Playing the Autism Card

This is something which bugs me a lot so I’ve decided to voice it - I’ve seen it in here and in the world around me and it seems to be happening more and more - people playing the autism card. For absolute clarity, I wholeheartedly believe employers etc should make reasonable adjustments for ASD where there is a genuine need, but too often I am seeing people try to use their autism as a means of getting more or justifying actions which aren’t right.

As someone on the spectrum, I don’t want to stand out, I don’t want others thinking I’m getting specialist treatment or get away with stuff because I’m autistic. Drawing attention to the autistic cause negatively isn’t going to help anyone, least of all ourselves.

For example people have posted on here saying they feel they should get to break social distancing/ lockdown rules because they are autistic (despite the fact that this puts them and others at risk), a year or two back I knew an autistic guy who set off an alarm because he didn’t get his way, the real reason was because he was annoyed at someone and generally throws his toys out of the pram when he doesn’t get his own way - his defence was ‘I am autistic’ - so I challenged him on this, and he eventually conceded that he used his ASD to cover up for his behaviours. The same I feel applies to violence or other bad/ anti-social behaviour - there is a huge difference between a trait being activated and a learned behaviour to deal with it. If someone says ‘I hit that person because I wasn’t coping with a particular trait being triggered’ - that’s a fair statement. To say It hit that person because I’m autistic’ is not - I accept there are links and I gave more sympathy for young children on this one who don’t understand law, social norms and values etc but as adults we have to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions. 

So yes we should (if we want to) disclose ASD so as reasonable adjustments are made, but I wish people would stop misusing autism as an excuse where it shouldn’t be used. I worry people will tire of ‘but it’s because I’m autistic’ to the extent that genuine needs will get brushed aside - so everybody loses. 

*Rant over*