As the measles outbreak pits anti-vaxxers against other parents, autistic writer Sarah Kurchak says she takes the argument personally.
Someone who refuses to vaccinate their children because they're afraid of autism has made the decision that people like me are the worst possible thing that can happen to their family, and they're putting everyone at risk because of it. I've been told by some anti-vaxxers that they don't mean my brand of autism; they mean non-verbal autism, or as they are so fond of calling it, "profound autism." I'm not about to take any solace in the idea that they're willing to make exceptions for autistic people who can perform as neurotypical, or at least pose as little annoyance to neurotypicals as possible. That just means that I will cease to be of any value to these people if I am no longer able to pass as one of them, and that they see no value and no humanity in anyone who communicates or behaves differently from them. Tell me again who has the empathy problem?