Anybody who has read my story "Ghosts From The Past" will have seen the shock of the fictional Redmond Mountford upon discovering that his mother's grandfather was Chinese. I can remember sitting around a table with the inspiration for the character of Redmond Mountford and him making derogatory comments about Asian people, despite knowing he had some Chinese ancestry and the fact that he had a Japanese vehicle. He knew that my special interest was Japan and I had made the innocuous statement that I wanted to get some sort of sticker of the Australian and Japanese flags side by side for the back of our four wheel drive. He had one of the same model but with a diesel engine and a different colour and he made the derogatory remark. I said, "But that's where it's from." To which he replied, "I don't care where it's from, I don't want any." I didn't want to get one for HIM, though. At several points, I had wanted to say to him, "If your great-grandmother had thought the same way as you, you wouldn't be here, today, as you are." A fact that seemed to escape him. Ironically, though, he would pay out on Asian people, but if you said anything to him about having Chinese ancestry (okay, he was only an eighth Chinese, his other ancestors were English or European), he was not happy, and I don't think he ever reconciled being part-Chinese.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me with some people is that they attack people (well, they may not physically attack them, or even verbally abuse them, but they criticise them quite vocally) of certain backgrounds, yet they utilise their products in a certain way, almost on a daily basis. Among such people subjected to this are autistic people. The same types of people who criticise Japanese people who'll then climb into a Toyota vehicle, seem to be the same type who criticise autistic folks yet have mobile phones glued to their hands or their ears and utilise apps, or drive a Ford car yet not understand that Henry Ford was autistic. In a way, for me, Henry Ford has the same position as Ken Drummond did for CID on The Bill, that is, Ken Drummond was a lazy bastard but he was CID's lazy bastard. I do not approve of Henry Ford's anti-Semitism, but I sort of take the view, if I criticise his anti-Semitism, it's one thing, and I would defend a Jewish autistic, but if someone who's not autistic criticises Henry Ford, I say, "Look, I agree with you, but Henry Ford was of MY NEURO-TRIBE, so that's my right to criticise him."
Almost every person who has shaped the world, or whose invention has changed or improved the world, has been autistic, or showed autistic traits. I was furious when the great ignoramus of Australian politics attacked autistic kids on the basis of a few hearsay points from teachers who were most likely in the wrong profession if talking to her, and I thought, but if it wasn't for autistic kids, who grew into autistic adults, you would not be able to turn the lights on, you would not be able to talk on a mobile phone and you wouldn't have half the things you have in the world today. Any teacher who was also a parent, who would talk to that ignoramus and yet buy, or encourage their kids Pokemon cards or downloaded the Pokemon app for their phone, is utilising something that was developed by an autistic person!
The irony of the first point is that many of us who have helped revolutionise the world are also strongly opposed to changes to routine. A similarity I have with my paternal grandfather, apart from politics, is that, he too, was resistant to change. He swore never to have town water, even though it was set to flow past his house (he relied upon tank water), he lived on acreage, but insisted upon using a push mower, despite Dad encouraging him to have a ride-on mower and up until his dying day, did not have an ATM card, preferring to go into the bank and use his passbook account or write cheques. Okay, I'm not capable of mowing, due to some mobility issues, and like daily showers, rather than using a face washer and small tub of water and only showering twice a week, and have an ATM card and use EFTPOS, but I eat the same food everyday, even on Christmas Day, I drink the same drinks (water, tea and iced tea) everyday and have the same routine. I wanted a two-tone watch so that it would look good with any colour (I remembered my high school history teacher wore a silver watch with blue and grey and a gold watch with green, tan or taupe) and I wanted analogue-digital and Japanese.
Rather than assuming that autistic people are trapped, which we are not, or that we don't enjoy what we do (the reverse is true), we need to be the ones saying what we want, not some self-appointed neuro-typical folks. I know it can be tough seeing a loved one in pain, but much of the pain can be relieved not by pushing for a cure for autism, but pushing for segregation to be resisted and for a cure for ignorance. After all, the same people resistant to understanding autism are those who utilise things that autistic people have developed. Just like the Redmond Mountfords of this world, who decry people from certain backgrounds, yet have a penchant for utilising products those people work to create, including, but not limited to, their 4WDs, and more popularly, their designer label sports shoes and clothes, and ultimately them.