Friday, March 1, 2013

You blogged in Autistic People Should? You deserve credit.

Autism Speaks is one of the biggest autism "charities" around. They caught on to the fact that Google is eliminating the "die" search term for autism, of course. (How could they miss it? They actually have social media people.)
And they posted about it.
They apparently tip their hats to Google, but have nothing to say for us. Not a word.
They had no words for the flash blogs as they happened, and they have no words for us now. Words for us would require admitting that we did something, that Autistic people did something important without their help. They can't do that.
So go forth and make a crisis.
Make it so that they have no choices that look good to them, because they have to weather the fires of "You erased us from our own activism on our day when we mourn for people who were erased from the stories of their own lives and eventual murders,"  or admit that we did something without their help or guidance.
Hit them. Hit them hard. Get the credit you deserve. Refuse to be erased from the story of your own activism. We were loud enough to make Google pay attention, and sure, they have far less on the line than Autism Speaks, but they're a whole lot bigger than Autism Speaks too. We can make Autism Speaks pay attention too. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

High Functioning Momism: "Autistic People Should" not be pigeonholed

She quoted Phantom Tollbooth in her post. Just saying.
“Yes, indeed,” they repeated together; “but if we’d told you then, you might not have gone—and, as you’ve discovered, so many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.”And for the remainder of the ride Milo didn’t utter a sound.” 
I mean, the rest of the post is cool too. She seems to know what's up.
Assigning a set of “can” and “can’t dos” to autistic people, especially children who are so young and impressionable, can define the rest of their lives. Who are we to limit their potential? Autistic people have a capacity to learn and grow and change just like their neurotypical counterparts. Affixing a set of expectations and limitations onto a person simply because of their neurodiversity is prejudicial and dangerous.
That's some real talk, there. And worth reading the rest of. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Understanding Autism: Autistic People Should

Understanding Autism wrote a poem!

Autistic People Should

Autistic people should be the voice we’ve never heard
As we debate and argue over concepts of their worth.
Autistic people should articulate what’s on their mind
As we neurotypicals discuss ‘No child left behind’.
Autistic people should explain why they are clever
To ignore what we insist they can’t do, now or ever
And as we limit the perimeters of what ‘autistic people should’
Let’s call a spade a spade, for it’s us who are being rude
For who are we to decide what another is to do.
Shame on them who deigned to type the words
‘Autistic people should’.

Sharon Didrichsen

Yes, That Too: Autistic People Should Be Considered The Experts On Autism

I'm allowed to reprint things from myself  :) I gave myself permission!

Nekobakaz has it right. Autistic people are the experts on living in Autistic brains. We've spent our whole lives Autistic, after all. 
And mainstream autism experts get so much wrong, and they do it so obviously. Think about it. 
Musings of an Aspie tells us that Autistic people should question everything. She tells us to question the experts who think:
  • Autistic people don't realize others have minds.
  • Autism is an exaggeration of male habits.
  • Autistic children play "wrong" because they lack creativity and imagination.
  • Autistic people don't get married or have children. ("Autistic People Should...")
I do, of course, question them. I question their ideas, and I question their expertise. If they were truly expert, they would not come up with things that are so wrong and be so insistent that these falsehoods must be so.
Because, well, "everybody is the world's foremost authority on what's it's like to live inside their own body" (Wetering.) I would add that everybody is also the world's foremost authority on what it's like to live inside their own brain. It shouldn't need adding, since the brain is part of the body, but people do often separate the mental from the physical and autism is in how the brain is wired. 
But so-called experts deny this. So-called experts tell us that Temple Grandin's books are worthless for understanding autism (they are privilege denying, which is different.) When an "expert" says that Grandin "cannot possibly get the concept of what it is like to be herself" (Grace 96,) we know it is time to question.
So I do.
And it's not just me, either. Dr. Grace wants to "Occupy Autism Expertise" (Grace 96.) Paula is having a TweetChat with Autism Womens Network about the "Autism Experts" site, where Autistic people are the autism Experts. Amy says we have the most valuable information on autism because we live it every day (Sequenzia.) Karla thinks we should lead the discussion on autism (Fisher.) Flashbloggers covered the idea that Autistic people should be heard, with one explicitly stating that we should be considered the experts on autism. 
So we should. The closing thought of the flashblog itself? Autistic people should be considered the experts on autism.

Works Cited
"Autistic People Should..." Web log post. Musings of an Aspie. N.p., 23 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.
Becker, Corina. "Autistic People Should Be Considered the Experts on Autism." Web log post. Wibbly-Wobbly Ramblings. N.p., 23 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <>.
Fisher, Karla. Autistic People Should Lead! Digital image. Karla's ASD Page. N.p., 23 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.
Grace, Elizabeth J. "Autistic Community and Culture: Silent Hands No More." Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking. By Julia Bascom. Washington, DC: Autistic, 2012. 95-99. Print.
Sequenzia, Amy. "Autistic People Should..." Autism Women's Network. N.p., 23 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.
Wetering, Jodie. "Autistic People Should..." Web log post. Letters from Aspergia. N.p., 24 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.

From the Syracuse Typers

Autistic People Should: Be Included. Loved like sons and daughters normal. Not be treated like second class citizens; be included in all aspects of life. (Hesham, Scott, Rick, Jamie)
Be truly understood as the understanders they are. (Cheli and Jamie)

extemporarysanity: Autistic People Should

More reprints! The original is here.

Be loud and proud!  And when I say “loud” I mean that in many ways beyond the production of phonemes that most of society seems to place such a high value on.  Anyone who truly believes that there is a connection between being able to produce verbal speech and being an intelligent human being should should Google “Tea Party Politics”  and look for some quotes. But I digress …
Autistic people should be loud.  We should not be hidden away, silenced or denied access to communication.  That happens when “experts” decide that we are too “low functioning” to be worth the investment of resources, or too old to learn. Sometimes they also decide we are so “high functioning” that we don’t need support and we are silenced by bullies. In other words ignorance keeps us silent, not autism.
Autistic people should be loud.  It’s okay to “sound” Autistic. We should make noise if we need to to self regulate.  If I need to hum to concentrate then I should bloody well be allowed to hum as long as it’s not making it impossible for others to concentrate. Further, nobody should ASSUME that it is making it impossible without asking them.  If I echo the last word of every sentence then I echo the last word of every sentence.  What’s it to you?  FYI – Einstein did that too and he turned okay.
Autistic people should be loud.  We should be asked what we think when the topic is autism. We should tell people when we disagree.  We should not be afraid to say what we think and we should not let ourselves become slaves to social anxiety.
Autistic people should be proud.  We have done some really great things – even if they have not been recognized by the history books.  It’s true, many people speculate that some great historic figures have been Autistic and I agree that most probably were.  I’m not talking about their contributions though.  I’m talking about the brave folks who battle sensory integration dysfunction, to take public transportation or navigate through a crowd.  I’m talking about folks who face down social anxiety to go to work everyday. I’m talking about people who survive abuse.  We are strong.  We’ve had to be.  We should be proud of that.
Autistic people should be proud – of who we are.  Because every one of us is unique and beautiful in our own way.  Autistic people – let’s be loud and proud together.

Of Moms and Monsters: Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Reprinted from Of Moms and Monsters!

I just read about this "flash-blog" - called Autistic People Should...
The premise of this is based on the auto-fill results when you type 'Autistic People Should" into a Google search bar.  The outcome is downright disturbing at best.  In an effort to change this, a blog has been created, allowing others to post about what they think 'Autistic People Should' be...
I know they originally called for individuals with autism to be the posters - but as a mother of not just one, but most likely two autistic children, I feel the need to jump on board with this and throw my voice into the mix.  So, here goes.  
Autistic People Should be cherished.  They should be treated like the kind of valuable gems that they are.  
Autistic People Should be respected.  They face more challenges than most people will ever even know, and they will do it with the kind of grace that most of us should be so lucky to possess.  They thrive in a world of people who doubt them.  They shine in a world of people who try to hide their brilliance.  When we should all make it our goals to help them shine brighter.
Autistic People Should be recognized.  For the strength they possess, the wonder and awe they bring to those around them.  For the incredibly different way they see the world. For the joy and laughter they bring to the people they let know them.  
Autistic People Should be taught.  Not to see the world like everyone else.  Not to conform to societal ideas of what it is to be "normal".  They should be taught that it is more than okay - it's wonderful to be different.  To set themselves apart.  To love the things that fascinate them.  To be who they are without shame, compromise, or feelings of inadequacy.  
It isn't autistic people who should do anything - it's every other person in the world.  It is every person who does nothing.  It is every person who refuses to take five seconds to learn something about another human being.  It is all of the people who judge, and shush, and shun.  It is the people who work against, instead of with.  It is every system that has a fatal flaw in the design when built for "typical" people.  We have left-handed scissors and guitars.  We have wheelchair accessible ramps and bathrooms.  But we don't have academics to suit our autistic children.  We don't send our teachers to be trained on how to teach an autistic child.  We don't have sensory friendly grocery stores, or playgrounds.  
Autistic People Should be THEMSELVES.  Because that is what makes them beautiful, brilliant, quirky, life-affirming human beings.  They bring magic back into a world that long ago lost some of its luster.  They are nothing short of miracles.  And anyone who doesn't recognize that, is missing out.