The Autistic Advocate (Kieran Rose) shared my latest post. And got a reply (since deleted) that there was a person claiming to be autistic that was proven not to be, and that they perhaps had a mental illness instead. The accuser refused to name names, saying it wouldn’t help. I beg to differ. If there is a “proven” fraud, it would help me to know, just in case it’s the person I was referring to in my blog post. I have actually been fooled before, by an autistic person claiming things that later turned out not to be true. So thinking I’m being tricked is rather triggering for me.
So, I asked them to PM me the name. So did Kieran Rose. And rather than reply, that person deleted their comment. I suspect because they knew that after learning the name of the supposed fraud, the next logical question would be to ask for proof.
How do you prove somebody is not autistic? Unless they come out and admit it. Even then, I can see occasions where an autistic person may claim not to be. I myself may claim not to be, if outing myself was dangerous for example. So, how does anyone prove they are autistic? I know of one autistic person who used a screenshot of their diagnosis papers as their twitter header as they were so sick of being accused of being a fraud. Even then they were accused of faking the papers.
And what if you don’t have an official diagnosis? I don’t have any papers to show anyone. Not that anyone should ever feel obliged to “show their paper”? So, am I a fraud? As I wrote in my very first blog post you’ll just have to trust that I’m not. And as I wrote before , I don’t believe you can “armchair diagnose” someone as autistic, or claim that they are not autistic. Nor should you try.
If an autistic person is spreading myths and stereotypes about autism, if you are afraid non-autistic people are getting the wrong idea about autism as a result, you counter the myths. You write your own truths. You do not speculate on whether or not they are a fraud. You do not share that speculation with the public at large. Not only is it not helpful, not only is it something you can’t prove, but you will just end up looking like a trouble maker and end up having to delete your comments.
I would go so far as to say you are a fraud yourself, claiming to be helping the autistic community when all you are doing is sewing suspicion and discord. You are helping nobody.