How One Person’s Opinion on Hygiene and Autism Angered Me

So I just came across a thread on twitter about #Autism and in this thread there’s a young woman studying to be a nurse. You would expect someone studying to be part of the nursing profession to perhaps have a little more self-awareness, not to mention be a little more candid, that stating outright that an #Autistic who has issues with hygiene “is gross” because they can’t personally understand how someone can’t care for their hygiene so much.

Perhaps I’m being somewhat judgemental of them but since they seem to be part of a profession that requires calm, understanding, tolerant and adaptive thinking, I cant help but think them unsuitable to such a profession if they can’t even accept that sometimes people find it difficult to keep up with hygiene. Perhaps they are not aware of the high comorbidity of psychological disorders with #Autism, disorders such as #Depression#AnxietyDisorder, and #SensatoryIssues. Perhaps…

Had it simply been this that I took umbrage with, I doubt I would have written this post. However, it seemed that the young lady in question decided to rely on outdated diagnostic terminologies (perfectly fine when you refer to yourself, of course) and ascribe them to others, determining that since someone is able to use Twitter to talk then they must be “HF enough to have social media and adequately converse with others thru it, so you’re probably able to brush your teeth too”, as though the two are even remotely relatable.

This is, once again, another case of #Ableism and discrimination of disabled by others, whether they be disabled themselves or not, where the lack of ability on the part of another is not understood—nor bothered to be understood—by another who deems their own perspective and abilities as the standard norm. It is #InstitutionalAbleism.

I am #Autistic. I am #Depressed. I live with #ChronicPain. I do not expect other #Autistics, #Depressed, #ChronicPainSufferers to live like me. I do not expect them to be as productive or unproductive as myself. I expect them to be different, varied and to know their own limits, abilities and comfort zones.

This is the mindset that is suited to a caring profession, not one that undermines others and their experiences in favour of propping up a ‘preferred model’.


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