WHERE A CLASH OCCURS THAT THE LAW NEEDS TO BE MINDFUL OF.
I was reading a story by a fellow autistic about how his son five year old son pressed himself up against a small girl, because he was overstimulated and the small girl cried. My fellow autistic wanted to take his son down to the police station and have the police give him a lecture. Okay, his son was five, and therefore too young to be charged, but something needs to be remembered.
Some autistic people find that a way to cope with sensory overload is deep pressure therapy. In this case, the little boy was overwhelmed by the noise of other kids. When he is older, he may find that his needs change a little, but what is needed is this.
Firstly, women’s autonomy is vitally important, especially in the face of attacks on it by the trump appointees to the court, and secondly, it is important that children learn about boundaries (something ABA takes away) and what to do if someone has their boundaries violated. And, I was particularly offended when an Australian aspiring comedienne, Eurydice Dixon, was murdered by an autistic man, and the fact that his lawyer tried to use his autism to appeal against his conviction and his sentence, and to say that he had no previous convictions.
What the police should have done, had the boy’s father taken him there, and had the girl’s parents gone, too, was to say to the girl’s parents, “Okay, firstly, he’s too young to be charged, but what we need to put in place is this. Your daughter’s boundaries and safety are important. But the boy didn’t press himself up against your daughter for sexual purposes. Yes, he needs to understand that his actions were wrong, but what we need to him is, “If you feel overwhelmed in a sensory environment, you can have deep pressure therapy, BUT, it has to be from your mother, your father, your grandmother, your grandfather, your aunty or uncle, or a trusted family friend, NOT a random member of the public! So, what he needs to remember is, if he’s overwhelmed, to yell out to his safety person (when he’s older, he may get a therapy animal).””
And I don’t mean that as a women’s rights don’t matter, as what is as VITALLY IMPORTANT is, some autistic girls and women ALSO value deep pressure therapy, and a small autistic girl may do a similar thing, but the person they grab hold of may not be a good person!
I remember, when I was 16, I was on a train home from the State Library, where I had gone to do some research for an assignment, and one of the conditions of discount travel for a student was that you couldn’t occupy a seat whilst adults were standing. I entered a carriage and all the seats were occupied, so I had to stand. A woman and several of her children entered the carriage, sunburnt and slightly wet, at another stop, and a small girl, as the train moved off, leant up against my leg and looked up at me and grinned. I don’t know if her mother could sense my discomfort, and if she did, she said nothing, and I feared how first impressions might be as it would have been obvious that her mother and I were not a couple (the woman would have been in her 30s) and nor was I her brother or half-brother and the child was obviously not my daughter or niece, and her mother and I did not acknowledge each other, so it was obvious we didn’t know each other. My mother said that little kids would often do things like that and the little girl was up to just above my knee, so she couldn’t reach an overhead rail or ring suspended from one, and that all she was doing was trying to secure herself to something so she didn’t fall over. Okay, her mother should have possibly said, “You don’t know that man, so you shouldn’t lean up against him, because it might make him uncomfortable.” Needless to say, I was relieved when she got off the train.
I will always advocate for women’s rights, but I will also advocate for autistic rights and with that, I will also acknowledge that there are autistic women who are also under-represented and misrepresented. I am not saying that autism should be an excuse for bad behaviour, just that some of it can be avoided by teaching autistic kids to call out to their safe person, not to grab anybody and that is how the autistic and neurotypical communities can co-exist more peacefully.