Sunday, November 1, 2015

On our terms.

Able to talk face to face with scripts and certain topics anticipated.  Usual conversations make for happy companions that bloom and blossom like flowers reaching for the sun.  One on one I am content. 

Confusion arises when new topics are introduced; too many voices chiming in at once, outside noises also fighting to be heard.  No filter everything crashes in.  No time to consider words or thoughts, lost in the onslaught, meltdown cresting.  

Happier in silence only my fingers speaking on the keyboard, time is given to formulate thoughts and ideas appear on the screen before they are sent out into the world.  Happier on my own terms in an environment that I control.

Autistics speaking everyday online, in-person, on AAC, but always on our terms.   


Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Happy Autistic Pride Day to one and all!

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Autistic Pride Day, which was first celebrated by the British Autistic rights group Aspies for Freedom.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

12 Myths about Autism

12 Myths about Autism
April 2014, by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. 

1. Autism is contagious.

Nope! You can’t catch Autism. Autism is something some people are born with, like blue eyes or red hair or a brain that is very good at some things and has more trouble with others.


2. Autism is caused by vaccines.

Vaccines do not cause Autism. Please make sure your kids get their shots.


3. Autism is a disease.

Nope! Autism is a developmental disability some people are born with, like dyslexia or Down Syndrome. It is not a disease. It is a difference, and a disability.


4. Autism is a tragedy.

Nope! With the right support, Autistic people can go to school, communicate, work, live in the community, have friends, get married, start families, vote, pursue
their interests, and anything else they might want to do.


5. Autistic people are eternal children.

Nope! Autistic people grow up. An Autistic 20 year old is not a toddler in a 20 year old’s body–they are an Autistic 20 year old.


6. You can grow out of Autism.

Nope! Autism is a life-long developmental disability. Autistic children grow up into Autistic adults. The same percentage of adults and children are Autistic.


7. Autism means not being able to speak.

Communication disability is a part of diagnostic criteria for Autism, but most Autistic people do develop the ability to talk. About 15-20% of Autistic people do
not develop oral speech. They can use Augmentative and Alternative Communication to speak for themselves.


8. Autism means intellectual disability.

About 15-25% of Autistic people also have an intellectual disability. Most Autistic people are not intellectually disabled. Intellectual disability is not a part of Autism,
but some people have both.


9. Autistic people lack empathy.

Nope! Autistic people feel empathy for other people. Autistic people are people, not robots.


10. All Autistic people are savants.

About 10% of Autistic people have savant skills like perfect pitch, photographic memory, or calendar calculation. Most Autistic people are not savants.


11. Autistic people suffer from Autism.

Autistic people suffer from prejudice and discrimination. Autistic people suffer when they do not get the support and accommodation they need, when they receive substandard or segregated education or living environments, when they are kept out of the community or kept unemployed, when their civil and human rights are violated, or when their access to communication and the right to make decisions about their lives, bodies, and futures are denied. Autistic people do not suffer from Autism.


12. Only boys are Autistic.

An Autistic woman wrote this factsheet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Discrimination against Autistic persons - UN Human Rights

Discrimination against Autistic persons
Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 3:28 pm
Press Release: United Nations Human Rights Commissioner

Discrimination against Autistic persons, the rule rather than the exception – UN rights experts

GENEVA (30 March 2015) – Two United Nations human rights experts today called for an end to discrimination against Autistic persons and a celebration of diversity. Speaking ahead of World Autism Awareness Day, the Special Rapporteurs on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, and on the right to health, Dainius PÅ«ras, noted that about one per cent of the world’s population -some 70 million people- is estimated to be on the Autism Spectrum worldwide.

“As part of human diversity, Autistic persons should be embraced, celebrated and respected. However, discrimination against Autistic children and adults is more the rule rather than the exception.

In many countries, Autistic persons lack access to services which would support, on an equal basis with others, their right to health, education, employment, and living in the community. When available, services are too often far from human rights friendly or evidence-based.

Autistic persons are particularly exposed to professional approaches and medical practices which are unacceptable from a human rights point of view. Such practices – justified many times as treatment or protection measures – violate their basic rights, undermine their dignity, and go against scientific evidence.

Autistic children and adults face the proliferation of medicalized approaches relying on the over-prescription of psychotropic medications, their placement in psychiatric hospitals and long-term care institutions, the use of physical or chemical restraint, electro-impulsive therapy, etc. This may be particularly harmful and lead to the deterioration of their condition. All too often, such practices amount to ill-treatment or torture.

The Autism Spectrum should be understood from a broader perspective, including in research. We call for caution about enthusiastic attempts to find the causes of Autism and ways to ‘cure’ Autism through sophisticated but not necessarily ethical research. Autism as a condition is a critical challenge for modern health systems, in which we need to ensure that the practice and science of medicine is never again used to cause the suffering of people.

More investment is needed in services and research into removing societal barriers and misconceptions about Autism. Autistics persons should be recognized as the main experts on Autism and on their own needs, and funding should be allocated to peer-support projects run by and for Autistic persons.

It is about providing individuals and families with the necessary skills and support to have choice and control over their lives. It is also about equal opportunities, access to inclusive education and mainstream employment to achieve equality and rights enjoyment by Autistic persons. It is about promoting their independence and respecting their dignity.
Autistic persons should be respected, accepted and valued in our societies, and this can only be achieved by respecting, protecting and fulfilling their basic rights and freedoms.”

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Of Autism Acceptance Day and Autism Acceptance Month

To all who read this blog...

I am writing to ask you to wear RED and encourage your family to do so too, not blue, on April 2nd to show your support for me and other Autistics!  Autistics, our family members, our friends, and other allies are going to #WalkInRed that day. 

The #WalkInRed campaign is an effort by #ActuallyAutistic individuals to rally support for #AutismAcceptance.  This campaign thrives on Facebook and Twitter, it is in conjunction with #BoycottAutismSpeaks.  To find out more about it please click here:

Thank you for not Lighting It Up Blue with Autism Speaks, but instead standing in support of Autistic people and wearing RED.

April is Autism Acceptance Month.  Here is a great video that will describe more about Autism Acceptance Month, etc.  Ask an Autistic - Why Acceptance? Autism Acceptance Month

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Day of Mourning 2015

Today is a very solemn day in the Disability Community, a day that we have set aside to mourn our collective dead murdered at the hands of parents and other caregivers.  

Today is our 4th annual Day of Mourning organized by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, ADAPT, Not Dead Yet, and the National Council on Independent Living to remember people with disabilities who have lost their lives at the hands of their family members or caregivers. Join us to remember those we have lost, and remind the world that their lives had value...  

There are in-person vigils being held all across the U.S., in Canada, and abroad, but there is also a virtual one that you can join anywhere you are.

The chatroom opened at 3:00 pm EST, March 1, 2015. The live video broadcast began at 3:00 pm. Both will run until 7:00 pm EST or until we are done.: 

Monday, January 12, 2015

An Open Letter About Autism Acceptance to Pope Francis from Amy Sequenzia

January 12, 2015, by Autistic activist Amy Sequenzia, posted on the Autism Women’s Network site 
Dear Pope Francis: 
I think I am supposed to call you “Your Holiness”. I am here to teach you some important things about Autism, about being Autistic, and about Autism Speaks. 
You recently met with Suzanne Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, and your lack of understanding about my neurology and about who I am makes it look like you don’t care about social justice. 
Yes, I am Autistic, Disabled and proud. 
I don’t want pity. 
I don’t need Ms. Wright’s hateful words. 
Autism Speaks does not speak for me. 
I will use her speech to teach you and show why cure and prevention of Autism go against my human rights. 
I will “translate” the speech, I will tell you the real meaning of Suzanne Wright’s words. 
First, you need to know what Autism Speaks really stands for: hate. 
Autism Speaks raises money by demonizing people like me, and by martyring parents, as if parenting Autistics is a burden, and a tragic living. 
Autism Speaks also ignores Autistic adults, people like me, very disabled and very proud of my neurology. 
Now, the speech. 
Suzanne Wright starts by saying Autism is a health crisis. 
Wrong. We are not diseased or Disordered. Autism is our identity, like the color of our skin. Is there a “black people health crisis”? An “Asian health crisis”? I think you get my point. 
She says that “Autism families” suffer. She can’t even use the correct words. Autism families are only a thing if all the members are Autistic. 
The only suffering comes through her hateful rhetoric and stigmatization. 
What she really meant was that in her distorted view of Autism, all Autistics cause suffering to non-Autistic family members. See how she does not see us as sentient beings? 
Then she talks about how everyone is tired of us, the extreme work for no reward. She does not sound too concerned with her faith. Doesn’t the Catholic Church teach that heaven is for the poor and humble? 
She mentions the lack of information about Autism, purposefully leaving out how Autism Speaks, under her guidance, misinforms the public. 
She briefly mentions her grandson, trying to paint him as pitiful. Well, I am an adult with a lot of needs and my friends say I am pretty awesome. 
Suzanne Wright not only diminishes Autistic people’s experiences of the world, she also shows her ableism toward people who have Hansen’s disease, referring to them as lepers. 
To her, we are to be viewed as undesirable, unapproachable, not to be touched, while our parents are saints, doing (according to her) the ultimate act of love a parent of an Autistic person can do: look at us. 
This is a very messed up statement, from a supposedly loving grandmother. 
To Suzanne Wright, Autistic people do not deserve appreciation or respect for just being. We are only to be valued if we can be, act and look “less Autistic”. 
Then, she calls us not human enough. She states that we don’t learn, worry, rejoice, live. She decided that our dreams and wishes are unimportant and not worthy of anyone’s attention. 
What Suzanne Wright says her organization does is simply a lie. The truth is that Autism Speaks uses only 3% of the donations it receives to help Autistics and their families. Autistics adults are not even considered by the organization. Most of the money raised is to enrich executives and to find a genetic marker, with this objective: selective abortions. And she brought St. Francis to the conversation. How can the Catholic Church reconcile it’s rejection of abortion, yet allow a speech from someone whose mission in life is to find a way to, through selective abortion, make sure people like me do not exist? 
The isolation, harassment, shame and disgrace she mentions should be spelled out as the mission statement of her organization, since that’s what Autism Speaks engages on with full force. 
The blue light she talks about? It magically turns into green dollars, used in propaganda that demonizes us, martyrs our families, and ignores our voices. Propaganda like her speech to you. 
The lies about how she really feels about us don’t change the reality of what her organization promotes: her “village” is not welcoming to, or safe for us, Autistics who just want to be, to exist. 
Suzanne Wright lacks humbleness. She believes that she is on a mission to rid the world of Autism, of Autistics. She does not listen to the many Autistics saying that our lives are worthy, that she is wrong and hurtful. But her goal of portraying Autism as a devastating disease, of portraying Autistics as less than useless human beings, is advanced by her savvy marketing skills. She uses fear to spread hate – packaged as compassion – and she uses her wealth to gain access. 
She gained access to you, dear Pope Francis. 
She spread her lies, disguised as a call to love.
You now know the truth, easily confirmed by how she directs her organization. 
I am Autistic, Disabled and proud. 
I know what Autism is. 
Your Holiness, are you going to silence me? Are you going to deny my wholeness, my perfect humanity, as imperfect as all humans are, still deserving of a life free from hateful attacks? 
Suzanne Wright has an agenda and it goes against my right to exist.
What are you going to do in support of my right to be, just as I am? 
What are you going to do about all Autistics right to exist, just like we are? 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

2015 is fresh and new, let this be the year you welcome an Autistic person of any age into your circle of friends, we have much to offer and should be given a chance to share our unique view of the world with you.  Take some time to get to know us, we may just surprise you.  Let 2015 be a year of Acceptance!

Happy New Year from the Autism Acceptance Digest!