Few things are as dismissive, disempowering and silencing at that comment. "Oh, that autistic person? You know what they're like. Always making a big fuss. Best to ignore them."
I've heard it, in various forms, rather too often.
To be clear at the start, many people are fantastic. Encouraging, enabling, kind, caring. But a few - well, they are not.
Let's look at some cold, hard facts.
There are well over a million autistic people in the UK.
Only 15% are in proper employment, despite a goodly number having the most amazing skill sets.
On average, we'll die some 16 years earlier than others, because of the immense pain and stress we are forced to live under. Because of lack of access to basic things. Because of lack of help for medical conditions. Because most buildings are inaccessible for many of us, and no-one has really cared. No, really. Not even a BSI Standard to enable access to important things like hospitals and education.
70% of autistic women have been sexually assaulted.
30% of autistic women have been raped.
Most autistic people have been defrauded by people they thought of as 'friends'. Most are badly bullied at some point in life.
Most autistic people are lucky to have one real friend in the world
Some of the alleged 'help' involves torturing us with electric shocks, and taking away everything we hold dear, to persuade us to comply with non-autistic people at all costs
Many live in poverty, or on the streets.
Many end up with chronic health situations that were totally avoidable. Including mental health conditions around anxiety and depression.
And we are overreacting to our situation, are we?
Make sure you have a look at this: http://www.robot-hugs.com/tone-policing/
Thank you for listening.