Friday, August 22, 2014

People Like You

Next week, we will have a meeting about People Like You. As the meeting leader, I will introduce myself as someone with personal experience because I have a child who is Like You. I will tell you a little of my background, including my involvement in a Major Organization that has stated its goal of removing People Like You from the population. Before the meeting, be sure to read the PowerPoint of my recent presentation, referring to People Like You as having a “multi-system disease.” The disease is the Like You-ness itself. You will also see here that one in fifty people are now Like You, and that this is very expensive to families and the general community. People Like You cost a lot. You need a lot of therapy to become less Like You. Early Intervention is the key to becoming less Like You.

This meeting is to talk about future plans for “serving” People Like You and their families. “Vigorous training programs are needed.” This will be said a lot, but the content of these trainings will not be discussed. All the people and agencies around the state who are dealing with People Like You need to collaborate. Everyone needs to be on the same page and recognize the evidence based treatments that will help you be less Like You. Once all this information is connected, it will be more difficult for outsiders [People Like (in a much more specific sense) You] to propose or defend other ways of looking at People Like You.

Some reasonable things will be said here. I will acknowledge that there are far more adults Like You than children Like You. Someone will describe as “tragic” the lack of good employment outcomes for People Like You. You will hear things about the various ways People Like You communicate, that these should be understood, maybe even respected.

As the meeting leader, I might nod in agreement, though the word “defect” will slip from my mouth when discussing the communication styles of some People Like You. I may ask directly about the IQ scores of the People Like You served by your particular project. I want to know if they are higher functioning People Like You. It’s obvious that you are in that category, even though you are sitting there with a stuffed parrot in your arms, rocking, and excusing yourself periodically to make chirping sounds in the hallway.  

One thing you won’t hear is the truth about why People Like You tend to be unemployed or underemployed. We will skip conveniently over the parts about how the Major Organization has portrayed People Like You as tragic and expensive and diseased and necessarily needing therapies. I’ll shake my head in wonder. It’s a puzzle isn’t it? People Like You just can’t seem to get jobs and hold on to them.

You may wonder why you have been invited to this meeting. No one has asked you a question. I might have seen you raise your hand at one point, but I wasn’t sure. At the end of the meeting, you might make a statement. “I would like to make a statement.” But the real words will need to come in writing. The rest of us will read it, probably. When I do so, I may laugh the same nervous laugh as when you introduced the parrot.  But really, I’m so glad you came. It’s important to have People Like You at the table. My colleague, your employer, wants to make a statement too: The views expressed by you are not necessarily those of this institution. 


  1. Dear Square 8,

    My name is Vered Seidmann and I am conducting a study on Autism and the Social Media. I am a PhD student at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information Studies (WKWSCI), in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. I study the voice and the presence of autism as reflected in social media. The direct voice of autistic people is under-explored and I find it extremely important to listen to the unique voice of autistic people. Your blog provides important insights about autism and I was wondering if I can be in touch with you for more detailed explanation.
    If you are willing, I would be very grateful to be in touch with you directly via e-mail and send you more detailed information.
    My e-mail address is: .

    Thank you,
    Vered Seidmann
    Research Student

  2. prisoner with autism, serving life w/o parole, writes a blog:

  3. As someone who loves "people like you", I appreciate your presence at the table. Takes courage to remain there.


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