Using your autistic siblings for clout on social media needs to stop

FYI: Jemma (my sister), if you’re reading this, it does not apply to you at all. This also doesn’t apply to all siblings of autistic people.

Many of us in the autistic community are well aware of some of the “autism warrior parents” Who centre themselves regarding their child’s diagnosis, compare autism to cancer and bully autistic adults online. Only a few parents are like this, but their actions are still problematic.

However, I’ve noticed on social media that some siblings of autistic people are similar by creating inspiration porn videos and posts about their autistic siblings for clout.

Obviously, I’m judging from the outside here as my own sister is, thankfully nothing like this. Still, I’m increasingly seeing some siblings being worshipped for appearing to treat us like humans online, which they should be doing by default and in real life when the camera is off too.

Why do they feel the need for a round of applause for loving their autistic sibling on camera for 10 seconds? Is this the case off camera too? What are the motives here?

Also, if their autistic siblings are aware of the post they are creating? And if they consented for these types of posts to be made about them? As it’s rarely ever clear.

Again I’ve also seen siblings of autistic people upload similar videos to the warrior parents of us during our most vulnerable moments, including meltdowns, which is never okay. I understand you want to raise the issues of a lack of support and services for families, but degrading autistic people in this way is one of the highest levels of disrespect.

More often than not, I see these type of people making their autistic siblings’ autism about them and do not consider the thoughts and feelings of their autistic family members. To me, it comes across as these people not valuing their autistic siblings as fully human, which leads to a sense of othering that only increases the stigma. It just doesn’t sit right with me, and I feel they are similar, if not the same, as warrior parents. It also continues the infantilisation of autistic people that takes away our agency to self-advocate.

Siblings can be great allies by listening to us in how they can aid our fight against ableism. However, posting a 15-second video on Tiktok raising yourself to a saint-hood like status just for simply having an autistic sibling isn’t an achievement; it’s just a fact of life.

Also, centring yourself around another person’s diagnosis (including a family member) is just narcissistic tbh.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to support my writing, I would be forever grateful if you could buy me a coffee (or tea in my case).

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