Some Amy Schumer fans think her social media post for Autism Awareness Day lacked … awareness.
In her Amy Schumer: Growing Netflix special last month, the comedian shared that her husband of a year, Chris Fischer, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. She shared a little about the chef and writer’s later-in-life diagnosis and called him “courageous and beautiful” for allowing her to go public with the news.
So to mark Autism Awareness Day earlier this week, Schumer shared an image that rewrote some of the negative terms associated with autism along with a positive message about his diagnosis with ASD. The I Feel Pretty star said that it “was in NO WAY BAD NEWS.” Instead, she called it “empowering” as well as “exciting to have answers and be given tools to move forward. Receiving the diagnosis and the information that came with it was affirming and we are both so grateful.”
Schumer shared that since she has made Fischer’s diagnosis public, people have come up to her and said “‘I’m so sorry’” to hear he he has ASD. She said that her response has been, “Sorry for what? My husband is my absolute favorite person. I wouldn’t change him. Not one bit. He is creative, funny, brilliant, brave and I admire him more than anyone.” She ended by saying, “I hope our perspective is any way helpful.”
While the post has over 100,000 likes, some — especially parents of autistic children that aren’t high-functioning and weren’t “grateful” for the diagnosis — took issue with it.
One commenter replied, “Although I thoroughly agree with your sentiments, and think you are brilliant and positive, I do think that there needs to be more understanding about the negatives if autism. Your husband is obviously very high functioning, but there are far more children (my son and most of his special need school included) for whom autism is a disability. There seems to be some misunderstanding that autism comes with super powers; your rain man, sheldon from Big Bang etc. When the fact of the matter is for the majority of people with autism it means huge development delays and tons of hard work. Many may never live independently, ever talk, get a job, have a friend etc. Do we love them less? No. Are we proud? More than you can imagine. Should we pretend having autism is awesome? Nope, not one bit.”
There were many other comments agreeing with this mom’s experience — and sharing similar stories. Another person wrote, “Thank you for your positive and consistent support, it is appreciated! But please also remember ASD is a spectrum, and that for all those, like your husband, that are on the higher end/more high functioning, there are just as many, like my two beautiful boys, that are on the lower/more severe end of the spectrum, and for them, Autism IS a disability. Of course I want to see it as abilities, and I treasure all their unique characteristics, but to be realistic, for them, it is a disability. I imagine for you and your husband, getting a diagnosis as an adult would definitely have been a good thing, to finally have answers and tools to help, that is awesome. But please just remember that that is not always the case, getting the diagnosis when they are young, it can be quite shocking and something that parents may really struggle with. I’m sorry if I’m coming across harsh, i do really appreciate your support and your openness, I just wanted to share the other side to the story a bit.”
One commenter made the point that “the spectrum is wide.” And while, “In your husband's case was good news... There are ASD cases that can't even communicate a single word. This day must exist. Diagnosis is the beginning.Visibility is crucial. Understanding is so important...But for some parents I don't think is good news to hear from a doctor for the first time.”
Schumer noticed the feedback and replied to a post.
“I really hear you and appreciate this sentiment,” the star wrote. “I tried to make it clear I am talking about our experience. But I really get where you’re coming from. There is so much misinformation out there and we definitely want to be helpful. I can’t speak to other people’s. But felt the need to express what it’s been like for us.”
Many of the comments did thank Schumer for sharing Fischer’s story. “Saw ur Netflix special & absolutely love how u spoke about ur husband & his autism,” wrote bytchsmackasworld. “U gave me hope for my son. Watching how u lit up as u spoke about Chris makes me hope one day my son will find someone like u. U were already one of my favorite ppl but now u ARE my favorite person.”
Schumer and Fischer are expecting their first child together.
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