When parents say, ‘I wish my child did not have autism,’ what they’re really saying is, ‘I wish the autistic child I have did not exist, and I had a different (non-autistic) child instead.’ Read that again. This is what we hear when you mourn over our existence. This is what we hear when you pray for a cure. This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us: that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.
—Jim Sinclair, autism rights activist
This is such an important quote and can be applied to other identities/disabilities other than autism as well.
April, as you might know, is Autism Awareness month. If you want to help, I’d urge you to follow Autism Acceptance Day, check out & donate to ASAN, and educate yourself on what the Autistic community is and looks like. Hint: we’re people, not puzzles.
If you want to support people with autism, try finding an autism related charity that actually, like, allows people with autism to have influence on their policies and decision making power in projects.
I’m a little late, but everyone please raise awareness for this condition. I have CP
Are you in the You Know You Have CP When group on Facebook??? If not, you should be!!!! I run it and we’re a cool bunch of people!!!
I passive-aggressively do this to autistics in the regular autism tags. Some of them seem so lonely.
Same with the CPers. A lot of them also think they can’t relate to other CPers because they’re “mild”. I grew up with the “mild” label and thought the same thing for a long time, but I was wrong. CP is CP, no matter how the impairment manifests itself.
You can READ #actuallyautistic if you’re not autistic, and it’s GREAT that you want to educate yourself! But you can’t POST there.
Please also do not post on the #actuallyautistic tag talking about how we’re not really autistic and do not know what real autism is like because adults you see in one venue don’t look like children you see in another.
Adult allistics on the internet don’t remind me of screaming, crying allistic children, either. (Except when they kind of do.)
Basically, #actuallyautistic is where we go to read stuff written by actual autistics, in the hope that no one will be patronizing or believe ridiculous myths about us or insult us. We even post things on the tag that we wouldn’t really PUT in the autism tag. Stupid stuff like our stims and the last thing we misheard because of our crappy auditory processing.
You’re welcome to talk about autism on the #autism tag.
I would never tag anything with #actuallyautistic because, um I’m not ACTUALLY AUTISTIC. why is this a hard thing???
II. As I move through my life — a disabled person — two companions haunt me. They are imaginary, but in my dealings with other people, they are forceful. Sometimes other people cannot seem to sense me behind those phantoms. Sometimes I am forced into their masks, and falling out of character has consequences.
One I think of as an uncle. A descendant of Carrie Buck, of the Jukes and the Kallikaks, a cousin to the Rain Man and the wild children of the forests. You’ve seen him rocking in the corner, headbanging. He cannot speak and, people assume, has nothing to say. Sometimes he is a cute, incomprehensible child; sometimes a terrifying, incomprehensible adult. He is usually uncomprehending but sometimes manipulative; usually repellent but sometimes seductive. Violence swirls around him: sometimes he is a target, sometimes a perpetrator, sometimes both. He is an enigma, interpreted by others: he cannot define himself. He embodies the stereotypes, the paradigms of cognitive impairment, of my own particular set of labels. He’s no different from me — but he is. Get me in the right situation, and we look exactly alike. Get me in the right situation, and you can see no resemblance. Bruce, I call him in intimate moments, after a caricature I once saw on television.
The other I think of as a sister. A shadow twin. The daughter my parents wanted in my place, pretended they had. The sister my flesh-and-blood sister wished for. Me, but with impairment denied, defused, removed. Me, but with grace, stamina, social skills. She speaks for herself — then again, she doesn’t have to. She’s no different from me — but she is. Get me in the right situation, and we look exactly alike. Get me in the right situation, and you can see no hint of resemblance. Mary, I call her, after the aunt whose other name I was given.
Content note: ableism, stigmatization of Autistics and other PWDs, the Sandy Hook shooting
I didn’t want to write about the shootings at all. I knew a number of people (who I’ll link to throughout this post) and organizations would be posting and writing, working to counter the inevitable stigma fail that would happen. I even was keeping to commenting on the links of people I care about, people who I know and who I want to have these sorts of discussions with. Then, it happened. I’ll leave the critiques of the post gawker promoted toothers, but I feel obligated to make a comment about some of the assumptions it is based on and promotes.
That comment starts with a declaration: I was one of those scary kids.
Before the age of 14, I was the sort of child that service providers recommend parents to place in a residential setting — that is, juvenile mental health institutions. Parents were — and are sometimes still — encouraged to relinquish them to the state, who would willingly pay for this kind of care. My mother fought it, and demanded community based services and the training my providers needed to provide it. But she was pressured the entire time, and when I was reviewing her records last year I found boxes of pamphlets and packets that she was given to encourage my placement in those settings.
For those unaware of the Project For Awesome (P4A), P4A is an annual, 48-hour event on YouTube created by John and Hank Green (aka the Vlogbrothers) in which individuals post videos about their favorite charity/non-profit. Users vote on videos they think should be in the top 5 to get an equal share of the total amount of donations raised for the Foundation to Decrease World Suck which was started by John and Hank Green. So far, the total is close to $300,000, and it has only been 12 hours.
ASAN is currently ranked 25th. I can’t do this alone. I need your help. ASAN needs your help. This will not only give ASAN a huge donation, but it will help bring ASAN into the mainstream and into the consciousness of people not associated with Autistic people in any way.