I can relate to this. I am an autistic and have an autistic son, and when my wife first looked for help from an autism organization that I will not name, they offered condolences and were “sorry” for her. She was mortified. My sister was also treated like a burden by many since she was nonverbal. We live in a world where people who are not little round pegs are a nuisance, inconvenience, a disability, and these stigmas are what we are striving to overcome.
We’ve got a problem. With the way autism is represented in the media. Parents of autistic children are fed stories that “autism is a horrible tragedy that will destroy lives, families, & marriages”. Big organizations and people have made lots of money spreading this mis-information, drowning out autistic voices who speak up against them. There is real damage done by well meaning parents, determined to rid their children of their autistic nature. Imagine if your parents were determined to reshape your entire identity because your natural way of being has been deemed “socially unacceptable”. Autism is not a tragedy it is a difference, despite what most of the world has been led to believe. Autistic people are not broken or in need of fixing. When parents get divorced, people tend to remind the children that it’s not their fault their parents are separating – because this type of blame would not be good for a child’s mental health. How is blaming a child’s autism for running a marriage / family any different?