Is there a stigma associated with autism?

Image added on 23rd of April 2022

During the last couple of days I had a look at various autistic influencers on Instagram. I did see the world ‘ableism’ very often there and also quite a few statements about fighting the stigma. I did ask myself what I think about it. Is there a stigma associated with autism? I didn’t feel like I shoud be stigmatised, I thought – when I was diagnosed I had a permanent job and my own flat, right? That thought made me realise that I believe it would be ok to stigmatise someone who’s autism is more profound and therefore they can’t work.

Is that what I really think? Obviously not. People should be respected regardless of disability, education, economic or marital status and so on. But somehow we all, the society, allows thinking that people who can’t work due to their autism or mental health problems are less than those who are successful. Can this thinking be erased by challenging it on Instagram? The same platform where other people, autistic or not, post about their holidays abroad, new cars, and being proud of their daughter for finishing university.

We live in a society that believes that someone who has Mazda is less that someone who drives Porsche and someone who works in a supermarket is less than somebody who is a solicitor. This thinking would need to be erased first if we want to get rid of stigma.

And I’m sorry if I offended somebody but I’m just saying how I see things. Obviously everyone deserves to be treated well, but can we really challenge the thinking without challenging how society operates? I know there were political systems designed to make everyone equal: I’m Polish and I was brought up in one. I don’t recommend it.

3 responses to “Is there a stigma associated with autism?”

  1. I think what talking on Instagram can do is expose people to an image of autism that’s different from stereotypes. For people who think everyone with autism is like Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man, that could be a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it certainly is. Possibly people will think twice before telling somebody ‘you don’t look autistic’ but I did get overwhelmed with the constant use of words ‘ableism’ and ‘stigma’.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, they certainly seem popular.


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