allism speaks

Allistics always say things like “NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION IS IMPORTANT!” when talking about eye contact, body language, etc and they’ll get mad at Autistics for struggling with that kind of thing. But when a nonverbal Autistic communicates through sign language, texting, or writing, suddenly that’s inappropriate and they have to learn to talk. Or when an Autistic (verbal or nonverbal) communicates nonverbally through stimming or something similar, then suddenly that’s also inappropriate and needs to be stopped.

Don’t tell us to learn nonverbal communication when, in fact, most of the time we already know it - it’s just a different brand than yours. Learn our ways of communication. Don’t try to make us communicate in YOUR inaccessible way and don’t treat us like we’re broken or subhuman for not understanding.

(Anyone can reblog regardless of neurotype.)

don't forget allism awareness month is coming up!

What are your strategies for dealing with friends and family affected by allism? What new therapies and potential cures are on the horizon for the tragedy of allism? How do you support and help loved ones overcome this often-tragic condition?

Throughout April, this blog will shine a much-needed spotlight on this little-understood disorder. Join in by sharing your personal experiences here!

  • Allistic people: High functioning Autistics are not allowed an opinion on Autism because they don't understand the ~true suffering~ of it
  • Allistic people: Low Functioning Autistics are also not allowed an opinion on Autism because they are confused and can't be trusted to know whats best for them
  • Allistic people: Oh man, so who should speak for Autistic people?
  • Allistic people: ...
  • Allistic people: Omg.....its me.....I am the true voice for Autistic people. I will now devote my life to telling Autistic people to shut the hell up whilst I tell them how much I want to eradicate them
  • Allistic People: I am an angel, a brave warrior of justice, the true champion of the weak and voiceless
I ❤️ Someone with Allism

I know everything about allism, my roommate has it.

Allism mostly affects girls, or boys who are over 12 years old.

Someone with allism will insist on making eye contact with people, even after you have explained that it hurts you. Having allism also means that they don’t have any special interests or engage is stimming behaviour, which is simply tragic.

Please support allism awareness so that we can find a cure.

I really don't understand

How is it that people will say “I have a friend/sibling/child who is autistic and they are so amazing and smart and unique the way they are” in one sentence and follow it up imediately with “donate/support XYZ foundation and help find a cure for autism today!”

I know allistics tend to not handle the logic thing so well, but do they really not see the inconsistency here?  Do they really not get how those two statements are mutually exclusive?

You can’t support an autistic person and claim that there is nothing wrong with them and want to cure autism at the same time.  It doesn’t work that way.  You don’t get to say there is nothing wrong with your “token autistic” while advocating the destruction of who they are.

Please….  gods.  At the VERY LEAST show a bit of logical consistency.  If you hate autism, just say so and be open about hating autistic people.  If you support us then do so fully.  I would rather you just out yourself as a monstrous asshole than try to straddle the fence.

Oh, and nobody had better even DARE to respond to this with a “you can hate the disease while still loving the person who suffers from it” bullshit line. 

Happy Allism Awareness Month!

We’re all “aware” allism exists by now of course. We’ve seen the puzzle piece bumper stickers, and the “Light it up Taupe” campaigns. But how many people, who don’t have a child with allism, really understand what it’s like?

Here’s what Allism Speaks has to say about it:

“Allism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability. It affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact socially with others. It can affect learning, movement, and decision-making skills.

“Allism first appears in infancy or early childhood, when developmental milestones start being missed. The individuation process, where children develop their own sense of identity and purpose separate from their parents, isn’t complete until adulthood even in normal children.

“But where a normal child begins to develop their own interests and engage fully with the physical world in infancy, a child suffering from allism often will not begin this process until the teenage years. Parents may despair of their children ever being able to live independently.

“Communication delays are harder to diagnose, but become clearer as the years go on. A child with allism will continue to babble meaninglessly until as late an age as five or six. Some psychologists believe this is linked to the lack of attention or interest in the world around them.

“They theorize that it is not just that children with allism are slow to develop meaningful language, but that they actually have no concrete topics to talk about. Or more accurately,  that they lack a sufficiently deep understanding of the world around them to communicate meaningfully about it and their experiences in it.”

That barely scratches the surface! This month, I’ll be blogging about what life is like when you work with children with allism, in the hopes that we can all learn to be a little more compassionate and supportive of the trials that allism causes, and work together towards a cure for this frustrating condition.

Let’s piss off A$

I should be working on my paper, but I’m having too much fun thinking up a parody of the Autism Speaks propaganda videos right now. (I saw the prompt for this somewhere on tumblr, so please don’t credit the original idea to me, I’m just spinning it further.)

Just. We call it “Allism everyday” or something and just copy everything, but change it so that autism is the norm, and allism is the terrible affliction. The world would of course also be accomodated, meaning everything is wider spaced, people touching each other is not a social norm, there’s much less sensory input etc

It starts off with a family walking through a city or something and their kid is just acting “abnormal” (not entirely sure how we would portray that.) And you really zoom in how that kid acts “anormal” and everybody stares at them, and the family is really embarrassed. The mother eventually tells people (random people, really) their kid has allism and gets assured what a pity that is.

It should definitely have a scene where the mother explains how hard it is to raise a child with allism, and how she is struggling so much to find the strength to. But she has another child that is luckily not allistic and she has to take care of it. And the other kid finds it awful to have a sibling with allism, they’re so weird and really useless.

Then we have an “allism expert” who explains the condition. He says allism is very diverse, but of course falls back on the standard stereotypes.

  • Allistics have an odd desire to always hold eye contact. In fact, they are dependent on it to communicate.
  • They rely heavily on certain body movements to communicate. Their face moves in quite abnormally extreme ways.
  • Communication with allistics is incredibly hard, since they get very upset when somebody speaks literally (like any normal person would.) They rely on semantic pictures and often speak in riddles.
  • Sometimes they even flat out lie about something and then get upset if somebody corrects them.
  • They are unable to hold an interest for long and don’t show any decisive desire to learn in-depths about a certain subject.
  • They don’t stim! (I mean, imagine that!? That child’s life has to be hell!)
  • They are abnormally resitant to sensory input, to a degree that borders on complete numbness. It is assumed that their sensory systems are strongly underdeveloped.
  • Often they will refuse to communicate using technical help.
  • Allistics live in their own world, they’re difficult to deal with, just an awful burden on society (cue puzzle piece)
  • they are currently working on finding a therapy method to save those children. He recommends ABA since it has been shown to be very effective at making allistics almost indistinguishable from autistics.

We cut to another interview, with a college or grad student, but this time the banner under his name reads “high-functioning allistic”. The student explains he struggled a lot throughout his childhood, not knowing he was allistic, and was really shocked when he got the diagnosis. He had to learn to cope with his allism by himself. It was hard, but he managed. Luckily, he only has a very mild version of allism, and his neurodiversity (ADHD) helped him feel a bit better about himself. He is currently studying biology and neuroscienceon a scholarship from Allism Speaks™ and when he graduates, he wants to work in their research department to find a cure for allism.

I’m running out of immediate ideas, but if anyone has more, please feel free to add it! If I get enough ideas / have the time I could write a scipt out of this. This was a ton of fun so far. How about we spread this and see how many angry autism moms we get in the notifications?

Field Notes on Allistics: Articulate Hands

Does anyone have a good activity or method for teaching children the concept of Articulate Hands?

Our allistic kids, Al Jr. and Alia, insist on using their voices to “communicate" everything, and I have had it up to here with the strings of verbal gibberish and sheer volume level.  I’ve tried explaining to them that their words are not as expressive as their hands, that expecting people to look them in the eye while they speak instead of watching their hands from the peripheral vision is rude, and that words are meant for writing, not saying.  (This last one, so dependent on the associative power of words, goes right over their wee heads.)  I’ve tried depriving them of dessert for failing to observe "articulate hands.”  I’ve even tried hiring a therapist to hold up their hands for them whenever they talk!  (It looks ridiculous. I feel a little guilty, but the therapist swears it helps.)

So far, nothing.  Not even an attempt.  My allistic kids keep insisting that they can’t possibly talk and use their hands at the same time.  They do a fine job of talking and using their hands at the same time while playing video games with their friends (always until they “beat” another player and never meticulously - zero interest in beating their own times on Mario Kart, for example, as long as they “win the race”), but when I ask them to do it like civilized people, nothing but fuss and racket.  UGH!

Maybe Allism Speaks has some ideas.  Does anyone know?

Do you hate being around autistic people because of how annoying they are?

Imagine how annoying this would be:

Everywhere you go (at home, at school, at social places, etc.), everyone around you is autistic, except for a few times when there is one other non-autistic person.

You’re expected to constantly go out of your way to appear autistic, and people compliment you on how well you can appear autistic.

If autistic people can do something easily, no one understands what it’s like to not be able to do it. If you say that you’re unable to do something, people assume you’re just afraid to do it. But you’re expected to understand at all times what it’s like to be autistic.

A group called Allism Speaks talks about how much of a burden you are on autistic people, and their main goal is to turn you autistic.

Your parents are autistic. Failure to act autistic is a good enough reason for them to beat you. And if they murder you because of how much of a burden you are for not being autistic, society will sympathize with them.

Autistic people do not have to imagine that, because that’s what we experience all the time.

(if you’re autistic, feel free to add to this)