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I provide information to help people understand the difference between awareness, acceptance, and appreciation. Many Autistics find awareness campaigns harmful. I explain why Autistic voices need to be centred in these conversations.
I was recently interviewed for a local CBC radio program called Up To Speed. The assistant producer contacted me to set up the interview because they wanted to centre Autistic voices in the conversation.
That in itself is a wonderful change in the narrative — typically it’s allistic (non-Autistic) organizations speaking on our behalf, without even consulting or listening to us.
I’m very glad the interview was pre-recorded because I was extremely nervous and rambling and awkward. I have no idea how much of the interview will make the cut (my apologies to whoever is tasked with editing).
Fortunately I did have the opportunity to talk about Autistic pride versus pathologization and identity-first language. We discussed how and why the puzzle-piece and deficits model are harmful, self-identification (i.e. self-diagnosing Autism), and touched lightly on barriers to formal diagnosis.
The interview won’t be aired until Wednesday afternoon, so to tide you over until then, I share with you my writings on these topics (and more!).
Autism “awareness” campaigns tell parents to “watch out” for the warning signs their child could be Autistic. They spread hurtful messages about how hard it is to live with an Autistic person. Moving far beyond "awareness", we celebrate our AuSomeness.
Sometimes the established ways of doing things are in need of upgrades **Please note: These are common characteristics of Autistic communication, which does *not* mean they apply to all Autistics.
Some of you are nice people, but you need help with your social skills, so I’m going to give you my top three tips to help you improve your communication. (You’re welcome). This whole “respectful” communication thing has gone way too far...
April is Autistic Pride Month! I recognize most neurotypical (NT) people who use these symbols have good intentions and are trying to support Autistic people. The first step to becoming an ally to a marginalized group is to actually listen to them...
I wrote this after reading an article arguing that highly sensitive people (HSP) and Autistic people are not the same. The article then went on to describe all the ways in which they are, in fact, The. Same. Thing.
At the beginning of this year, I wrote a piece entitled The “Highly Sensitive Person” is Code for Autistic, after reading a popular psychology article which claimed to differentiate the two, then described all the ways in which they are the same thing.
Apparently some clinicians think this is an okay term to casually throw around. CityTV in Vancouver recently did a news story on the social & emotional difficulties faced by our younger students who have spent their formative years growing up in the midst of a global pandemic.
Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.
I realize that most neurotypical (NT) people who use these symbols have good intentions and are trying to support Autistic people. The best way to be an ally to a marginalized group is to actually listen to them.
Every April, many autistics experience re-traumatization through the use of blue profile frames and puzzle pieces everywhere. Every year, autistic activists and regular citizens try to educate others and are shouted down by neurotypicals who claim to know better.
Autistic Appreciation: We're well aware of autism. We need to start appreciating autistic people. Except the most well-known group which claims to support and advocate for autistics and their families actually perpetuates myths, stereotypes, and philosophies based in eugenics.
Some people saw my anti puzzle piece image and immediately began complaining that I was "shaming" parents of autistic children and autistics who choose to identify with the puzzle piece. This is not the case.
Step one: learn from the experiences of actually autistic people. Spoiler alert: If you clicked this article, have been wondering if you might be autistic, and have been trying to research autistic traits — you probably are.
Challenging stereotypes and describing some lesser-known Autistic traits. Autism in cis-women, trans women, non-binary folks, and anyone who doesn't present the typical way. Many non-conforming and marginalized people are misdiagnosed.
Most literature about ADHD & autism focuses on our deficits, painting us as “disordered”, pathologizing our very existence. Yes, neurodivergent people struggle, as do neurotypical people. We also have a lot of strengths, gifts, & positive qualities.
Often purveyed by neurotypical-led organizations.
Grassroots movements started by Actually Autistic people.
Support Autistic content creators, artists, entrepreneurs, writers, etc. by buying, sharing, and promoting their work or business.
For April 2023, we'll be using the hashtags #AutisticPride and #DivergentVoices - Post your content using these hashtags, and we'll be sure to share and promote your work too. If you're not sure what to create, or need some inspiration, we've got some themes and prompts for the next five weeks.
Special thanks to Giraffe Party for their hard work in developing these weekly themes, prompts, and ideas. Find more on their website at https://imapartygiraffe.com/neurodiversityvoices2023
I have free images available in my online store for download to help you celebrate Autistic pride month in style!
Neurodiversity Manitoba, Incorporated
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