I will have to be convinced of that!
There is division among autistic folk and much discussion currently about autism’s gifts. Some say autism is a gift! I see this as backlash against stigma and as part of the “think positive thoughts” school of ideas. I understand it is a way to celebrate diversity and to encourage sensitivity and to open minds.
I also view this “you are not disabled, you are gifted” as a form of invalidation and a way of glossing over the struggles that the vast majority of autistic people must deal with. Those of us fortunate enough to be able to argue these concepts amongst ourselves might be losing track of so many of our autistic brothers and sisters struggling in care facilities, institutions, and needing major supports in every day living.
I deeply believe that every life has intrinsic value of its own, regardless of ability or disability.
I believe that it is important to recognize talent and giftedness, all the forms of “otherness” that life offers us as individual human beings, but I believe in being honest, too.
Many of us do not have obvious or “useful to society” gifts.
Are we of less value?
Many of us struggle and struggle deeply, and this also needs to be respected and acknowledged.
I ( or any human) am not my disability, anybody may have deep struggles.
Many have extremely difficult struggles, appalling and daunting struggles in simply surviving another day, any and all of which are not recognized, but swept under that metaphorical rug when I(or any human) am told my struggles are actually a gift.
If I (or any human) am less able to do certain tasks, think certain ways, behave according to certain standards, do I have less value than those who have the gift of having those abilities?
Does an individual who has no special skills or lacks ability to use certain parts of the brain and/or body have less value? I think not.