Sunday, March 3, 2013

Yes, That Too: Autistic People Are Refusing To Be Erased From Their Own Activism, Autism Speaks

Reprinted from Yes, That Too

Autistic people are the ones who raised the fuss.
Google responded to our voices. You tip your hat to them, but do not mention us or our voices?
We will not be erased.
Autistic people are the ones who made this happen.
Autistic people are the ones who made the calls, who wrote the blogs.
Autistic people are the ones who compiled the blogs.
Autistic people are the ones who wrote the press release, who spoke to the reporter.
Autistic people are the makers of this change.
Autistic people.
It didn't just happen.
Tip your hats to Google, sure, but also to the ones who told Google so.
Tip your hats to those who kept at it when Google said it was unfortunate, but that nothing will be done.
We are here.
We will not be erased.
Autistic people are speaking.
Autism Speaks, will you listen?
Autistic people are demanding an apology.
Autistic people are demanding the credit they are due.
Autistic people are refusing your erasure from our own activism.
Autistic people are speaking.
Autism Speaks, will you listen?
Or will we have to remind the world?
Autistic people are not represented by Autism Speaks.
Autistic people are represented by ourselves.

Autistic People are Beautiful

This post is reprinted with permission from Rebel Mom's blog Raising Rebel Souls, which you can read here.
Autistic people are beautiful.

Intensely beautiful!
and lovely!
and joyful!

When I first noticed my young Son flapping his hands,
I saw a maestro,
a hand dancer,
a beautiful child!

I had no idea yet that he was Autistic.
I had no idea yet how the world would change what I saw.

Suddenly, his hands became red flags waving.
Suddenly, I became afraid.

Duped by what society thinks about Autism.
Tricked into tragedy.
Led into lies.

The world has it all wrong.

Autistic people are beautiful!
My Son is beautiful!

When I first noticed my other young Son began connecting with others,
I saw a benevolent Soul,
a gift of openness,
a true friend,
a lovely child!

I had no idea yet that he was Autistic.

Suddenly, his personality became "outgoing to a fault."

The world has it all wrong.

Autistic people are lovely!
My Son is lovely!

When the world contradicted all those good feelings I had for my Sons,
I Rebelled.

I found the Autistic community, Autistic people, Autistic friends!
I had no idea yet how they would change what I saw.

I saw them demanding the rights to their reputation,
I saw the reason why.

Autism is not to be feared!
Autism is not a tragedy!

The world is lying to you!
The world has it all wrong!

When I looked to Autistic people it was not so hard to notice.
I see true again!

Incredible happiness,
Thousands of wonderful things!

Autistic people are joyful!

My lovely Sons, every day, you show me just what joy means.

Autistic people are beautiful.

This poem is part of a flash blog aimed at changing the way Google auto-completes it's searches on "Autistic people are..." Last week, a very successful flash blog was held to protest and change the same kind of thing, with "Autistic people should..." Unfortunately, when either of these phrases are typed into a search bar, Google offers automatic and seriously damaging suggestions like:

If you type "Autistic people should" into a Google search box, these are the results that Google suggests based the most popular recent searches.
Picture from Musings of an Aspie

Picture from the main flash blog site, Autistic People Are...

This is obviously unacceptable, and Google has made some changes, but they have more work to do! Join us!

We continue to protest!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Yes, That Too: Autistic People Are.

Reprinted from Yes, That Too

We are teachers, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, friends, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, shopkeepers, activists, advocates, farmers, dentists, cashiers, mailpeople, police officers, everything that non-autistic people are, Autistics, autistic people, and people with autism all are, all can be.
We are what we decide to be.
And we are strong.
Yes, really.
Autistic people are strong, because we have to be.
Autistic people are courageous, because we have to be.
We shouldn't have to be.
We shouldn't have to be brave in order to be ourselves. We shouldn't live in a world where moving the way it comes naturally for us to move, using our bodies the way it comes naturally, is a courageous act of rebellion.
That's the world where we live.
Autistic people are navigating a world not designed for us.
It should be designed so as to at least not hurt us, but we don't even get that level of access.
Autistic people are a part of human diversity.
The world should realize this. It so often doesn't.
Autistic people are.
We just are.

Musings of an Aspie: Autistic People Are Everywhere

This post is reprinted with permission from Musings of an Aspie and appears in its original post and blog, which you can visit by clicking the links.


This post is a part of today’s “Autistic people are . . .” flashblog. You may have seen the news this week that Google has promised to eliminate the problematic “Autistic people should” autocompletes in response to last week’s flashblog. They’ve said it will take time to engineer, so while the hateful autocompletes are still appearing, hopefully they’ll soon be gone. 

We can make a difference by speaking up.


Autistic people are everywhere.

We sit next to you at school and on the bus. We give your dog his rabies shot, teach your kids, make your latte and sweep the floor at your grocery store. We pass you on the sidewalk and stand beside you on the subway. We eat in the same restaurants, shop in the same stores, go to the same gyms that you do.

We are mothers and fathers, husbands, wives and partners. We are sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, aunts, uncles and grandparents.

We are everywhere, all around you.


If you don’t see us, it’s because we’ve mastered the art of hiding in plain sight.

We don’t come neatly labeled. Many of us don’t “look” autistic. You can interact with us and not realize you’ve talked to, worked with, studied with, played with, cursed out, fallen in love with, or are related to an autistic person.

We often don’t share our neurological status unless we feel that we absolutely have too, and even then sometimes we don’t.

There is no payoff for calling attention to our differences. There is no reward for being openly autistic. The risks are real.

Many of us remain quietly, even silently, autistic.

We are everywhere, sitting beside you, walking past you, interacting with you. Do you see us?

Moment of Truth: Autistic People technicians

This post is reprinted with permission from Rather Unique's original post and blog Moment of Truth, which you can visit by clicking on the links.

   I am a full time pharmacy technician.  I have held this job for 6 years.  I work sometimes up to 50 hours a week.  I interact with a lot of people, sometimes over 100 in a day.  It is not easy to deal with so many people in one day.
  It is not my first retail job.  Most of the jobs I had involved me dealing with the public.  I was not very good at it at first, which is likely why I did not keep those jobs.  I am not terribly comfortable with the public, but I manage.
   Out of desperation, over 10 years ago a friend got me a job at the electronics retailer he worked.  High pressure sales, you produce or get out.  Fortunately, he was a good friend and taught me things.  Fortunately the job had training videos.  I learned the value of small talk and eye contact (or in my case, feigning it).  I don't much like small talk, but it has much value to others.
   With a template on how to sell, which I followed with precision, I became an above average performer.  Nowhere near the best, but not in fear of my position.  I also suffered tremendous anxiety from that job.  I felt like I was forcing people to spend hard earned money on things they do not need.  Why spend money on things you don't need?  It troubled my sense of logic that I was there to convince people that they need things that they don't need.  I was ashamed of myself and I quit.
   The pharmacy is different.  People come in for things they do need, and its my job to help them get it.  I am much more at peace with that, so the socializing does not bother me as much. 
   Many of the skills I learned from the electronics job serve me well as a pharmacy employee.  Most of the people that come in are suffering, or caring for a loved one that is suffering.  Even if it is just for a maintenance drug, that prescription is a reminder to that person of their own mortality.  Eye contact, a soft smile and brief small talk off the topic of illness of medication makes the experience more pleasant for the patient.
   Most people are in a hurry to get out of the pharmacy, which makes the small talk brief and unstressful.  Occasionally you get a person that likes to talk.  My talk template runs dry in about 120 seconds, then I am in trouble.
   Having engaged in social pleasantries makes moments when a patient has a high unexpected copay or deductible or no insurance at all, and not expecting the cost less traumatizing for me,  I do not like to give people bad news, it causes me great stress.  If I am tired, especially at the end of my day I do sometimes forget my social pleasantries.  I look at the counter while I speak and do not make small talk.  This results in whatever problem that patient may have being taken out on me although I am not the cause of that persons discomfort.
   I wish interactions could be more brief.  The sooner I am done, the sooner that person gets to go home and take their medication, and the sooner I can get to work on the next one.  Less suffering for all that ends sooner, but for some reason that perfectly reasonable philosophy is lost on most.
   Social pleasantries help when dealing with call centers for insurance.  I have never worked at a call center, but they say it is an unpleasant job.  The turnover ratio is high.  I have a template for talking to them.  I try to guess where they are from by the accent.  Then I ask them how the weather there is.  Gets them on my side, which is good since they are essentially my enemy and working for a company that is being a jerk and not wanting to give medication that is making my patient feel better or possibly keeping them alive.
   I work in a small pharmacy.  Three people back there at most normally.  Sometimes managers and visitors come.  I don't like them in my workspace one bit.  Sometimes too many patients are in the pharmacy, with too many conversations that I hear all at once.  Sometimes my clothes are too itchy.  Sometimes the sun is too bright through the window.  Sometimes I tell my boss I have to go to the bathroom and I cool down in there.
  I like to touch the door to the storage room.  I keep my water and coffee over by that door on top of a half sized fridge, and it is cut off from view by a shelf of medicine.  People think I am going for a drink, but I am going to touch the door.  The door is cool and smooth and I like it.  I wiggle my toes inside of my work boots while I count pills.  I shift weight from one leg to the other while at the cash register.
   The store has had the same song list playing over the speakers for years.  I like to sing along until I am told to stop, which is often.  It has been brought to my attention that I cannot sing.  I don't dare dance....I have the grace of a groggy hippo.
   Sometimes patients die.  I have to go to the bathroom when I hear about it and hide.  Sometimes I cry,.  I do not let people see me cry, at home or at work.  Sometimes a friend or spouse of that person comes in to the store.  I don't know what to say.  I say "I'm sorry".  I wish I had something more profound to say but my mind does not give me words at those moments.
   I like what I do, I like to help people.  If I feel like I helped someone it makes the discomfort worth it.  Also dealing with the suffering keeps my own life in perspective..  People at work like me.  They know I am a weirdo but its ok.  We are all human.. 

The Caffeinated Aspie: Autistic people are…

This post is reprinted with permission from The Caffeinated Aspie and appears in its original post and blog, which you can visit by clicking on those links. 

Last week, we blogged about “Autistic people should…” as a response to Google’s autocomplete suggestions for “autistic people should” and “autistic people can”.  This was a flash blogging event, and there are more entries chronicled here. 

Since then, a number of things have happened.  People took notice. This is a good thing! Google is going to change their search terms. Even large organizations like Autism Speaks noticed! That’s a good thing, right? Oh wait.  Autism Speaks mentioned Google.  They didn’t mention anything about the Autistic people who made this happen.  Comments on their page by Autistic people have gone completely unanswered.  This, on the day when we as Autistics are taking time to mourn our dead, unjustly killed by their caretakers.  Deaths that were caused by the terrible ideals that Autism Speaks perpetuates.  I am demanding an apology from Autism Speaks.

So today, I am going to tell you a little bit about this community of mine.

Autistic people are authors of our own stories.  Too many times, I find an article about an autistic person that makes me think that their voice is going to be adequately represented, that they’re going to be able to tell their own story.  And while that is sometimes true, most of the time it is not.  I’ve gone into the #autism tag on Tumblr on more than one occasion, seeking to connect with my fellow autistic people, and finding nothing more than parents and siblings and educators and so-called “experts” talking about someone they know who “has autism”.

But Autistic people are speaking! Loudly! In many different forums.  I find that I can connect with a great deal of very diverse Autistic individuals online, because it’s certainly easier for most of us to communicate in text-based ways than verbally or in person.  Autistic people are capable of telling our own stories.  While, yes, we may appreciate being backed up by our family members, we don’t need them trampling all over us in order to tell our story for us, as though we cannot do it on our own.

Autistic people are competent.  There’s a saying that goes for all of the disability community, but is especially relevant to autism, as there are many among us who are nonspeaking.  That phrase is “presume competence”.  Assume that regardless of a person’s level of communication, you must presume that they are able to understand you, I’m constantly reminded whenever we talk about presuming competence of Carly Fleischmann, and how her parents were told that she was incapable of understanding.  They were told incorrect information regarding their daughter’s diagnosis, and as such, they assumed that she didn’t have the ability to understand.  That is, until she turned 11, was given access to a computer keyboard and she began typing her thoughts. This is the case with many nonspeaking individuals.  I recall one of the last documentaries I watched (that wasn’t autistic-led, which is hard to find in the first place) was Loving Lampposts.  In it, one of the nonspeaking Autistics said that people presume that he doesn’t have much to say, that there’s little of worth that he will communicate.  This is the problem with in-person communication between neurotypical folks (who are sometimes considered “experts” but really know very little) and autistic folks.  The NT folks see someone who cannot speak, who stims quite a bit, and they think “weird”, “not having anything to contribute”.  However, if these NT folks came upon some of the nonspeaking Autistics I know online, they would claim that there was no way that they could be “low-functioning,” because in many NT folks’ mind, “low-functioning” equals “non-thinking” or “incapable”.  Autistic people are competent.

Autistic people are more than a functioning label.  This is related to point #2, of course.  It’s a little bit ridiculous, but many allistic and NT folks (allistic simply means “not autistic”, whereas NT means “completely neurotypical with no neurodivergences) tend to like to put these labels on those of us who are Autistic.  ”High functioning”, “low functioning” — all of these undefined terms that really don’t mean anything.  Laura Tisoncik described the dichotomy best when she said “The difference between high-functioning and low-functioning is that high-functioning means your deficits are ignored, and low- functioning means your assets are ignored.” In other words, it’s a no-win situation.  I’ve had the functioning label thrown at me over and over again.  I’m “too high functioning” to deserve a voice in the debate over a cure, so some say.  But then again, “low functioning” folks don’t get a voice either, because they aren’t able to have coherent thoughts, and opinions and make decisions about their own lives.  I am a person.  Autistic people are people, first and foremost.  We are not functions.  I addressed some of this (and a few other points) in this post.

Autistic people are brilliant. This doesn’t mean “high IQ”.  That’s not what I mean when I say brilliant.  Perhaps it’s somewhat of a throwaway word, overused like “awesome” and “amazing”.  But Autistic people are brilliant.  We are a people who are often treated as though we are not quite human, we are erased, we are dehumanized, we are told we have no empathy, we are monsters, we are not worthy of love or affection, and that in the end, our abusers will be the ones to receive sympathy if we are abused or murdered.  We are told that we are not trustworthy because of our awkward body language and lack of eye contact.  But you know what? We are resilient.  We are survivors, and we fight every single day of our lives to do away with the stigma against people like us.  Not every one of us can be “out” as autistic, because currently, that’s not safe to do.  Despite the fact that autism is a disability covered under the ADA, many of us have been discriminated against with regards to schooling and work, and perhaps it is necessary to hide, to “act neurotypical”.  Autistic people are a community.  We are a community of very different people who share a common experience with the world — an overwhelming yet beautiful place to live.

Autistic people are brilliant.

Henry Frost: Autistic People Are

This post is reprinted by permission and appeared originally on Ollibean's site, which you can visit by clicking the link.

Autistic people are people. Autistic people are complex. Autistic people are happy. Autistic people are kind. Autistic people are accepting. Autistic people are helpful. Autistic people are mentors. Autistic people are doctors. Autistic people are engineers. Autistic people are writers. Autistic people are leaders. Autistic people are accountants. Autistic people are heros. Autistic people are artists. Autistic people are models. Autistic people are film makers. Autistic people are backpackers. Autistic people are musicians. Autistic people are teachers. Autistic people are sherpas. Autistic people are trainers. Autistic people are neighbors.

Autistic people are brothers.

Autistic people are sisters.

Autistic people are mothers.

Autistic people are fathers.

Autistic people are daughters.

Autistic people are sons.

Autistic people are you.

Autistic people are me.

I am you.

Autistic = People

Autistic people define autism.

Are you with us?

tagAught: Autistic People Are

This post is reprinted with permission from tagAught's original post and blog, which you can visit by clicking on the links.

Today is the flash blog day for Autistic People Are, a follow-up to last week’s Autistic People Should flash blog. I’m not going to write a terribly long post today, because what I have to say is fairly short.

Autistic people are fellow human beings.

Yes, “fellow human beings” is emphasized. Because that’s how we should be treated.

Please, think about that before you start trolling or hating.

Thank you.

:| tagAught

Amy Sequenzia: Autistic People Are

This post is reprinted by permission and originally appeared on Ollibean's site, which you can visit by clicking on the link.

Autistic People Are


Autistic People are the real experts on autism.

Autistic people are not
more complicated than non-autistics.
Autistic people are
misunderstood and mischaracterized by non-autistics.

Autistic people are artistic and we don’t need speech to show our talents.

Autistic people are your friends
your co-workers
your children.

Autistic people are parents

Autistic people are not tragedies
we are not burdens.

Autistic people are not sufferers because of autism
we suffer discrimination from non-autistics.

Autistic people are “different but not less”.

Autistic people are not “Rain Man”
but some autistics can be savants.

Some autistic people are geniuses.

Autistic people are trying to be happy.

Autistic people are happy
when we are allowed to be ourselves
when we are trusted
when we are given opportunities to succeed
when we are loved.

Autistic people are caring
we are full of empathy.

Autistic people are smart
and we can debunk false assumptions
if we are allowed to speak up
or type our thoughts.

Autistic people are part of humanity.

Autistic people are deserving of dignity
of respect
of human rights.

Autistic people are.

We simply are.




Copyright 2013 by Amy Sequenzia

Paula C. Durbin-Westby: Autistic People Are ... Taking Risks All The Time

Autistic people are….

… taking risks all the time. The risk I will focus on in this post is the very real risk to those of us who have chosen to be “out” Autistic, using our real names. There are people who are “out Autistic” who use aliases, and for very good reasons. I completely respect those reasons, do not expect or wish for those people to come forth with their “real” names, whatever those might be, and am learning more about why it might have been easier to make up a name, say Sally Ann Smith,* for all my advocacy work. Some people using aliases have done amazing work for and with and in the Autistic communities and “autism communities,” all without using their “real” identity. I thought that would be confusing for me to accomplish so have always used my real name, which is Paula C. Durbin-Westby.

NOTE: I am NOT talking about any particular PEOPLE in this post. I do not care whether or not someone said something about me, whether or not people know about me, whether what happened was “right or wrong.” I am talking about CONCEPTS here, and basing it on a recent occurrence, which has made me have to think about this topic. Thinking is good. Or, at least, I like to do a lot of it. No one “involved” in any way in the recent occurrence I am thinking about (if you even know what it is, and very few people will) is responsible for anything I have thought, felt, or worried about. No one is responsible, in that situation, for anything having to do with ME. That’s the strongest  reassurance I can give you. OK, my reassurance measures are complete.

ANOTHER NOTE: I apologize for this not being in very accessible language. I am thinking in long stringy sentences today and not able to even think about how to shorten them.

I recently experienced the complete downside of being Out Autistic. It was unpleasant, exhausting, frightening, and other adjectives that are not coming to mind right now. You see, I had one little area of my life in which I was not OUT AUTISTIC, because I really needed to focus on other aspects of that “area of life.” While I did not particularly want to “hide” being Autistic, as I have no reason to be ashamed of being Autistic, other than the usual internalized ableism, which I work hard to counter….it just did not seem to make sense for me to talk about autism in that context. I thought it could make me lose my focus, which really needed to be on other things.

I am now OUT in that place, and feeling very uncomfortable about it. Still. I will get used to it. It’s not a HUGE deal. Not as huge a deal as someone who is NOT OUT being suddenly thrust into the position of having their autism known and maybe losing a job. Part of why it was unpleasant, exhausting, and frightening was the conversations I had around the topic and not the actual event itself.

Let me say a little bit here about risks in general for Autistic people, both adults and children, before I go into the risks of being “out” Autistic. These are farden-variety, everyday risks that people with disabilities or any other differences face routinely. The short version is that Autistic, both children and adults, whether "out" or not, can experience everything from condescending attitudes to outright discrimination, at school, on the job, on the playground, at the grocery store, in church, at the doctor’s office (scary, when one cannot access appropriate health care). The above can happen to Autistics whether we are out or not.

This is what I would like people to know about those of us who are OUT Autistic. I am not speaking for ALL Out Autistics, because I know some for whom this does not matter (Ari Ne’eman comes to mind, although he probably has some limits!):

-We should not be expected to be “on call” as Autistic all the time.

-Because we are Autistic does not mean we are Autistic in the way that is convenient for others. Typically “out Autistics” are thought of as “high-functioning,” and that “high-functioning” is sometimes interpreted as though we will understand and comply with non-autistic agendas. Sometimes being OUT is for our agendas, not for other people’s. Who knew. I have a total problem with functioning labels, but I see them, in this case, as something that makes people (non-autistic) think that we understand and approve of their ideas about autism and about us.

-We are actually human beings with some need for privacy (Autistics often do have more needs for privacy, even we intrepid Out Autistics) just like everyone else. Even though we are in three (in my case) documentaries or have had our picture in magazines or have a rather extensive archive of what we have said and done at the IACC, or videos of us not being able to speak at times we might need to be less out in some places.

-When we made the decision to “come out of the Autistic closet” we perhaps did not understand or think about EVERY SINGLE RAMIFICATION of doing so, or project those possibilities far into our own futures and those of our families. If we subsequently prefer to not be OUT in some places, please respect that, if at all possible (sometimes it is not).

-Being Out Autistic does not protect us from discrimination. Being Out Autistic does not protect us from condescension. It does not protect us from being hurt. It does not give us an “exempt from discrimination passport.” Being articulate (at times) in either speaking or writing does not mean we will be “listened” to. Being Out Autistic does not mean people will cherish us for that Outness. Sometimes we worry about what others might be thinking about us. Non-autistics do this too. I know, because I have seen a boatload of self-help books over the decades, written for other-than-autistic people, about “How to Say No,” “How to Not Worry about What Others Think,” etc. So if we, in an unusual position in society, that of being Out Autistic, have some, even unfounded (!) fears, that is actually quite normal.

-Some things we have done as Out Autistics are things we feel quite proud of. Some of us (me) may have things we wish we had not done, or that we feel neutral about until we realize that particular thing does not go well with this particular situation, but THERE IT IS, FOR ALL TIME (unless the Internet crashes forever, or other archival sources disappear, or we move to another location [and the Internet would still have to crash]).

-Being Out Autistic does not make us emotional heroes. It does not make us emotionally invulnerable to worry, regardless of the stereotypes that we have not feelings/empathy/sympathy/concerns about what others might think or do. We might have more worries, given that we live in fairly unpredictable NT territory most of the time.

-We can’t anticipate, and neither can you, dear reader, when something that we are OUT about might end up being something we wish we were NOT OUT about, but sometimes these situations occur. Please do not expect us to be all perky about those times that being OUT is difficult for us.

NOTE: We can’t blame you for “outing us” accidentally if we have over 10,000 hits when you do a google search on our names! We can ask, if we know in advance, for some support in situations that are fraught in some way for us. (Personally I do not expect any support and rarely ask for it, but it would be nice for people to offer it).

*Sally Anne refers to the Sally Anne test , purported to test “Theory of Mind” in Autistics.

Radical Neurodivergence Speaking: Autistic People Are ... Strong

This post is reprinted with permission and originally appeared on Radical Neurodivergence Speaking, which you can visit by clicking the link. 


This is a post for the flashblog in response to google's autofill suggestions to complete the query "autistic people are". Clearly they need some better ideas, since what is there now is offensive and horrific.

You know the saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"? Well, if that's true (which I will debate another time), autistic people are the baddest asses around.

Autistic people are born into a world that doesn't want us. Even if we don't have a diagnosis, we know from a very early age that who we are is not who those around us want us to be.

If we are not diagnosed, we go through torture, only they call it bullying and say if we don't want to be bullied we'll act normal. If we are diagnosed, we go through torture, only they call it therapy, and say it is to help us act normal.

And yet here we are. Here we are standing strong, together, saying we are people, we are worthy as we are, and we do not deserve to be hated just for being.

Autistic people are strong. We endure. We are resilient. We may take damage, yet here we stand, even so. We may have come through bruised and broken, but still we stand, and still we stand fighting.

Because we are strong.

We are so strong, that here we stand together against google and against a huge majority-we're only 1 in 88, after all, and many of our number old enough to have blogs don't know the word "autism" applies to them, or they don't have access to computers because of poverty or because they live in institutions. So here we stand, a tiny minority of the population, with precious few allies who belong to the majority, saying "you need to stop this".

Because we, Autistic people, are incredibly, amazingly, strong.

Molotov Med Cocktail: My Post for the "Autistic People Are..." Flashblog

The Colonel was very nice and said we could reprint her piece for the flashblog. It came from here.

This is of me and my husband at our totally-not-a-wedding-reception party. If you do recognize me or my husband, I request that you keep it to yourselves-- I'm out as an NLD'er, but my hubby is not really out as an Aspie, and that is best for at least another couple of months. That's why I picked a picture of him mostly turned away. 

You should contribute to the "Autistic People Are..." flashblog! It runs until March 2nd, so you still have time! I'm going to suggest for this one that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Better yet, if you're not going to be triggered by doing so, let Google search auto-complete the phrase "Autistic People Are" for you. With the exception of "Autistic People Are Smart," all of the phrases that came up were exactly what this flash blog is trying not to do. So don't be hatin'. As recent events have revealed, if you have any stuff to say about how "inspirational" Autistics are, you might want to avoid that too as many people have been triggered by that.

And with that said, I bid you good blogging!

Emma's Hope Book: Autistic People Are

This is a reprint of Ariane Zurcher's post, with her permission, which you can read on her blog Emma's Hope Book.

*Following on the heels of the tremendously successful “Autistic people should…” flash blog last Saturday, today’s flash blog has bloggers adding their thoughts to “Autistic people are…”

Autistic people are…   

human beings.  

with the same rights as anyone else.  


as diverse as those who are not Autistic.  

Autistic people are.  

Welcome to the human race.  

Now let’s start treating them as such.

For some history and the flash blog link, click ‘here‘.

As a direct result of last Saturday’s flash blog and thanks to the hard work by Yes, That Too, Unstrangemind and many other Autistic bloggers, this happened - Google Changes Policy for Autism 

While those policies have not yet gone into effect, it is hopeful news and a wonderful first step.

Not-Allistic: Autistic People Are

AUTISTIC PEOPLE ARE IMPORTANT. If you don’t learn anything else, then learn THAT. Autistics are NOT a burden and we are NOT so broken we have to prove our worth with nifty skills to be allowed to live in your world. Autistics have every right to live here, whether we do what YOU want us to or not. And when we DO get stuff done? It can be really cool. And it’s important. Because we are good at things. And it’s not always something you can even see, but it is important. And sometimes we do things that look flashy and shiny and cool, like inventing computers. Or relativity. Or the Declaration of Independence.

But AUTISTIC PEOPLE ARE worth more than just what we can do for NTs. We’re people. That makes us worth something anyway. You don’t always recognize us as people, so when we try to talk about why you shouldn’t kill us, because this world is so fucked up that we have to give you a reason NOT to commit murder, we talk about how we can do cool stuff like revolutionize science a few different times in history. But that’s just playing right into your hands.

So. Then you think maybe autistic people are okay, but only the ones who are like Jefferson and Avogadro and Gates, not the ones that aren’t really smart and really cool. You say that THOSE AUTISTICS OVER THERE have the minds of three-year-olds.

But someone with the actual mind of a three-year-old? STILL NOT OKAY TO KILL THEM, OR HURT THEM. So you think the autistic has the mind of a three-year-old. So let’s take an actual three-year-old. Okay to kill them? Of course not! Well, maybe it’s because they’ll grow up, maybe you only value the grown-up the three-year-old is going to become.

So let’s say the three-year-old has a disease. And it’s not going to hurt, like autism isn’t going to hurt (not that autism makes you immune to diseases that DO hurt, like all the GI issues biomed parents go on and on about), but let’s say it’ll painlessly kill the kid the day they turn four.

OK to kill them now? OK to do whatever you want to? OK to treat the kid like autistics get treated? OK to throw them in an institution or something?

If you think that’s okay, YOU aren’t okay. But I’m okay.

Autistic people are okay. That’s all I’m saying.

Yes, That Too: 自闭症者是/自閉症者是

Originally on Yes, That Too.








From Syracuse Typers: Hesham, Scott, Rick, Jamie

Autistic People Are: Smart, cool, great friends. High but light on might. My best friends; intelligent. My people/friends.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Autistic People Should Get Credit Where Credit Is Due

Trigger warning: Murder, erasure

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.

This is also why.

Trigger Warning: The google search autocompletes.
On Autistic People Should, I talked about why we're doing this, some. Here's some reasons for this one.
Googling Autistic People:

Apparently, people search that we are annoying, smart, and denied organ transplants.
Checking Facebook for the same. I didn't even finish typing, but Facebook already says we're dangerous and hard workers. They also say we hate Autism Speaks, which tends to be true, and with good reason. Their brand of awareness is responsible for a lot of problems. They could change these perceptions, but they reinforce them instead. 

Judy googled "autistic people are" and got autocomplete suggestions saying that we are:
  • annoying
  • smart
  • evil
  • r*****ed
It looks like we're also dangerous and rude.

And calling us people with autism? We're still apparently dangerous, smart, annoying, and stupid.
I think you can see the problem. Remember this, tomorrow, and blog.

Screenshot sources:
(1): ME!