-enabling.
We can only change the narrative by changing the dreaded “with”.
First told on Linkedin