Yesterday, Rosie O'Donnell (whose history speaking on autism isn't good) tweeted the following, the video has half a million views, so:
My simple take is this - Do not politicize Barron Trump. Do not try to out people - anyone in any context - as disabled. Do not be ableist or spread stigma to serve political agendas.Barron Trump Autistic? if so - what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic https://t.co/Acgy1Qxyqi via @YouTube— Rosie (@Rosie) November 22, 2016
A few more thoughts:
- You do not know whether Barron Trump is or isn't autistic.
- It is both unethical and cruel to speculate about a child's disability.
In fact, it's best not to speculate about anyone's disability, as such speculations inevitably reveal more about stigma than about the individual.
- Barron Trump is not a public figure
Yes, horrible right-wing media outlets politicized both Sasha/Malia and Chelsea Clinton. Those people were horrible. Don't be like them.
- I have written about Donald Trump's views on vaccines. They are deeply troubling.
You take this little beautiful baby, and you pump—I mean, it looks just like it's meant for a horse, not for a child, and we've had so many instances, people that work for me...
Just the other day, 2 years old, 2½ years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic
Reminder: There is no autism epidemic. We diagnose differently now. Vaccines do not cause autism.
[This paragraph was edited for clarity] Really, though, it doesn't matter who Trump was talking about. If his own son or not, the point is that vaccines do not cause autism.
- I am going to fight against antivaxxers in the CDC, in HHS, as the Surgeon General, in the FDA. Barron Trump is not a pawn in that fight.
Someday, I hope we have more openly actually autistic public figures, including presidents and other elected officials. I hope we have children who live in a world where talking about their neurodiversity is no more controversial than describing their hair color. We do not live in that world.
My experience over the last year has shown me how quickly the Left is willing to go ableist. Let's try to do better on this one.