Monday, February 25, 2013

High Functioning Momism: "Autistic People Should" not be pigeonholed

She quoted Phantom Tollbooth in her post. Just saying.
“Yes, indeed,” they repeated together; “but if we’d told you then, you might not have gone—and, as you’ve discovered, so many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.”And for the remainder of the ride Milo didn’t utter a sound.” 
I mean, the rest of the post is cool too. She seems to know what's up.
Assigning a set of “can” and “can’t dos” to autistic people, especially children who are so young and impressionable, can define the rest of their lives. Who are we to limit their potential? Autistic people have a capacity to learn and grow and change just like their neurotypical counterparts. Affixing a set of expectations and limitations onto a person simply because of their neurodiversity is prejudicial and dangerous.
That's some real talk, there. And worth reading the rest of. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Understanding Autism: Autistic People Should

Understanding Autism wrote a poem!

Autistic People Should

Autistic people should be the voice we’ve never heard
As we debate and argue over concepts of their worth.
Autistic people should articulate what’s on their mind
As we neurotypicals discuss ‘No child left behind’.
Autistic people should explain why they are clever
To ignore what we insist they can’t do, now or ever
And as we limit the perimeters of what ‘autistic people should’
Let’s call a spade a spade, for it’s us who are being rude
For who are we to decide what another is to do.
Shame on them who deigned to type the words
‘Autistic people should’.

Sharon Didrichsen

Yes, That Too: Autistic People Should Be Considered The Experts On Autism

I'm allowed to reprint things from myself  :) I gave myself permission!

Nekobakaz has it right. Autistic people are the experts on living in Autistic brains. We've spent our whole lives Autistic, after all. 
And mainstream autism experts get so much wrong, and they do it so obviously. Think about it. 
Musings of an Aspie tells us that Autistic people should question everything. She tells us to question the experts who think:
  • Autistic people don't realize others have minds.
  • Autism is an exaggeration of male habits.
  • Autistic children play "wrong" because they lack creativity and imagination.
  • Autistic people don't get married or have children. ("Autistic People Should...")
I do, of course, question them. I question their ideas, and I question their expertise. If they were truly expert, they would not come up with things that are so wrong and be so insistent that these falsehoods must be so.
Because, well, "everybody is the world's foremost authority on what's it's like to live inside their own body" (Wetering.) I would add that everybody is also the world's foremost authority on what it's like to live inside their own brain. It shouldn't need adding, since the brain is part of the body, but people do often separate the mental from the physical and autism is in how the brain is wired. 
But so-called experts deny this. So-called experts tell us that Temple Grandin's books are worthless for understanding autism (they are privilege denying, which is different.) When an "expert" says that Grandin "cannot possibly get the concept of what it is like to be herself" (Grace 96,) we know it is time to question.
So I do.
And it's not just me, either. Dr. Grace wants to "Occupy Autism Expertise" (Grace 96.) Paula is having a TweetChat with Autism Womens Network about the "Autism Experts" site, where Autistic people are the autism Experts. Amy says we have the most valuable information on autism because we live it every day (Sequenzia.) Karla thinks we should lead the discussion on autism (Fisher.) Flashbloggers covered the idea that Autistic people should be heard, with one explicitly stating that we should be considered the experts on autism. 
So we should. The closing thought of the flashblog itself? Autistic people should be considered the experts on autism.

Works Cited
"Autistic People Should..." Web log post. Musings of an Aspie. N.p., 23 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.
Becker, Corina. "Autistic People Should Be Considered the Experts on Autism." Web log post. Wibbly-Wobbly Ramblings. N.p., 23 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <>.
Fisher, Karla. Autistic People Should Lead! Digital image. Karla's ASD Page. N.p., 23 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.
Grace, Elizabeth J. "Autistic Community and Culture: Silent Hands No More." Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking. By Julia Bascom. Washington, DC: Autistic, 2012. 95-99. Print.
Sequenzia, Amy. "Autistic People Should..." Autism Women's Network. N.p., 23 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.
Wetering, Jodie. "Autistic People Should..." Web log post. Letters from Aspergia. N.p., 24 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.

From the Syracuse Typers

Autistic People Should: Be Included. Loved like sons and daughters normal. Not be treated like second class citizens; be included in all aspects of life. (Hesham, Scott, Rick, Jamie)
Be truly understood as the understanders they are. (Cheli and Jamie)

extemporarysanity: Autistic People Should

More reprints! The original is here.

Be loud and proud!  And when I say “loud” I mean that in many ways beyond the production of phonemes that most of society seems to place such a high value on.  Anyone who truly believes that there is a connection between being able to produce verbal speech and being an intelligent human being should should Google “Tea Party Politics”  and look for some quotes. But I digress …
Autistic people should be loud.  We should not be hidden away, silenced or denied access to communication.  That happens when “experts” decide that we are too “low functioning” to be worth the investment of resources, or too old to learn. Sometimes they also decide we are so “high functioning” that we don’t need support and we are silenced by bullies. In other words ignorance keeps us silent, not autism.
Autistic people should be loud.  It’s okay to “sound” Autistic. We should make noise if we need to to self regulate.  If I need to hum to concentrate then I should bloody well be allowed to hum as long as it’s not making it impossible for others to concentrate. Further, nobody should ASSUME that it is making it impossible without asking them.  If I echo the last word of every sentence then I echo the last word of every sentence.  What’s it to you?  FYI – Einstein did that too and he turned okay.
Autistic people should be loud.  We should be asked what we think when the topic is autism. We should tell people when we disagree.  We should not be afraid to say what we think and we should not let ourselves become slaves to social anxiety.
Autistic people should be proud.  We have done some really great things – even if they have not been recognized by the history books.  It’s true, many people speculate that some great historic figures have been Autistic and I agree that most probably were.  I’m not talking about their contributions though.  I’m talking about the brave folks who battle sensory integration dysfunction, to take public transportation or navigate through a crowd.  I’m talking about folks who face down social anxiety to go to work everyday. I’m talking about people who survive abuse.  We are strong.  We’ve had to be.  We should be proud of that.
Autistic people should be proud – of who we are.  Because every one of us is unique and beautiful in our own way.  Autistic people – let’s be loud and proud together.

Of Moms and Monsters: Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Reprinted from Of Moms and Monsters!

I just read about this "flash-blog" - called Autistic People Should...
The premise of this is based on the auto-fill results when you type 'Autistic People Should" into a Google search bar.  The outcome is downright disturbing at best.  In an effort to change this, a blog has been created, allowing others to post about what they think 'Autistic People Should' be...
I know they originally called for individuals with autism to be the posters - but as a mother of not just one, but most likely two autistic children, I feel the need to jump on board with this and throw my voice into the mix.  So, here goes.  
Autistic People Should be cherished.  They should be treated like the kind of valuable gems that they are.  
Autistic People Should be respected.  They face more challenges than most people will ever even know, and they will do it with the kind of grace that most of us should be so lucky to possess.  They thrive in a world of people who doubt them.  They shine in a world of people who try to hide their brilliance.  When we should all make it our goals to help them shine brighter.
Autistic People Should be recognized.  For the strength they possess, the wonder and awe they bring to those around them.  For the incredibly different way they see the world. For the joy and laughter they bring to the people they let know them.  
Autistic People Should be taught.  Not to see the world like everyone else.  Not to conform to societal ideas of what it is to be "normal".  They should be taught that it is more than okay - it's wonderful to be different.  To set themselves apart.  To love the things that fascinate them.  To be who they are without shame, compromise, or feelings of inadequacy.  
It isn't autistic people who should do anything - it's every other person in the world.  It is every person who does nothing.  It is every person who refuses to take five seconds to learn something about another human being.  It is all of the people who judge, and shush, and shun.  It is the people who work against, instead of with.  It is every system that has a fatal flaw in the design when built for "typical" people.  We have left-handed scissors and guitars.  We have wheelchair accessible ramps and bathrooms.  But we don't have academics to suit our autistic children.  We don't send our teachers to be trained on how to teach an autistic child.  We don't have sensory friendly grocery stores, or playgrounds.  
Autistic People Should be THEMSELVES.  Because that is what makes them beautiful, brilliant, quirky, life-affirming human beings.  They bring magic back into a world that long ago lost some of its luster.  They are nothing short of miracles.  And anyone who doesn't recognize that, is missing out.  

The Awe Sea: Autistic people should... be Heard.

Reprinted from The Awe Sea.

Autistic people should be empowered to express their own views in their own “voices” and to have those voices and views respected

to ensure that

Autistic people should be full participants in the social, political, medical, educational, scientific, and other public discourses that affect them

so that

Autistic people should be able to make decisions about their care, education, relationships, daily lives and issues that are important to them.

For this to happen,

Autistic people should be given opportunities to explore and develop language through Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) beginning in early childhood,


Autistic people should have access to the communication technology they choose to make their “voices” heard and to have these communication needs accommodated,


Autistic people should be respected and engaged as equal members of the community,

that is,

Autistic people should be valued as members of We the People in whatever state or country or nation in which they live

just like everyone else

Autistic people should be loved, valued, engaged as who they are and not who others wish them to be

because at their core

Autistic people are people and should have their human and civil rights respected

and always, always

Autistic people should be treated as active agents in their own lives and not as passive objects of others’ decisions, scorn, ridicule, anger, torture abuse and ignorance.

drive mom crazy: Autistic people should...

Jason wrote. He has a lot of should's.
Autistic people should prove to the rest of society wrong about the stigmas and negative hype of Autistics
Autistic people should be able to contribute with what they can do
Autistic people should live their lives happily
Autistic people should not get upset about what other people think regardless of what society thinks
Autistic people should be be able to live life like any body else
Autistic people should do more OUTREACHING to their Autistic friends who need more help
Autistic people should listen more to the rest of society when the rest of society wants to have a conversation
Autistic people should be included in conversations about them!
Autistic people should ALWAYS move forward without looking back…!
Autistic people are…the LOVE of the World, but we are very sensitive to the world at the same time, treat us well!
Autistic people should always remember how far they’ve come while moving forward!!!
Autistic people should know we are ONE community ready to support anyone who needs it!
Autistic people everywhere should gather at Autreat!
I'd add that Autistic people shouldn't need to have most of those shoulds, and that Autistic people shouldn't need to have most of the rest listed because they apply to everyone. But we do need to, because of the world we live in. That's why we're having the flashblog, right?
Now, go read the rest of his post.

Venna: Autistic people should... be allowed to just BE

Venna said we could reprint this here, so here it is. 

What would you do, if you were told that you were not allowed to listen to your favorite music, or read your favorite book, relax in your favorite chair or do any of the things you enjoy and help you feel at peace with the world? How would you feel if you were only allowed to eat food that burned your mouth, or only could wear clothes that were itchy or painful to wear? What about if everyone around you seemed to speak in riddles and inside jokes and you never felt able to participate in the conversations? Think about this for a moment, really think about it. These may be all things you take for granted and not even realize it. How uncomfortable would you feel just being? Always uncomfortable, overwhelmed perhaps even and with no way to help reset yourself from all of that input and irritation. Welcome to the world of autism.

I am writing this and hope it may be included in the flash blog being created to change the auto complete options when a person types 'autistic people should' into Google or Bing. Go ahead and do it, see what options you get. It's sad, it's scary and it's a little sickening, and no different from what people of minority ethnicity or alternate sexual orientation have dealt with in the past and fought tirelessly to eliminate. Here's the difference between those groups of people and people with autism; autistic people can't always fight for what they need because being part of the world and society can be painful for them, it can be a sensory nightmare and leave them filled with anxiety and physically and emotionally drained. Therefore, it is up to us 'normal' people to advocate and fight the fight that they may have difficulty fighting on their own. Granted there are many who do fight and fight very well, and they should be commended and everyone should listen to what they have to say. But at the end of their speech if they need to flap their hands, rock in their chair or step outside to walk in circles and hum, don't stare, this is their way of dealing with the emotional stress of speaking in a public forum, just as any of us might go out for fresh air, or go the the restroom to finally be able to relieve our bladders, or even have a cocktail to reward ourselves for a job well done.

When it comes down to it, NT and autistic people are not that different from one another. We all feel stress, we all feel pain, we all can feel fear and anxiety and we all deal with it in our own way. So what if an autistic needs to flap their hands to help them process the sensory stimuli all around them, they don't say anything about your foot tapping or leg jiggling, and essentially it's the same thing. So next time you happen to see someone pacing in circles, rocking in their chair, flapping their hands or hear them humming, don't stare. Just think of your favorite relaxation activity, and how you would feel if people stared at you while you were doing it and thought it was weird. NT people are allowed to just be who they are, the same human rights belong to autistic people also, because they are human, (no, they aren't aliens) and they have the same thoughts and feelings as any other human, and that being the case, autistic people should be allowed to just be. Because that's what the rest of us expect from the world around us, it should be the same for autistic people too.

speaKnots: Autistic people should... feel safe to accept themselves completely

Reprinted from speaKnots with permission.

In order for me to accept myself without reservation, I first had to understand how I was contributing to the social prejudices against people with disabilities. For quite some time after my autism diagnosis, I struggled with complete reception of my differences and challenges. Over the past couple years I progressively came to a painful realization that my own internalized ableism adversely impacted my life in various ways, including my advocacy. With candor, I admit that I continue to fight lingering fragments every day. These deeply ingrained ableist-views have refused to tip-toe quietly into the night, especially after spending a lifetime believing it was my responsibility to accommodate others in toxic attempts to promote that typical is normal.

Autistic People Should… feel safe to accept themselves completely.

Autistic people should not have to find themselves contributing to ableism, due to a systemic belief-system which promotes a cookie-cutter version of normal as the acceptable way toward full and meaningful lives.

It would be wonderful if all Autistic people grew up believing in themselves, honoring their individuality and understanding they are whole... just likeHenry Frost.

The universe may still be antagonistic toward anything that doesn't present fashionably into its translation of normal, but I’m not looking back.

* (I had intended my first post after reopening my blog to be on tokenism, but I put together a few thoughts when I heard about “Autistic People Should…” a fantastical flashblog taking place today!)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Autistic People Should by AutistLiam

AutistLiam doesn't have a blog, but you can find them on twitter!

Autistic people should be loved. Autistic people should be respected. Autistic people should be treated with kindness and decency. Why? Because we're human too.

Autistic people should be full members of society. Because we are and we could do so much more if other people stopped thinking of us as eternal children (also: children? So much more capable than many people let them be).

Autistic people should be treasured. We see the world very differently from most people and our perspectives are useful and interesting. We have so much to offer the world and being treated like we're less than and not being supported to live our autistic lives in ways that are comfortable for us means we're spending all our energy trying to fit or to fight for our rights when we could be doing something more awesome and less tiring.

Autistic people should make our own decisions about our lives and be supported in those decisions instead of having our parents or other people choose for us all the time even when we are adults. Whether it's what to have for breakfast, who we want to be friends with or whether to keep a pregnancy, autistic people deserve to make their own choices and have those choices respected.

Autistic people should communicate in ways that work for us instead of always trying to communicate as close as possible to how NT people communicate. There may be more NT people than autistics but that doesn't make their ways of communicating any "better" than ours.

Autistic people should have access to Autistic culture.

Autistic people should be allies to other parts of the wider disabled community when they can.

Autistic people should be welcome everywhere. In schools and shops and synagogues and everywhere else people should expect autistic people to want to join in and make sure it's accessible for us.

Autistic people should be autistic. Because autistic is a good way for us to be. It's exhausting to try to pretend to be something you're not and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Let's stop expecting it of ourselves and our children. Happy real autistics who might seem a bit strange but an get on with what they want to do are much better than sad exhausted pretend NTs who have meltdowns when no one's looking.

Autistic people should be loved and respected and supported as part of society because we are people and we are here and we are here to stay.

the apparent apanthrope: Autistics Should

The apparent apanthrope thinks that if exterminating Autistic people is on your to-do list, your priorities are way off.
If you really think that autistic people are something you should be afraid of, or so dangerous that we need to be euthanized, go to your nearest hospital’s ICU. Look around*, reflect on the notion that I’m at home knitting, and tell me how the fuck your priorities got so screwed.
*Don't actually do that. The apanthrope tells you why at the end of their full post, which you should read.

tagAut: "Autistic People Should"...

tagAut gave me the OK to repost this from here.

Today is the new “Autistic People Should” day. It’s being done because when you type “autistic people should” into autocomplete search engines, you get some pretty disgusting top searches (for details, check out the Autistic People Should blog, and some of the posts there – I’m not going to honor that search by typing any of those terms into this post).
I had a hard time coming up with answers to that question. (Speaking of questions, I highly recommend reading Musings of an Aspie’s post on Autistic People Should in particular – it has some excellent details and suggestions.)
But I was thinking about it this morning, and I found myself coming up with some interesting (and hopefully much better) ways to complete that sentence.
Autistic people should be able to be themselves.
Autistic people should not have to be ashamed of / angry about / embarrassed about / humiliated by who they are.
Autistic people should not have to conform to the social mores of allistic / neurotypical society. (Please note that I’m not saying anything here about the “moral” mores. What I mean is that we should not be expected to want to go out a lot, make lots of friends, enjoy loud and bright places, etc. We should still be held to the standards of not hurting people and the like. We are perfectly capable of that.)
Autistic people should be able to live in the way that they prefer. (Independent, independent with support, etc.)
Autistic people should be respected for who and what they are.
Autistic people should not be looked down upon as “defective” or “damaged”.
Autistic people should be listened to about who they are and what they want.
In other words: Autistic people should be treated like human beings, because that is what they are.
Thank you.
:| tagAught

Chenyg1976: Autistic People Should

Reprinted with Chenyg1976's permission.

Autistic people should shout. Shout to the world that turns a deaf ear to the autistic people for the world is too busy listening to its own voice.
Autistic people should wave their hands. Wave their hands in the public to get the attention they deserve. Because it’s not about us, without us.
Autistic people should laugh. Laugh at the ignorance the world has shown. Laugh at the absurdity that for all the brilliant minds the world could muster the result is still abysmal. Laugh at the silly notion that we are just “children”. Laugh at the notion that we are somehow less.
Autistic people should cry. Cry at the suffering and pain our people are going through in the well intentioned but incompetent hands of NT caretakers. Cry at the injustice and stigmatization we have to endure. Cry at the abuses many of us have to suffer, through childhood and into adulthood. Cry at the indifference the world has shown to the injustice done to us.
Autistic people should smile. For smile is beautiful and therapeutic. For smile is encouragement. For we should smile for confidence. We should smile for we have defied odds just to be here. We should smile because because we love ourselves, our Autistic being. We should smile because we love this world.
Autistic people should be angry. Angry at the prejudice, hatred, bigotry and discrimination.
Autistic people should be happy. Because the world we live in is a beautiful place. There are many loving, kind people in our lives. Every day we live is a day of celebration.
Autistic people should celebrate. Celebrate our lives. Our beauty, our talent, , our uniqueness, our diversity and our very being. Celebrate that our voices are getting louder. Slowly but surely, our voice is getting through.
Autistic people should hope. Because a world without hope is a world we cannot survive.
Autistic people should persist. Because change doesn’t come easily. Because the natural tendency for people is to resist change. Only through persistence can we achieve a better understanding and a better acceptance of us autistic people in the general public.
Autistic people should love. We should love ourselves, our family, and everyone around us. We live in an imperfect world. Only through hope, and love, and persistence, can we make the world a better place tomorrow.
Autistic people should form communities. For we are a being, a culture unto ourselves. As such we should form bonds with each other. We should form communities that allow each of us to cherish, to develop, and grow each other, our culture and our awareness. To come the aid of those in need and to form a single coherent voice. To serve as a guiding light to all the autistics out there, to tell them that they are not alone and they are not failures.
Autistic people should embrace the world. We should reach out. For it’s untrue that the world is all harsh and hostile to us. There are many kind and loving souls who have been and are still helping us. There are people with open mind who want to understand us better and communicate with us better. We should embrace them. We should continue to educate the public about what autism is and what autistic people truly are. We should continue the endeavor of a peaceful co-existence. There is nothing exclusive between Autistic and NT culture any more than the black and white culture, or Chinese and American culture. For all of our differences we desire and appreciate same things, if in different way: love, compassion, beauty, and our very own humanity. For in the end, we are all humans. We are all brothers and sisters. In God’s eye, we are one and the same.

Light it up BOO!: Autistic People Should

Light it up BOO! wrote a nice piece for the flashblog. I particularly liked this part.
Autistic people should use whatever language they want to describe themselves. Autistic, Aspie, person with autism, etc. Sometimes I call myself autistic, and sometimes I call myself someone with Asperger's. Sometimes I use the term Aspie. Neurotypical people should not dictate our language choices for us. Many of us want to be called autistic people, so I default to that out of respect for our community members who have said that they want to be called autistic.
Because we should be able to describe ourselves however we want. Self-identification is a thing. Some of us will stubbornly want to be referred to one way (like me, don't call me a person with autism!) and some people switch back and forth, and it's our choice.
But the main point of posting that excerpt here is to tell you to go read the rest of their post, so go do that.
No, really. She even talks about the fact that lots of neurotypicals incorrectly assume we're all asexual or heterosexual. It's awesome.

Think Inclusive: Autistic People Should Be Given Support to BE.

Reprinted from Think Inclusive with Tim's permission. It's his article.

The purpose of this post is to add to the “Autistic People Should” flash blog. Learn more about it here
Very simply…autistic people should be give support to BE…
Be what exactly? Everyone…even those who are considered to have the most severe intellectual disabilities want something or is motivated by something. It is up to us (as educators, parents and family members) to listen and support them in how they can achieve what they want. The assumption should be that any person can practice self-determination. This IS ALREADY ASSUMED for those who communicate in typical ways. We should started changing our assumptions about those who don’t communicate in typical ways. All behavior is communication. Let’s support people with autism by giving them the support  to BE…whoever it is they want. 
Photo Credit: osde8info

Unstrange Mind: Autistic People Should Have Their Human Rights Respected

Reprinted with permission from Unstrange Mind.

Today I’m writing as part of a flash blog. A flash blog is when lots of people co-ordinate to all blog on the same topic at the same time. Today’s topic is really important — so important it makes everything I’ve ever been through seem like nothing. That’s because today’s topic is, quite literally, about life and death.
The topic began when Âû did a couple of Google searches. Today, we’re blogging about the autocompletes Google gave for the phrase “Autistic people should” I will just let you see what those autocompletes were at our flash blog headquarters because they’re evil and triggering and something I don’t feel like writing about today, even though there is a lot to say on that topic. I will just say this: it is not just something that a majority of people were searching for in Google (which is how the autocompletes are generated) but it is something that happens to many of us in real life, far too often, with far too little attention or empathy extended to us when it does.
Instead, I’m going to talk about what kind of things I think ought to be suggested to someone who types “Autistic people should” into a search engine.
This is not easy for me. Oh, there are a lot of things I think Autistic people should …. Landon Bryce hit the nail squarely on the head last night with “Autistic People Should Be Loved.”Yes. That. Definitely that.
But the things I think Autistic people should . . . be loved; be respected; have their civil rights protected; learn to stand up for themselves; be proud of who they are; be proud of their accomplishments; strive to live creative, happy lives; remember their history . . . these are things I think everyone, of every neurology should. I want to live in a world where I don’t even have to make a list like that because these sorts of things are so obvious and people are baffled as to why anyone would want to live any other way.
So I’m trying to think of shoulds that are just for Autistic people and I’m having a hard time.
And there’s a good reason for that.
It’s because Autistic people are PEOPLE. We are human beings. We are members of our species — if you’re reading this, actually reading it and not spidering it for a search engine, we are members of your species. Whatever you would say people should do, it’s probably something Autistic people should do.
I’m not talking about shoulds like “should brush their teeth twice a day” or “should do their homework,” although those can be important shoulds, too. I’m talking about the basic, fundamental shoulds — the shoulds people were fighting for at Seneca, at Selma, at Stonewall. Our fight doesn’t start with an S, so it wouldn’t have fit neatly into the inaugural address, but I’d include the shoulds people were fighting for at Willowbrook. And the shoulds people have been fighting for at the Judge Rotenberg Center. Autistic people should not be harmed. Autistic people should be treated with dignity and respect. Autistic people should have equal rights. Autistic people should be treated like human beings. Because weare human beings. It seems ridiculous that I should need to say that, but there is too much evidence out there suggesting that people forget this basic reality of Autistic life: we are human beings.
I know I talk about my fellow Autistics as being “my tribe,” and I mean that. Beyond sharing similar neurologies with each other, we have a distinct and developing culture with our own art, literature, and music. With our own history. With our own sense of pride in who we are. Many of us, diagnosed or not, are kept apart from other Autistics — the diagnosed are often segregated for fear that exposure to one another will “make the symptoms worse” while those who slip through the diagnostic cracks are isolated through ignorance. But when we are able to move past the separation and find each other, again and again we marvel at how similar we are. We have developed a culture even in diaspora. We are brothers and sisters, siblings, family, a tribe.
But we are also members of a larger tribe: humanity. When I talk about my people, my tribe, my Autistic family, never for a moment forget that we are also your tribe. We are human beings. And as such, we deserve the same unearned rights that Nature has bestowed upon human beings and Man is charged to recognize and protect. I am not asking for my civil rights; I am demanding that they be recognized, for they already exist by virtue of my membership in the human tribe. Moreover, while I am self-advocating when I demand recognition of my rights, I am not merely a self-advocate because I stand before you today demanding recognition of the human rights of all Autistics! I am an activist and while there are many things in this world that anger me, do not mistake my vehemence about our cause or my demands for our rights to be recognized as simple anger for that diminishes both of us.
The thing that people forget is that any loss in dignity and rights for any vulnerable member of our society is a loss for everyone. When society begins to recognize the rights of an oppressed segment of the population, life improves for everyone as a result. If you can search your heart and mind and find no other reason to protect the dignity and rights of your fellow humans, please choose to do it for the selfish reason that your life will ultimately improve if you work to help others have a seat at the table. When we are accepted and respected and loved and treated as full members of society and our rights are recognized and protected, you will rejoice. You will rejoice at what we are offering you. We are offering you ourselves — our minds, our hearts, our will, our work, our caring, our perspective, our questions, our answers. You will rejoice at the new dimensions society takes on when our beautiful hue in the human rainbow is acknowledged and allowed to shine brilliantly alongside all the rest of the bright lights of the human spectrum.
Autistic people should have our human rights respected. And we will not be the only ones rejoicing when it happens.

Annie DeMotta: Fix It. A Poem.

Reprinted with Annie's permission.

Fix it. A Poem.
By Annie DeMotta
Autistic people should
Dismantle disability
We should deconstruct and reconstruct the forces that
Put us into tiny boxes and little rooms
And fill our bodies with electric bolts
And stifle our expression or
Force expression of a certain kind
Because that is all the imagination this system has—
That communication should be terribly invasive and
Violent and vocal
And withdrawing must mean
And taking care of ourselves must look a certain way
Autistic people should insist that autism is our essential history
Our current context
And yet
It does not define us wholly and reductively
Nor are their definitions of autism—
The missing puzzle piece
The suffering mother
The awkward school shooter
The troubled genius
The ticking time bomb—
In any way close to accurate enough
To describe our experience of intensity
Our knowledge
Our identity
Our connection
Our world.
We have traveled
Been in love
Been beaten and defeated
Been to college
Been institutionalized
Been happy
Been broke
Been famous
Been cherished
Been seduced
Been artists, inventors, cashiers, CEO’s, philosophers, mathematicians, homeless,
Been silent
Sometimes never spoken one word
Sometimes can’t stop speaking
We’ve been everything and everywhere
And so autistic people should
Continue on as we always do
As we’re good at doing
And now
In the open
Without apology
We should believe that
It really is this system
And not us
That needs fixing.
Autistic people should fix it.

Emma's Messiah Miracle of Music: Autistic People Should Feel Loved

Reprinted from Emma's blog with permission.

Today is my birthday. I am now officially  a new adult woman. In my opinion autistic people should feel loved like I do now. I didn't always feel this way. I am weeping inside for how I have allowed perhaps my lack of verbal speech to run my days with fear. I accept myself with love however I communicate. I perhaps may speak more with patience and time. I may not. My brother nick loves me. My temple loves me my student that I tutor loves me. My friends at school love me. My lowes workers love me.  My family of mom and dad love me. Coach and Pom Pom love. Mom and my dad love me. On whole...I am the luckiest girl . Excuse me adult I know. In conclusion, autistic people should feel loved.

Obscurefox: Autistic People Should

Reprinted here with permission from Obscurefox.

Trigger warning for image.

Put that in the Google search and you get a rather distressing and very disappointing auto complete.

Today is a day to flash blog about what Autistic people should ....

I have trouble with the word should, because it was always uesd against me. You should not flap your hands , you should not spin, you should stop rocking, you should talk, you should give up your obsession with plush animals...

You get it a lot of bad shoulds.

Maybe time for some good shoulds

Although  shoulds should only be done when you want to.

The autocomplete is as I sad disturbing, wouldn't it be nice if people actually saw something different?

I'm autistic.

I married an autistic.

My son is autistic .

My daughter is autistic.

I want the world to be a good place for them and their peers.

Autistic people should create art.

Autistic people should get married. (if they want to, and to the gender of their choice!)

Autistic people should have children. (If they want to, because being unwanted is sad)

Autistic people should stim.

Autistic people should write blogs.

Autistic people should play video games. ( in the way they like even if it's "wrong" ) 

Autistic people should create games.

Autistic people should be treated with respect.

Autistic people should be heard, and listened to.

Autistic people should be safe and happy.

Autistic people should live

My family expected me to sort of be an eccentric spinster living with family as I made art and dolls and never to go to college and get married and certainly not to have kids, although they encouraged me to do all that I did do.

And I did. 

I still have communication problems.

This is not the most eloquent blog.

But people out there, be caring and don't hate difference, try to be understanding, there are a lot of people out there and people with different abilitys we should value and respect them all.

Be kind.

Be accepting.

Musings of an Aspie: Autistic people should QUESTION EVERYTHING.

This was originally posted at Musings of an Aspie.

This post is part of today’s “Autistic People Should” flash blog where Autistic bloggers are writing about positive things that Autistic people should do. Why? Because if you type “Autistic people should” into either Google or Bing’s search engine query box, the autocomplete results–the most popular searches starting with those words–are disturbing and upsetting, especially if you’re Autistic or love someone who is.
Please be forewarned that I’ve posted a screenshot of the text from Google’s autocomplete at the end of this post.


When we’re given an autism spectrum diagnosis, we’ve also given a model of what it means to be autistic.
Question the model.
Start here:
A wordmap of Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnostic criteria.  The larger the word, the more frequently it appears in the diagnostic definition.
What does your word cloud for autism look like?
Question the assumptions.
Is there a right way to play?
To learn?
To think?
To love?
To communicate?
Question the research.
Who says?
How do they know?
Who paid for it?
Now what?
Question the stereotypes.
Nonverbal headbanger?
Idiot savant?
Inspirational angel?
Boy genius?
Lovable eccentric?
Unloveable recluse?
High-functioning aspie?
Dangerous loner?
Question the experts.
How do they know?
Are they sure?
What if they’re wrong?
Question the language.
Disorder, deficit, disability, difference?
Cured, recovered, coping, adapting, passing?
Label, slur, identity?
Person with autism, autistic, Autistic, aspie, autie?
Locked in, trapped, uncommunicative, nonverbal, nonspeaking, unvoiced?
Question the hype.
Burden to society?
Says who?
Question the fundamental fabric of humanity.
What is empathy?
What is love?
What is communication?
Question this:
This textbook author says that Autistic people don’t recognize that other people have minds.
and this:
This Uk newspaper devoted an entire article to an autism expert who wants us to believe that autism is an “exaggeration of male habits.”
and this:
This popular autism information website wants you to believe that Autistic children play the wrong way because they lack imagination and creativity.
and this:
Autistic people don’t get married or have children? That’s what these experts at Yale and UC-San Francisco want you to think.
Question everything.
Question what you read, what you hear, what you see, what you are told.
Question what you think.
Most of all . . .
Question the hate.
If you type “Autistic people should” into a Google search box, these are the results that Google suggests based the most popular recent searches.