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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Greta Thunberg Wins Honor, Trump Insults Her

In The Politics of Autism, I write:  "Support from the general public will be an important political asset for autistic people. Another will be their sheer numbers, since a larger population of identified autistic adults will mean more autistic voters and activists."  Perhaps the most prominent is climate activist Rachel Thunberg:

Rachel DeSantis at People:
The Swedish 16 year old — who was named TIME‘s Person of the Year on Wednesday, making her the youngest person to ever be given the honor — hasn’t shied away from flipping the script on her Asperger’s, at one point referring to it not as an obstacle but as her “superpower.”
“Being different is a good thing,” she told PEOPLE in October. “It’s something we should aspire to be.”
The pride with which she embraces her diagnosis has not been lost on others with Asperger’s, who now view Thunberg as a role model. Case in point: the trending Twitter hashtag “Autistics for Greta.”
“She is my SHERO!” user @hmcooperauthor wrote in September. “Such a fearless, articulate young woman. We might be considered ‘odd, weird, quirky….’ Or whatever adjectives that you prefer to insert but I’m convinced folks on the Autism Spectrum have superpowers that you all just don’t…”
User @ThruThePrismArt agreed, writing, “I’m on the spectrum. Anyone who underestimates Greta has NO IDEA how powerful the autistic brain is when set to a specific goal. The strength of being #ActuallyAutistic is LIMITLESS.”
Those strengths have served Thunberg well, as she explained on CBS This Morning that her Asperger’s actually helps her in seeing the world through a different lens.
“In some circumstances it can definitely be an advantage to have some kind of neurotypical diagnosis, to be neurodiverse, because that makes you different, that makes you think differently,” she said. “And especially in such a big crisis like this, when we need to think outside the box. We need to think outside our current system, we need people who think outside the box and who aren’t like everyone else.”

Trump insults her: