I chose to make this video to illustrate how people’s attitude towards a disability such as autism can impact on the life of autistic people and their family.
In Scotland, if you have autism and receive higher/middle rate of the care component or higher rate of mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance, you are eligible to have access to a Free Bus Travel. This means that travelling for you and one family member assisting you is free.
However, what happens if you lose you Free Bus travelling card? How are you going to be perceived by your community?
This is the situation I was recently in with my son. And I chose to show you what were the outcomes. Please forgive my argumentative tone, at times it is hard, not only to have to deal with a disability but also to constantly fight for support. The issues extend well beyond the situation in Scotland. The issues are about our community attitude towards autism.
The supportive response of the last driver shows, that it was not a matter of rules or regulations that we were allowed to get on the bus or not, it was matter of attitude towards a disability. Perhaps my own attitude did partly trigger the negative responses seen by some of the drivers, but I believe that essentially, their rejection related to how they perceived my demand of assistance. As they expressed it, it was not their responsibility to help us or not. And they chose not to help. Perhaps it is a matter of education, an education in civil rights that is almost never given to citizens.
Experiencing this is humiliating. Most people in our situation would have compensated by taking on themselves and putting up with a less than adequate situation. However, we should instead advocate for support and acceptance of who we are as we are. An assistance, that takes very little to give and that can bring so much in return, not only to the disabled person, but also to those giving.