AUTISTIC NICK AND FEELING BLESSED WITH SCOTT MORRISON – AN OPINION PIECE
This week during an election campaign leaders debate a mum from Brisbane stood up and asked a question about why her sons NDIS budget was being cut by 30%.
Instead of Scott saying he didn’t know, or he would ask the current NDIS minister, he said the following.
“Jenny (his wife) and I have been blessed, we’ve got two children that don’t — that haven’t had to go through that,” he said.
“And so, for parents with children who are disabled, I can only try and understand your aspirations for those children.”
I cannot sit here typing away on my keyboard and say that being Autistic has sat comfortably with me for the past 6 years because that would be a lie.
I don’t wake up everyday feeling “blessed” that I have a disability, I don’t break into a song and dance routine about how wonderful it is or how exciting I feel knowing that I have a disability.
There are certain days when it does all become too much and I do feel like I am a burden to my mum or others around me, other days I don’t give it a second thought.
It’s an overwhelming experience being Autistic, if people want to know the truth well then there it is.
I wrote a post in February about what it’s like for me as an Autistic person in the workplace.
I even wrote a post about what its like to be Autistic
My brain is like a Catherine Wheel constantly spinning and spinning and I have no control over that, or the way I communicate with people.
I am also living in fear of what my day will bring, who I’ll encounter, and I am also continually asking myself questions.
Like will my routine change today?
Will I get an email reply or a text message reply from that person?
Will I have to maintain eye contact?
But back to the comment that Scott made.
Scott’s comments speaks volumes about how he perceives people with a disability. It also can be taken as a very ableist comment and one that seeks to be dismissive and disempower people with a disability.
I certainly think that 40 years ago if I had been diagnosed sooner as being Autistic then it wouldn’t have been such a long hard slog to get to where we are.
I certainly didn’t wish to be Autistic, if I would’ve known then day to day obstacles that I would face from communication difficulties to the sensory onslaught.
I know I wouldn’t have been wishing that upon myself.
I know I don’t appreciate the fatigue, the shutdowns, the meltdowns, the sensory overloads.
Its not exactly a blessing being Autistic.
I battle with it each and every day.
I raged against it at the beginning when I was first diagnosed.
I didn’t want to have a disability.
I didn’t want to face society’s prejudice.
I didn’t want to see that patronising sorry look that non-disabled people give us when they find out.
I lived in fear of telling strangers, or people outside or in some cases inside my family.
Each day presents itself with a new set of struggles, obstacles, situations, and I have to find people to help me with those solutions.
And whilst the past 46-years haven’t been a joy in terms of being diagnosed with Autism and then struggling to come to terms with it there are some positives that have come along because I have a disability.
So, now let’s turn this around here to some degree.
I do feel blessed that I am able to write about what it’s like to be Autistic in my blogs each week and the fact that I have 296 posts.
I do feel blessed that I am able to use my website www.autisticnick.com as I wanted to help educate people on what life is really like living with Autism.
I do feel blessed that I am the disability affairs reporter with the ABC and that I am able to tell other disabled people’s stories about what life is like for them living as a disabled person.
I do feel blessed that I have my screenwriting mentor and that I am able to work on my passion which is screenwriting. Although her constant flip flopping is challenging!!
I do feel blessed that whilst living with Autism is very challenging, exhausting and sometimes painful, Autistic people like myself have a beautiful and unique perspective of the world.
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.