[Admin note: This is an ongoing project listing various Neurotypical Privileges. There are a number of them that are relevant to various Queer Autistics. If you think of one that you don’t see, especially about Being Queer and Autistic, you could submit it to be added to the list. You submit to the list by leaving a comment on the post.]
It’s pretty messed up that autism is officially classified as a disability, but it’s still considered okay to treat autistic people in ways which would be considered, at best, rude and inappropriate when dealing with “normal” people or people with “normal” disabilities such as visual or hearing impairment, paraplegia, phobias or mental retardation.
I can’t figure out what the hell “NT” stands for. It can’t be neurotypical since some of these use it where it can contextually only stand for Autistic.
A lot of these points are kind of shit though. Some of them just seem sort of whiny and others are just…
Well, like this one:
31. The types of housing that is built for people of my neurological type come in all shapes and sizes, not just in forms that are big enough for just one person to live in per unit without a life partner, because they assume I will never have one anyway.
Then… find somewhere else to fucking live! You’re a fucking adult god damn it, no one can assign you a place to live. Not unless you’ve been found guilty of a crime and imprisoned, or declared mentally incompetent and institutionalized.
I mean as far as I’m aware there aren’t any freaking internment camps for Autistic people.
Yeah, that list is a huge mess, I reblogged it because I couldn’t find a cleaner rebloggable version. There’s a more concised, clearly organized one here. You’ll probably love this part:
Privilege is not your fault. It is an artifact of systems that favor some people over others, systems that have evolved naturally to meet the needs of the majority, but have failed to provide adequate accommodations for those outside it. For more information on understanding and confronting privilege, please see this link.
Privilege is not, in itself, a terrible thing. Having any form of privilege does not make you a bad person. Just about everyone has some form of privilege. No, that doesn’t mean it all somehow “balances out.” A person can have, for example, white privilege, male privilege, class privilege, and heterosexual privilege, while still lacking neurotypical privilege. Likewise, not all autistic people have had the same experiences; other forms of privilege can act as a cushion against many of the harsher realities endured by those who belong to multiple disenfranchised groups.
The statement that privilege exists is not an accusation or attempt to blame. It is an invitation to see your experiences and the experiences of others in a new light. It is not an admonition to change the world, but a simple tool with which to begin considering if, possibly, some changes might be worth working toward.
NT definitely refers to neurotypical, but some of the examples are confusing due to gramattical awkwardness. As for 31, I honestly don’t know what it’s referring to. I’m guesing it’s a complaint about assisted living residences or nursing homes for disabled adults who aren’t senior citizens. I’m not even remotely familiar with that particular topic.
Look at these:
6. People who have power over my education will probably not decide that I need to spend my formal education time learning non-academic skills in lieu of receiving the academic education which most of my peers receive.
59. The skills and talents at which people of my neurology tend to have an advantage, around which the system of the society in which I live is founded, are presumed to be objectively more important than those more commonly found in people of other neurological types.
61. My deficits are not considered deficits at all. Instead, they are considered universal faults in human cognition (even if they are not universal). And a good deal of effort is undertaken by my entire society to compensate for those deficits.
62. If it happens that I am better at something, more empathic, more sensitive, more honest or authentic, it is not considered a defect.
These are really important. Basically, there has been a gradual trend away from the medical model of disability, which focuses on normalization (focusing on research and treatment intended to make autistic people as “normal” as possible), and toward the social model of disability, which focuses on accomodation and agency (in this case, focusing on research and treatment intended to help autistic people take advantage of their natural strengths and compensate for their natural weaknesses). A lot of people in the autism righs movement are angry that outdated attitudes are still pervasive among autism researchers and parent advocacy groups.
How about this one?
86. I do not have to go through a whole month of being forced to see stereotyped, pity-party images of people with my neurotype and various intolerant, bigoted attempts to make sure that future generations of people with my neurotype do not exist and that my neurotype is “something for the history books.”
Ever seen one of those disability awareness ads with actual disabled people talking about their capabilities? Ever seen those vile, fearmongering, dehumanizing “autism epidemic” ads?
How about this one?
237. I can assume that not only will other people agree with me when I say a certain thing is intolerable, but that they will not try to put me through “exposure therapy” by refusing to allow me to cover my ears at certain noises, force me to listen to them over and over or at certain volumes, forbid me to leave a room when something in it is intolerable, etc, and believe that this will cure me of my “unreasonable sensitivity.”
Neurotypicals aren’t forced to endure exposure therapy without their informed consent. When neurotyicals don’t like being touched, they are generally allowed to defend themselves from unwanted physical contact, and aren’t forced to endure harmful quackery such as “holding therapy” (That particular fad seems to have ended in the English speaking world, however it’s still being done in some parts of Europe.).