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Aspie supremacy

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Autistic advocates have long been arguing that autistic people are different, not inferior, and that they deserve to exist just as much as non-autistics do.

Aspie supremacists take that one step further and proclaim that they are superior to non-autistics.

Luckily, they're small in number, and not very influential.[1] Still, if you encounter one, you may walk away feeling disturbed and suddenly in need of a shower.

Members[edit]

Aspie supremacists are usually people who are not severely disabled. Most of them can speak and "pass" as non-autistic when desired, and they are usually (but not always) male.[2] They pride themselves on Perfect Emotionless Logic.

Temple Grandin has voiced beliefs reminiscent of aspie supremacy.[3] She claims that a "little bit of autism" is advantageous, but that "more severe" people should be prevented from existing.[4]

Beliefs[edit]

Aspie supremacists are tired of being told that being autistic makes them inferior, broken, or burdensome. They're fed up with being stigmatized and pushed to the sidelines because society told them that autism was evil.

So what do they do about it? They turn it upside-down and call themselves superior. And they end up parroting the exact same message, only calling Aspergers an exception.[1]

Next evolutionary step[edit]

Aspie supremacists aren't content with just co-existing with non-autistic people. Instead, they believe that they are the next step in evolution. Non-autistic people, and autistic people who don't meet the aspie supremacist standard, are apparently going to be evolved out of existence.

This is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution. Evolution isn't a linear progression from inferior to superior; it's a natural process that helps a species adapt to its specific environment.[5] A writer from the University of California Museum of Paleontology explains "It is tempting to see evolution as a grand progressive ladder with Homo sapiens emerging at the top. But evolution produces a tree, not a ladder — and we are just one of many twigs on the tree."[6] Thus, claiming that any type of human is "more evolved" than another makes absolutely no sense.

Experts also believe that autistic people have existed for not just hundreds of years, but thousands.[7] The existence of autistic people is not new.[8] If autistics are truly superior, why haven't they taken over yet?

The belief that autistic people are the next step in evolution unfortunately isn't unique to self-aggrandizing autistic people. It's been played with by psychologists,[9][10] parents of autistic kids,[11] anti-vaxxers,[12][note 1] and even a Predator movie.[13]

Distance from autism[edit]

Aspie supremacists are desperate to prove that they are different from regular autistic people, no matter what the DSM 5 says.[14] An aspie supremacist may try very hard to prove that they aren't disabled by listing personal accomplishments. (Imagine their shock if they ever find out that disabled people can have accomplishments too.)

So what do they feel about those other autistic people they're so desperate to distance themselves from? They have decided that regular autistics are subhuman burdens on society,[15] and should be cured or selectively aborted out of existence. Their beliefs align with many anti-autism organizations like Autism Speaks, which ironically played a huge role in causing the stigma that aspie supremacists are trying to avoid.

Stopped clock principle[edit]

Aspie supremacists are correct about one thing: autistic people do have some notable strengths. It's common for autistic people to have strengths like sincerity, resistance to peer pressure, detail orientation, passionate interests, and other traits depending on the individual.[16][17] This is because autism is a neurological difference that comes with both strengths and weaknesses.

However, high-support autistic people can have these skills too. And these skills don't make autistic people superior, just an interesting part of human diversity.

Criticism[edit]

If you encounter an Aspie Supremacist, don’t be afraid. Simply throwing a copy of the DSM-5 in their general direction will enrage and confuse them long enough for you to escape.
—Amythest Schaber, an autistic advocate[2]

The general autism rights movement is rather grossed out by aspie supremacists, similar to how you'd try to stay at a distance from a stinky trash heap. Since the autism rights movement advocates for (and includes) severely disabled and mildly disabled autistics alike, they are generally horrified with the way aspie supremacists treat higher-support autistic people like dirt.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. You'd think, then, that they'd stop acting like autism was a fate worse than death. And how could something supposedly caused by vaccines be part of evolution?

References[edit]