Saturday, February 23, 2013

Judy Endow: Autistic People Should...

Reprinted from Judy's status with permission.

Today is flash blog day. Autistics were asked to complete the phrase "Autistic people should..." as a way to make a positive difference in light of the suggestions given by search engines when that phrase is typed in the search bar. Here is my contribution:

Autistic people should take and keep a seat on the bus, just like Rosa Parks did in 1955 when fighting for social justice for blacks. I was born in 1955. I am glad black people no longer have to fight so hard for the chance to be seen as part of the human race. I too am a person. Many days I have to be like Rosa Parks, going about my life and simply doing the next right thing, like taking my seat on the bus. I am not black. I am an autistic person. To take my seat on the bus I do things like speaking up to tell the rest of the world that autistic people are human beings. (Endow, 2009 The Power of Words: How we talk about people with autism spectrum disorders matters!) 

I am not alone. There are many, many autistic adults. For decades and centuries now, all the autistic children have grown up into adults – just like other human beings. As autistic adults we have hopes and dreams. We have parents, siblings, children and grandchildren. We have a dream similar to Martin Luther King. 

• We dream that our children and grandchildren will know a world where they are simply a part of the fabric of their communities because all human beings will be equally valued for who they are in this world. 

• We look forward to the day where all autistic people will be given the means to communicate and their methods and ways will be honored just as we honor the voice of human beings who speak. 

• We look forward to the day when the movement differences in our bodies do not cause those looking on to make judgments about our intellect, our abilities or our intentions. 

• We look forward to not being looked at suspiciously when the news media erroneously connects a shooter with autism. 

• We look forward to being mourned should we be killed, rather than our killers being excused while we are forgotten because we are not considered fully human.

• Ultimately, we look forward to being counted as part of the human race – no better, no worse – just another human being on the face of the earth. 

I am 57 years old. I hope I live long enough to see this dream come true. If not I hope it for my children. In the meantime, I join with other autistics. Today we have taken our seat on the bus and as autistics we should - and we will - keep our seat until we arrive at our destination, regardless how long our trip may take.
Judy Endow

Judy Ednow's website is

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