Sadly, being stigmatized and labeled as mentally ill is a normal part of life with ASD. Too many people are ignorant of the fact that ASD is a neurological difference, not a mental illness, and positively not a negative trait. What most do not know is that ASD can be an asset. Take it from someone who knows someone who is on the spectrum.
When I read the negative tweets about Greta Thunberg, I shake my head. On the flip side, when I see the possibility that perhaps her ASD is being used to further some agenda, I’m also dismayed. I believe that she’s being insulted by some and used by others because she has come out of the closet with her neuro-difference from the NT majority, and it sickens me.
She is a teenager, for crying out loud! And the people who are insulting and using her are supposed to be adults who should be setting a positive example for the rest of society! But sadly, being a child doesn’t shield anyone on the spectrum from being stereotyped.
Every day, people with Autism continue to be mistaken for being “crazy” or “retarded” (God, I despise the R-word!). Because of this stigma and ongoing unfair treatment, many can eventually become mentally ill because a person can only take so much hatred and adversity before it begins to take a toll on the psyche.
This only re-enforces the stigma! It serves as confirmation to others who are clueless of ASD that they are mentally ill. With that said. It only goes to show that we have a long way to go before we reach the goal of neurodiversity and that, even in 2019, people on the spectrum continue to experience discrimination, prejudice, and hate.
Greta Thunberg is a brilliant child, and I believe that it will be people like her who will break the stigma and pave the way for people on the spectrum to one day be accepted and allowed to live happier and more productive lives.