Saturday, February 23, 2013

That Autistic That Newtown Forgot: Autistic People Should... Be Defiant!

This post is reprinted from here.

This is part of the Autistic Flash blog in response to Google and Facebook auto-complete which features some rather terrible things that should be done to autistics.

Instead of suggesting what should be done to Autistics, I as an Autistic would like to supply my reasoning on what Autistics should be.
Autistic people should be defiant

This kind of intimidation cannot stop us.

As autistics we live in a world constantly raising an eyebrow when we stim in public, when we walk around sometimes disheveled, sometimes with un-ironed clothing, when we fail to receive non-verbal cues, when we meow or turn our heads sideways, when we wander.

These behaviors are natural to our self-expression.

We must not allow the asylums and institutions which locked away our predecessors and were justified as beneficial to our health once more cast a shadow over our wild-eyes and stretching arms.

This is the time to start saying in public:

I am a member of the Autistic community and culture. I may communicate differently according to your standards but within my own community and surrounded by my own people, my voice is heard.

ASAN and the rise of online communities of Autistic activists mean that we do have a group, we have solidarity, and we have a sense of shared voice.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network offers us a voice in Washington. Our numbers in the academy are growing and what is most important that the membership register for any singular organization does not limit our community. Many in our community exist outside of any single activist group but work parallel with established groups as part of a wider decentralized Neurodiversity and Autistic Acceptance movement.

Now that we have support systems, we don’t need to rely on the neurotypical majority to provide us with our reasons for life.

We can supply our own will to go on and our own determination for authenticity.

Our struggle emerges in a series of moments of defiance.

Defiance against neurotypical-dominated politics, neurotypical-dominated health and a neurotypical-dominated education system all characterize the various arenas across which our activist work takes places.
So my point is that Autistic people should not let those institutions which lock us down, ignore our voices and commit violence to us threaten us into submission.

Seeing one more message attacking our people is merely a moment for renewed defiance.

Now is the time to stand up against offensive discourses which might devalue our identities.
So yes, with great glee I state that Autistic people who self-advocate should not allow speech to be shut down but should be determined and defiant!

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