The more time i spend on various autism forums and pages on social media, the more I’m noticing a very disturbing trend that is appearing out of the woodwork and from the shadows. It’s a habit of trying to label various types of individuals on the spectrum in a negative and often rather hurtful way.
Only today did I come across the derogatory terms “Shiny Aspie” and “Aspie supremacist”; both of which were new to me. I had to look them up to see what they meant, and I was both shocked and disgusted to find this:
“Shiny autistic” can also be used to refer to a high-functioning individual who believes that they are being discriminated against and do not need a cure, but believes that low-functioning autistics are all living ‘tragic’ lives and require a cure. In this usage, the term is derogatory, whereas in the other usage it is apparently not.
Aspie Supremacists get their name from two core beliefs that all Aspie Supremacists seem to subscribe to. The first is that “aspies” or “high functioning autistics” are not disabled, and don’t need to be cured of their Autism. Some apparently take it a step further, claiming that the shining beacon of logic and intelligence that is the aspie brain is superior to the illogical, emotion-clouded neurotypical brain and that aspies are the “next step in human evolution”.
As someone with a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome, I do not agree with either of those terms; nor do they represent me at all. I honestly find this kind of derogatory name-calling and singling-out of certain Autistic individuals because of where they fall on the spectrum to be utterly disgusting and counter-productive. We should be trying to help and support each other; we should be trying to stand together and raise awareness and our voices as one.
Unfortunately, while this childish labelling, name-calling and school yard behaviour continues, we will never have a firm and solid foundation on which to build, and raise some genuine awareness of autism in all its forms.