Dear Support Services,
It has come to my attention that there’s an aspect of providing support for Young Adults with Autism that you clearly, as yet, do not fully comprehend.
So let me enlighten you.
Young Adults with Autism are first, and foremost, Young Adults.
This means that like all Young Adults everywhere on the face of this earth, they will be experiencing the same confusing hormones, feelings and emotions, that combine together to create the mystic soup called ‘Love’.
Young Adults with Autism are no different to anyone else.
They wish to both give love and to receive love in return.
There is nothing, what so ever, wrong, with their desire to do so.
The only area of ‘wrongness’ in this situation can be found within the barriers, rules and regulations support organizations try to put in place, specifically to ‘curtail’, the very normal responses of a group of Young Adults who all spend time with each other on a daily basis.
Young Adults with Autism, or indeed Young Adults with any form of recognized ‘disability’, are not criminals serving ‘hard time’ for crimes against humanity.
They are Young Adults and just like every other Young Adult in the world, they are simply trying to navigate their way through life.
Their desires to love and be loved do not constitute criminal offenses.
So why do so many support organizations display such an overwhelming propensity towards ‘revoking’, ‘denying’ or ‘banning’ the very human rights of the people they are supposed to be supporting?
And who decided that support organizations should have the capacity to ‘ban’ any and all expressions of a Young Adults need to feel loved?
It is clear to me that such antiquated ‘fear mongering’ in the form of ‘rules that seek to deny Young Adults the right to behave like Young Adults,’ actually do nothing to support the growing needs of the first en mass wave of Young Autistic Adults now entering our society.
For this reason it is crucial that we speak up.
We cannot, either as a society or as individuals, encourage the belief in our Young Adults that they have the same rights as everyone else whilst allowing support agencies to continue to put strategies in place aimed at negating our Young Adults rights to express Love.
It’s up to us to speak up.
To say to those who are working within Support Agencies:
Please stop trying to ‘legislate against’, ‘contain’, ‘remove’, ‘ban’ or in any other way stymie or deny the rights of Young Adults with Autism to ‘Fall in Love’, ‘date’ or ‘fraternize’ with each other, within your organizations.
It is not your job to ‘prevent’, ‘curb’ or ‘deny’ Young Adults with Autism, their very human right to engage in, or experiment with, their desires to experience romantic Love.
It is, however, your job to provide them with the additional supports they require in order to be able to spread their wings and fly independently within every possible area of their lives.
And not just those areas of their lives that support agency staff feel comfortable in acknowledging.
Young Adults with Autism hold the capacity and the desire to both love and be loved.
Isn’t it time we demanded that our support services acknowledge this truth and work accordingly to both accommodate and support our Young Adults with Autism in every aspect of their lives.