Welcome to Anti-Semantism, a section of Angry Autie that tackles language use, especially as it pertains to autism and discussing it. Words are very profound and powerful things. People know this in the abstract but yet continue using words imprecisely. It may seem like what I’m doing here is just nit-picking to most people but I find the way that people use words to be extremely revealing, more revealing than they may want. It is possible to call people out on bullshit based on their word-choice. I believe that a lot of problems arise from a misunderstanding in communication, which people with autism supposedly lack. In Anti-Semantism, there’ll be diatribes against certain terms, an analysis of how certain terms are used, and more. Any topic that is about language use in autism discourse will fall under the “Anti-Semantism” label.
One interesting thing that sets Autism apart from other neurological conditions is that most people choose to talk about it metaphorically almost exclusively because that’s how we best understand it. But sad things and major misunderstandings happen when metaphors are used so often that they become taken for granted in daily discourse, like the following metaphors have.
Here are the four most common metaphors used to talk about autism:
- Military metaphors: the Combating Autism Act, meaning autism is the enemy to combat in battle. Also used in talking about cancer (“He’s battling cancer.”)
- Kidnapping metaphors: “Autism stole my child,” meaning autism is a kidnapper.
- Barrier metaphors: “My child is trapped behind a wall of autism,” meaning autism is a wall.
- Death metaphors: Lives Lost to Autism, meaning autism is a deadly disease.
So Autism = enemy = kidnapper = life-threatening disease = wall
By the way, wall = room paneling
Ergo, Autism = enemy = kidnapper = life-threatening disease = room paneling
Let’s synthesize all this together: According to society, Autism is an inanimate, non-sentient room paneling that we must wage war against. While Autism is busy being a room paneling, Autism is also on the other side of itself being a sentient person holding a child hostage – actually, it’s not a real child; it’s an ideal yet still hypothetical child because Autism doesn’t actually steal children. So in essence, Autism stole an idea. While Autism is holding the child-idea hostage on the other side of Autism, Autism is also a deadly disease infesting the idea, which Autism simultaneously kidnapped and then proceeded to hide behind Autism! So Autism is inside an intangible idea that stands next to Autism while Autism hides behind Autism!
In other words, Autism is a room paneling that can simultaneously kidnap ideas and infect them with itself (the infection is actually a room paneling as well) and we must battle the room paneling! For the children! Evil, evil room paneling!
Let me ask you this now: Did any of that make sense? Well tough shit, because this is the message that society is sending you about autism.
Lesson of the day: Leave metaphors to actual literature and just accept the fact that we actually don’t know shit about autism. My interpretation shows how easily the perception of Autism could become completely distorted because of the nebulous nature of metaphors.