For Autism Acceptance Month, I felt the urge to focus on Quinn’s terrible experience with a certain type of therapy that many autistic children were/are subjected to. For Quinn, this lead to masking, self-harm, and overwhelming stress growing up. Because of her need to protect Claudette from this abuse, she was finally able to understand that her own autism wasn’t a bad thing and taught her daughter the same.

Misinformed and ablest societies are the reason why autistic people call for acceptance rather than awareness. We don’t need a cure, we need understanding and resources that actually help us rather than those that stigmatize and try to change us.


Image description by boanddonatetoblackbusinesses on tumblr:

Content Warning: Ableism and mentions of a way to ‘overcome’ autism; references to ‘ABA therapy’; references and mention of self harm [ID: A 16-panel comic about Autism Acceptance Month. Panel 1- A mother and father outlined in black and white with red nose and hair look concerned, their daughter Quinn, in a pink shirt with red hair, is in the father’s lap and is looking off to the right. Someone off-screen is saying, “It appears Princess Quinten has autism spectrum disorder. We recommend therapy to help her overcome her autistic traits.  Panel 2- Quinn is looking off to the right, touching a strand of her hair. Someone off-screen says, “Quinn, look me in the eyes.”

Panel 3- Right of panel 2. Quinn looks down and to the right nervously and says, “No. It hurts.”

Panel 4- Down and to the left of panel 3. Quinn looks forward, nervously. Someone off-screen says, ”Just look for 15 seconds and you can go play.” To the right side is black text that says, “…1…”

Panel 5- To the right of panel 4. Quinn is staring forward, shaking, and starting to cry. Black text around her head says, “…2…” “…3…” “…4…” “…5…”

Panel 6- Below panels 4 and 5. Quinn puts her head in her hands and says, “No!” Someone off-screen to the left says, “Now we have to start over.” Someone off-screen to the right says, “You will not move from this table until we make that eye contact.”

Panel 7- Quinn’s eyes are closed, she is smiling, and flapping her hands. Black text around her says, “Quinn. Quiet hands.”

Panel 8- Below panel 7. Quinn is frowning, one hand clutched in the other, looking down at a Hershey’s chocolate kiss in front of her. Black text around her says, “Good girl. Have a treat.”

Panel 9- To the right of panel 8. A close-up of Quinn’s left hand digging into her right arm.

Panel 10- Quinn looks excitedly to the right side of the panel and has a dialogue text box with cut-off text about facts about tigers.

Panel 11- Right of panel 10. Quinn looks to the right and frowns and clutches her right shoulder with her left hand, not speaking. Black text near her says, “Remember, you can only say one thing about tigers, then it’s time to be quiet.”

Panel 12- Quinn looks upwards and smiles nervously. Someone off-screen on the left says, “I had my doubts but I think therapy is working.” Someone off-screen to the right says, “She so much more NORMAL now. A perfect princess!”

Panel 13- Time skip. An adult Quinn, who has red hair, lips, nose, and a pink hairband, stands next to her partner, who wears a blue shirt, has blue eyes, and black hair, and is looking to the left, an eyebrow raised. Quinn looks down at her daughter Claudette in her lap, who has blue eyes, red hair, and a yellow hair bow, and is looking down at a turtle toy on a table. Someone off-screen is saying, “Looks like Claudette has autism. There are several resources to help her cope nowadays, but we recommend a therapy to lessen her autistic traits.”

Panel 14- Quinn smiles nervously down to Claudette, who is in her hands, smiling with her hands over her head and holding the turtle toy. Black text says, “If not, she may have a hard time blending in with regular society.”

Panel 15- Quinn and her partner walk to the right. Her partner is smiling and touches a finger to Claudette’s outstretched hand. Claudette is smiling and reaching to his while Quinn carries Claudette, looking upset to the right. Quinn says, “That sounds like ‘regular’ society’s problem. She’s fine the way she is.”

Panel 16- An older Claudette is walking to the right, smiling with her hands outstretched to either side. Her skin is pink. She wears a red and white shirt with a red infinity sign on it, a rainbow skirt, a red bracelet, and blue earrings. Next to her, Quinn, with blue skin, smiles at Claudette, wearing a shirt that says, ‘Cure Ableism’ and with a necklace with a star charm on it, the star in her mouth. Red text to the side says, “Happy Autism Acceptance Month!” end ID]