I am the CEO of an autistic led organisation called Autistic Inclusive Meets. We fight for the rights of autistic individuals.
As a mother to autistic children and being autistic myself, it has horrified me to see the amount of parents that are exploiting their autistic children on YouTube.
These children are often non speaking and use AAC devices to communicate their needs.
These parents will often provoke their childen into a ‘meltdown’ state and then follow them around filming them as they cry, scream and hit themselves.
They will narrate the children’s distress and make no move to put down their camera and support their child.
These children are little people.
They have the right not to be exploited for likes, shares and comments.
Titles such as ‘Autism diet – Hungry and Angry’ where ‘Autism Dad’ repeatedly asks his daughter to confirm if she wants pasta.
Although she uses her commucation device repeatedly to say yes he makes no move to make it though he repeatdely states he will.
This leads to a meltdown from his daughter which is of course filmed:
‘Autism Meltdown or Tantrum while doing autism skills, she’s not in the mood!’ And ‘Autism at Home: How to calm an Autism Meltdown’ are just two more of the titles on his channel.
There’s ‘Autism Family’ who filmed their child in great distress screaming in overwhelm, ‘Meltdown at the Mall’:
And here, ‘Autism Meltdown and Panic attack’ where they claim the child gave permission to post.
The child was in no fit state to give permission to film however:
There’s also ‘Fathering Autism’, which has many videos where the father and mother of a young teen who also communicates non verbally , is filmed in moments of high distress and self harm.
Titles such as ‘Autism Meltdown or Tantrum at Fair’:
And ‘Meltdown was our fault’:
These amongst many others with similar content and titles garner thousands, and in some cases millions of views.
A complete invasion of her privacy with no thought given as to whether she would feel embarrassed that she is being filmed and shown in these devastated states.
That’s what a meltdown feels like for an autistic person. Devastation, fear, anger, frustration and terror.
That is what these parents are filming and putting up for the public to see.
Where is the respect for these children’s dignity, rights and automony?
Why is facebook allowing this monetisation of degradation of minors?
We at Autistic Inclusive Meets ask that Youtube step up for these children if their parents will not and not allow videos with meltdowns and exploitation to be kept up on their platform.