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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Divorce Myth

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families.  One challenge consists of myths surrounding autism.

Sara Luterman at The Washington Post:
Why does the narrative that autism destroys marriages persist? Last year, at the Autism at Work conference, an otherwise wonderful gathering of business leaders from across America, autism mom and pseudo-celebrity Holly Peete Robinson gave a presentation trotting out the claim that 80 percent of marriages with an autistic child end in divorce. It felt like being stabbed. At a conference ostensibly for lifting up autistic people and our hidden value, I was confronted with the accusation that my mere existence hurts my parents. That the mere existence of people like me destroys marriages and turns love into ash. After her presentation, I confronted her at the front of the room with the data. Her response? The 80 percent number “felt real.” Feelings aren’t facts. (Robinson’s representatives declined to respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.)