(Here I am playing catch-up again. But at least it was because I don’t get online much on the weekends.)
Talking about the autistic community is an interesting conundrum. No matter the subject matter, the concept of community exists mainly for adults. It is not something that is taught to or pushed for kids. You really only see a community concept start to form in the teenage years. What is a shame is that a lot of the efforts for autistic people start to dovetail in high school. So the community model is just not available for autistic people as they age.
Enter the information age.
While so many people are decrying the effects of social media on our society, especially on our kids, the autistic community has finally found its place to gather and support each other. Technology is a great equalizer because many of those in the autistic community that may have trouble speaking can find standing just by being given the chance to type out their words.
As well, our numbers are often dispersed. It can be difficult to find another like yourself. The Internet allows that barrier to be rendered null and void.
Now that the autistic community has started to come together online, any sociologist or anthropologist can find that we have our own ideological leanings to the left or to the right, an ability to spew vitriol and spread anger, an ability to be and generous…
In short, we are a parallel society that a majority of the world is not fond of because we are different. But it’s ok to be different.
Also published on Medium.