All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that. And I intend to end up there...Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking. If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison...I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way. Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

Search This Blog

08 March 2009

Autistic Community

Connect to Autistic Perspectives

The Internet has been a monumental force in bringing together individuals on the autistic spectrum--from all over the world. A large portion of this community supports a social movement by and for autistic people that aims to spread awareness of neurodiversity, as well as the acceptance of autistics as a unique person-hood and not as a defective part of humanity deserving of extermination, prejudice, and stigma. 

Perhaps you have heard the term Aspie used to refer to an Asperger's autistic person, or the term Autie used to refer to an autistic person. Some autistic individuals use these terms, while others find them obnoxious and offensive. On the other hand, the term neurotypical (NT) is often used in reference to a person who is not on the autistic spectrum. There's always the simple term non-autistic.

Advocacy is central to the Autistic community. Changing public perception, correcting autism myths, and encouraging forward movements in public policy are some examples of advocacy within the community. Please visit Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) to learn more.

Why is there a need for an Autistic community and what is the point? 

Those questions can be countered by asking why autistics should take a back seat to any mission that dismisses the voice of autistic individuals. Does the existence of disability rights really need to be questioned? 

Organizations that claim to raise autism awareness, or to speak for autistics, when in reality they are amassing funds to support eugenics, have little to do with positive productive autism awareness.

Autistic children become autistic adults. Widespread services and support for individuals on the spectrum is desperately needed. Funds going toward cures is neither what the Autistic community is asking for, nor what it needs. What the community does need is support in the here and now: access, acceptance, accommodation, integration, opportunity, and legal protection. 

Disabled people should be included in any decision-making regarding information, laws, policies, and treatments that directly effect our community. Nothing About Us Without Us!

Further reading:

Autistic Self Advocacy Network, SW Ohio: Why Autism Speaks Does Not Speak for Us

Ballastexistenz: Archive for 'Autistic Community'

The Autism Acceptance Project

The Washtenaw Voice: Neurodiversity project aims to promote, empower 'different brains' on campus

No comments:

Post a Comment