Saturday, February 23, 2013

Autistic People Should Be Respected

Today is flash blog day! Autistic people like myself were asked to complete the phrase “autistic people should…” This is in response to the current Google search auto-completes for this phrase.  If you are going to try looking this up, brace yourself.  They are shocking and painful to behold.

"However, a distinct way in which we respect persons, referred to as “recognition respect” by Darwall, better captures Kant's position: I may respect you because you are a student, a Dean, a doctor or a mother. In such cases, cases of respecting you because of who or what you are, I am giving the proper regard to a certain fact about you, your being a Dean for instance. This sort of respect, unlike appraisal respect, is not a matter of degree based on your having measured up to some standard of assessment. Respect for the Humanity in persons is more like Darwall's recognition respect. We are to respect human beings simply because they are persons and this requires a certain sort of regard. We are not called on to respect them insofar as they have met some standard of evaluation appropriate to persons."

The above describes part of a an ethical way of thinking about life in which we say, following Kant, that we ought to respect other people just because they are people. If you click on the quote, you can get more depth and detail from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

I chose the quote above especially to point out and amplify that we are not called upon to evaluate whether other people have met some standard of worthiness in order to decide whether we should respect them.  We respect them because of our shared humanity.

Autistic people are people. What does this imply?

Autistic people should be respected, as should everyone else.  Autistic people should be respected if they speak or if they type or if they point to pictures or use iPods or iPads or AAC or AT of any kind; and if they speak or type or point to pictures or use iPods or iPads or AAC or AT of any kind, and do so only about certain things they care about that are not everyone else's passion, they should still be respected.  And if they are angry?  Respected.  And if they are happy-go-lucky?  Respected.  And if they don't communicate much at all?  Respected.

Why?  Because Autistic people are people.

8 comments:

  1. Yes, respected as people period. Not respected because they behave as we think they should or move as someone tells them to. Not respected only when they are compliant or fitting in. Yes. Yes

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  2. Well said! Completely agree.

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  3. Agreed. Autistic people should be respected because they are are people.
    Judy Endow

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  4. well said. I keep reading parent's blogs about their autistic children and while it is very helpful there is a feeling "what will the child think if they read this later?"
    I do keep quoting things you've said on your blog because I respect your point of view and the articular way you explain things.
    Thank you.

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  5. I just tried typing it in! I got as far as "autistic people s" and got "should die" but then I got "smart" and "successful", so maybe you're changing something?

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