I was cruising Facebook today and a strong important video from a concerned mother streamed on my screen. Her message broke my heart as I too shared similar feelings regarding the subject of concern. The concern was targeted at TikTok users acting out autism and other disabilities ignoring how disgusting and ignorant and distasteful these videos are. I, too, share her hurt and frustration with the lack of empathy people show towards disabilities. My son is special needs and his disability is not a punchline or humorous.
I can’t fathom why people think making fun of disabilities is entertaining. Possibly they think that they are being comedic but in truth…their actions are damaging to a community of warriors fighting battles unimaginable. Making fun of disabilities is a low act of ignorance and it in dignifies the human beings who struggle every day with bodies that fight themselves. The horror of watching someone fake a meltdown thinking its funny should place themselves in what a true meltdown is. To the ignorant girls and boys making fun of stimming or echolalia I implore them to sit in a classroom and be stared at as they are an alien. To the disheartening video creators who think this kind of bullying is appropriate, well, simply its part of the problem.
Disability is not a mockery it’s an everyday battle for the people facing them. It’s a battle for the advocates to get rights for the human being basic rights. Rights that should be given as equal chances of “normal people”. These videos take away the rights of disabled. Other people had to fight for my sons right to attend school and not be institutionalized. People, good people fought for his right to proper medical care and specialist to help him. One video or more demoralizes the battles fought by good people. No matter how far people get to have disabilities recognized others create a monster of destruction to tear down basic rights and understandings. These videos are a reminder of why our world is behind in human compassion and understanding.
I’m disgusted, angry, and at a loss that human beings would treat one another like this. I have a dark sense of humour but this is not funny. It’s not something to make light of and honestly I don’t understand why people would think to make something like this in the first place. I’ve held my son with pain in his heart because other children told him to kill himself because he was different. I’ve watched my son have meltdowns that are so scary for him. I’m not religious but I prayed for safety and love for him. Watching his body and mind battle the strong spirit within him is devastating. I’ve had to fight teachers for him to understand the brilliance in my sons mind instead of them only seeing a disability. I love my son more than anything in the world so to see people take away and destroy people like him without knowing the damage it causes is disgusting. Its enough when someone’s body hurts them it’s another when people ignorantly add to the trauma of hidden battles. My sons autism is not a punchline.
Written by Ali Johnson