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.
Cooperation between autistic and neurotypical people is important. But we must be vigilant against the attitude that autistic people are obligated to educate.
A year ago, I had the privilege of joining three other autistic women to film a segment for a Channel 4 documentary.
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.
As women, we are taught that we must shoulder the emotional burden of being okay. As autistic women, the burden of okayness becomes even heavier. We are always okay. Except when we aren’t.
My mum is and always has been my safe place to fall. And as I get older, I’m becoming more and more aware that some day I won’t have her there.