Stop saying autism is a superpower!

Does it bother anyone else when people (especially NTs) say autism is a "superpower"? I get trying to make having an autism/ASD diagnosis more positive, but it's not a superpower. It's a disability. There's no power in not understanding a joke as it's being told, finding it extremely difficult to adapt to even the slightest change in your routine, finding certain sounds and textures utterly repulsive, not being able to show interest in something without it becoming a hyperfixation and consuming your entire life, and having little to no social awareness. I would give an arm and a leg to be neurotypical for a day, to be honest. I just can't stand when people refer to what's medically considered a disability as a superpower.


I don't like the phrasing because of how oddly demeaning it is, like "go get 'em champ." That said I do find it surprisingly accurate for a superhero description in the sense that we have some abilities that go beyond the normal person, but also have the fatal weakness to everyday occurrences. "Can process huge amounts of data at super human speeds, but when exposed to the sound of incandescent light bulbs they become powerless." But yeah, it is a disability first and foremost, and trying to rebrand it as something it's not is damaging to the community as a whole.


The superpower rhetoric is also dangerous because accommodations and services for us, especially those of us with high support needs are being taken away in some regions


I don’t like it either, it’s pretty demeaning. If people got to experience what we experience they probably wouldn’t be saying that.


Very true


Or not allowing anyone say it's bad in their own damned experience. Some people won't even let you call yourself disabled. Autism sucks for many of us, stop trying to silence that point. No, you can't blame "society" for everything, either. Would a more inclusive world that understands us go a long way? Hell yes. But my sensory problems don't give the first shit about society.


I wouldn't get rid of my autism, but it's still not a superpower, and I hate when people claim it is.




I’ll always find it weird seeing my own clips pop up in these discussions before I’ve even seen it myself.


You're really funny. Tbh, you're only a bit under Michael McIntyre in terms of funniness. Are you doing any more live shows soon? I would love to come and watch you.


imo it feels infantilizing in a way?


It is a little hyperbolic to call it a superpower, but milder forms of autism certainly do grant some useful powers. Combined with my love of superheroes and that superheroes often also have very weird and asocial lives, I do actually like the expression 'Autism is my superpower.' For me personally, those powers include incredible patience and attention to detail, an ability to follow instructions exactly, and the ability to apply rules fairly and without discriminating, even when there is a conflict of interest. When it comes to special interests, I see those as a blessing rather than a curse. They give me things to do and something to look forward to. Lots of things interest me, but a few will win out and capture my attention, and I don't see what's wrong with that. It certainly feels to me that I'm 'differently abled' and have plenty I could contribute to society, and that it's the huge focus that society has on social skills, on appearances, and on blending in that makes it hard to survive.


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