These hashtags should not be seen as harmful to the NHS. Instead, they should be seen as an opportunity to listen to patients, listen to disability activists, and instigate reform that could change the NHS for the better.
I shudder at the thought of it being an option to other vulnerable young autistic people, never giving them the chance they deserve to come through it and learn a sense of pride in who they are.
Cooperation between autistic and neurotypical people is important. But we must be vigilant against the attitude that autistic people are obligated to educate.
In an age where cuts to support are justified by shifting the goalposts of ‘need’ , the Paralympics are held up as an example of what all disabled people ‘could’ achieve with a little bit of spunk and a can-do attitude.
But why, oh why, was I locked in a toilet doing my ‘calming down’ checklist in the middle of the afternoon? Two words: forced socialisation.
Seeing Norbert Neurotypical – with his banking job and his wife and his baby and his mortgage and his vegetable couscous lunch – just makes me feel like a fraud playing at being an adult .