I’m quite a sports fan.
I’ve always liked football. As a youngster my autistic “thing” was an in depth knowledge of the World Cup. I have forgotten most of it these days but I still like football.
So, there I was on the BBC sports website. You know the BBC, the much venerated establishment of worldwide renown.
And I scrolled down the page barely reading the words in front of me when a phrase leapt out of the screen.
Not so much as leapt but screamed, hurled and violently thrust itself before my eyes..
“Suffers from Aspergers..”
Suffers. From. Aspergers.
I read on about the enjoyment that a young man named Euan was getting from playing football with his friends in the People’s FA Cup ( a 5-a-side tournament) because it helped him as he suffers from Aspergers!!.
My eyes kept wandering back to that phrase.
I have Aspergers. I am an Aspie. But I don’t suffer from it or with it!
It is inherent within me. It is me. It’s part of my genetic material.
It’s not a cough I can take a lozenge for. It’s not a broken arm I can splint. It’s not a headache I can take a pill for. It’s not an infection I can combat with antibiotics.
It can’t be cured!. There is nothing TO cure.
Its not an illness, a disease, an infection, it’s not something that an operation or doctors prescription can “cure”.
I expected more from the BBC. The wording seemed crass, insensitive. It smacked of ignorance as to what Autism and Aspergers actually were.
I was disappointed.
I have complained. The BBC have responded and told me they need more time to examine my complaint (a complaint can be cured ?) because the relevant people need to respond to it.
The BBC name is known worldwide. It is a venerated organisation whose name stands for the highest standards. They should know better than to use the phraseology they did.
I think they’ve let themselves down on this occasion. Let themselves down badly.
Suffers from Aspergers ??.
Ignorance is no excuse.