When asked how she would “cope” with the possibility that her son might be on the autism spectrum, Amy Schumer had the perfect comeback.
“How do I cope?” she replied. “I don’t see being on the spectrum as a negative thing.”
The question was posed in response to an Instagram post Schumer recently wrote. Sharing a photo of herself and her new baby, Gene, Schumer asked whether or not followers would be interested in seeing a documentary of her pregnancy and birth.
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She received tons of affirmation, but one comment about autism gave Schumer pause.
“I’d like to see a documentary of you discovering your mate is diagnosed with autism and how you cope with the possibility that your child will be on the spectrum,” one follower said.
Schumer, whose husband Chris Fischer was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, was quick to explain why “cope” was the wrong word to use.
“How I cope? I don’t see being on the spectrum as a negative thing. My husband is my favorite person I’ve ever met. He’s kind, hilarious, interesting and talented and I admire him. Am I supposed to hope my son isn’t like that? I will pay attention and try and provide him with the tools he needs to overcome whatever challenges come up like all parents,” Schumer wrote. “I’d be disappointed if he liked Big Bang theory and nascar not if he has ASD.”
Schumer’s Instagram followers applauded her response and shared their own experiences with ASD or as the loved one of someone with ASD.
“Thank you for saying this. It’s upsetting when people talk about ASD (or any disability) as if it’s terrible/sad/’I don’t know how you do it’ thing. I loved that you talked about it in your routine with such respect for your husband, and yet it was still hilarious,” one user said.
“Thank you for using your platform to speak about ASD. My son is 8 and was diagnosed last year. Your post made me happy,” said another.
Schumer’s response is so necessary given the fear and stigma surrounding any kind of neuro-divergent conditions. Considering that some parents still refuse to vaccinate their children—and therefore put infants and immunocompromised individuals at serious risk—because of unfounded fears of autism, Schumer’s message is important.