Unfortunately, it is too often the case that we act in ways which are defined by our group's categorization rather than how we are uniquely motivated. Populations prone to patterns, intense focus, and profound difference or impairment are often the target of inappropriate and oppressive behavior modifications.
When categorizations motivate us to strive to treat others better as others like us are said to do, they serve an important function. However, within particular contexts where people have less than honorable intentions, a group mentality can be formed in harmful ways to program individuals to be more compliant with the common goals of their leadership (that may be harmful) rather than inspired by their personal and more honorable inclination.
What is now considered the popular meaning for term "autism awareness" is too widely accepted with too much commercial and political spin. Unfortunately, the goals of liberating and supporting autistic people are lacking in what is considered "awareness".
Any number of things can affect a unique individual which can impact how they do things which are either positive or negative. The question that most needs to be asked is: "How do we encourage and support the positive with empathy as well as respect for the struggle."
Anyone whose style of communication is different, impaired, and less understood is a potential victim of their environment when not enough effort is made to recognize and attempt to accommodate that. However, even if someone is born with or contracted a deadly disease, or even if someone has little in the way of cognitive skills, it's important that victimization is always considered an individual choice in order to discourage the further impairments of attitude. Otherwise we are training victims to be that way with the same discouraging type of tools as those of fear mongers and pitiful charities.
The best and most profound statement from mainstream disability advocates has been that pity is most often used as a tool for promoting condescending and demeaning attitudes rather than promoting the encouragement, support, and respect that we deserve. Such categorizations of us as needy and dependent are both common and destructive.
Compassion comes from wanting to relieve someones suffering as well as showing them they are wanted, needed and valuable. When someone is hurting, a compassionate person will show concern, empathy, and a desire to comfort. To instead create or encourage their beliefs that they are victims is a type of victimization itself.
Every bully was not only first victimized but the belief that they were victimized was reinforced by their environment. This is an ugly cycle. It is often difficult for me to understand why people suffer when there is no reason that I can see or understand but more importantly I believe that the best anyone can do for an individual person is to encourage the positive feelings they can have about themselves which includes empathy for themselves and others. People who believe themselves to be victims don't show personal respect within that mind frame which creates a lack of understanding for how they can encourage others to do so....which further isolates them and promotes exclusion.
True compassion requires boundaries. The expression of unregulated emotion creates emotional turmoil and ultimately emotional baggage.
When it is known that a person will have a shorter life, will suffer due to injury or illness, or whether someone has been abused by others, our support and encouragement will be best expressed by how we help them to feel respect and empathy for themselves.
Unfortunately, many autistics have often been treated in condescending and pitiful ways which accompany marketing strategies for inappropriate treatments which have been insufficiently explored and accompany negative stereotypes which do nothing to empower us individually or as a group.
Many autistics have been taught to view our impairments in relation to ourselves in discouraging methods to a disempowering end. Of all that people are subjected to or been burdened with, the attitudes we've been taught to believe about ourselves can be the most oppressive impairment of all.
Support individuals and the trials that they face along with how they as a group are mistreated but do that by a show of respect which enables and encourages respect *by* them as well. A bit of respect will go a long way in turning around inappropriate and false beliefs about who someone is and what is to be expected of them.
Rather than supporting the claim of autism creates less appealing personalities or supporting the victimization of any type of advocacy that has oppressed the autistic population and suppressed the individual spirit of autistic people for so long, there needs to be a continued focus on denying the false claims of autism opportunists and their manipulative prejudiced methods of promoting what they consider "awareness".