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Bard did an awesome job explaining her issues with the Non Autist community. One of the things that I commented on in her blog that I wanted to expand upon here was this idea that the Autism spectrum can be put into a caste system format, and that creates a horrific divide. I drafted my own caste system relating to Autism and wanted to post it here. I recreated it below. I just want to preface by saying that these are not my direct opinions, but a general opinion that I have been gathering over time based on readings, discussion, and personal experience.

The top of the caste system would be the Non Autists who have no relation to the autistic community. They really have no connection, and therefore don’t know anything about it. I feel as though those are the people who say, “Oh, you have Autism? My cousin’s friend’s little brother has Autism!” This reminds me of Bard’s #1 point. The second level of the caste system would be the Non Autists with a direct relationship to Autism. These would be the people who say, “Well you can talk, therefore you’re not as low functioning as my son/daughter,” which would be point #7. The third level is the high functioning autists. They can still function in society and, based on common misconceptions and discriminatory beliefs, they are “better off” than the lower functioning autists because they can accomplish a lot of things that people who can’t talk can accomplish. And the final, and lowest group in the caste system is the low functioning autist group. Bard states, “Don’t assume a classical autist is incompetent or LFA because they need staff and lack verbal speech, they could use AAC have skills that you probably could never do.” Unfortunately, that is what society perceives and therefore, they are at the complete bottom, which is unfair and discriminatory.

I wonder how Bard’s caste system looks…

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