i autistic » Dark Side » When we decide to leave autism/disability behind

While I cannot speak for the experiences of NeuroTypical people who preach the value of community and teamwork, I learned that people are often unreliable and disloyal when I need them the most. I am the only person I can unconditionally rely on and trust.

Too many autistic people are convinced that their disability entitles them to unconditional support, that society is fully responsible for fixing their problems, and that for them to take the initiative to change their situation by themselves is ableist. This thinking guarantees they will be stuck with the status quo. No matter how much advocacy we do, society won’t change enough, people won’t care enough, and ultimately, we are still left to depend on ourselves.

 

The founding of modern Singapore as a nation-state provided an answer to me on what to do. This country has a land mass smaller than other major cities worldwide; such a small size can be considered a permanent disability. Rather than advocating with welfare handouts (i.e., foreign aid) and banding with other small nation-states to advocate, Singapore took decisive steps to build itself up to have significant bargaining power, then made friends with almost all nations by making fair win-win deals.

The founding government was acutely aware that there is no free lunch in the human world. To depend on another for our livelihood is to surrender our sovereignty. To strengthen our defences like Israel will not purge the flames of war. To bully and threaten, like North Korea, will not scrub away the decay of poverty. We can only become equal with others by being useful and relevant and then using our bargaining power to purchase diplomacy and peace through free and fair trade.

 

Paradoxically, the disability community has it backwards. More dependency on social welfare, blaming others for the lack of support and refusing to take personal responsibility to improve our lives were never the answer. Instead, governments can invest in getting each person to become the change that they seek. Each of us can choose to change our mindset from dependency to equality.

It can take us much time and reflection to understand the concepts above. Those who do will soon realise that they are no longer welcome in many autism/disability communities. They will realise that they do not need additional drama, negativity, and toxicity in their lives. They will inevitably choose to make a clean break from these communities and live life without the limitations of autism and disability.

 

Congratulations to those who have come to this stage. Choose a career path that is not perceived as needing strong social skills. Take some reputable and certified courses with social skills (e.g., applied drama, counselling) to avoid your past advocacy work haunting future job prospects.

There will always be a chance to do something meaningful in the future. If you genuinely want to change the world, focus on improving your economic potential to earn much money. Then, you can use the money to do what you think is right without being held hostage to other people’s whims, opinions, and hidden agendas.

Being wealthy and (materially) successful also automatically makes NeuroTypicals take you seriously; their herd mentality tends to automatically dismiss the views and concerns of people whom they see as “losers” in favour of those who appear successful.

During the journey towards material success, you will also gain valuable lessons about how people work, and you will be able to make good use of this wisdom when you are wealthy enough to fund your initiative.

 

If you feel tempted to use your rich experience in autism work to support your new career, don’t. If you have already learned your lesson, let go and don’t look back. There is a great new world that you are now free to explore.