What the Fidget Spinners Fad Says About Disability Discrimination

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From Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism: For decades, autistic and developmentally disabled people have been conditioned and coerced into behaving like neurotypical people, including suppressing their need to fidget or stim. However, because non-disabled people have popularized fidget spinners and other toys, fidgeting is now being de-pathologized.

“Something that was considered entirely pathological and in dire need of correction when done by disabled people is now perfectly acceptable because it is being done by non-disabled people. This should make you stop and think, especially if you are someone who works with, educates, or researches people with diagnoses like autism.

What else might we de-pathologize overnight once the ‘right’ people, the ‘normal’ people, the ‘healthy’ people start doing it? Will somebody write a tweet that makes it socially acceptable to avoid eye contact? Will a Facebook meme make it suddenly trendy to have texture sensitivities? Will hand-flapping become cool after it shows up in a music video?”

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