Sunday, February 24, 2013

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.

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