Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of variations on a story that goes “Autistic people love detail, and it makes them naturally well suited for repetitive jobs that most people find intolerably boring.”
This is usually said with great fanfare, and described as a step away from stigma and towards celebration.
But — autistic people don’t all have a convenient love of tedious tasks. Some of us find them as boring as everyone else does.
This model of “autistic strengths” celebrates us doing jobs everyone else hates. It has no room for us to pursue jobs that others want. We’re supposed to stay in a special place for special people, doing the boring tasks the ideology says we love — and making no trouble for the normal people who do the interesting jobs.
This isn’t ok, and it isn’t acceptance. Some of us like things that others don’t, but none of us should be forced into a box. Autistic people have the full range of interests, talents, and skills that anyone else does. We shouldn’t be tracked into jobs based on stereotypes. We have the right to decide for ourselves what to pursue.