I am Autistic and I don’t like Neurotribes.
I am Autistic and I don’t like how I feel I shouldn’t say out loud that I don’t like Neurotribes.
I am Autistic and I don’t like how I am told I should be grateful for all that Neurotribes has done for us.
I am writing this because I shared a quote from Michael Scott Monje Jr about autistic literature and the reaction it received, namely from Silberman fans. This has been playing on my mind for some time now and these were exactly the words I had been searching for:
Quote reads: “Remember, autistic literature should be written by autistic people or you can fuck right off.” ~ Michael Scott Monje Jr., author of “The US Book”
So I’m writing to explain why I shared this quote – and this isn’t about Silberman. It’s about the fact that most books about autism, being autistic, parenting autistic children, living with an autistic spouse, autistic sibling and so on, are primarily written by people who are NOT autistic. Neurotribes is just ONE book from literally thousands of non-autistic authors.
And that’s wrong. That’s bullshit.
Perhaps these books have brought autism to the forefront of conversation in mainstream media, but to me, that’s not good enough. Why do I need to be grateful for this “help” when I don’t even agree with it? When it’s damaging and perpetuates stigma and creates more BEWAREness? When it harms autistic people – the very people they say they want to help?
(Please do not attempt to derail this conversation and say #NotAllAutismBooks to me. Just don’t.)
You can study autism all you like – but nothing compares to lived experience. NOTHING.
I want to see more books about autism by autistic people.
I am angry that there is far more attention paid to non autistic “experts” than #actuallyautistic voices and I am not apologising for this.
And if that upsets you, then you are part of the problem.
FYI: I am allowed to say “I do not like this book” about Neurotribes or any other book for that matter without stating my reasons. (I am rolling my eyes that I even need to say this, but alas, I know I must). I am not telling you or anyone to not like it. Buy or borrow it and make your own minds up. For those who do want to know my “why” I will soon be reviewing a variety of books, including Neurotribes, when I find the right words and create a matching snarky meme. I want to write reviews so thorough, that any objections can be replied to, by literally copying and pasting parts of my own review as an answer.
For anyone who cries that I don’t like Silberman’s book, please note your tears will fall into my underground cave and replenish The Lake, the primary source being the tears of Autism Moms ™ which is the key element in nourishing my glitter supplies and snark production.
❤ The Bullshit Fairy