autism-acceptance

Quick shout out to neurowonderfulWho has been an excellent resource about autism and all around awesome person! Thank you so much for all that you do! I’ve learned so much from you as I’m sure so many more have!

CLICK THROUGH TO THEIR* BLOG http://neurowonderful.tumblr.com/

Be sure to check out their* YouTube videos and subscribe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez936r2F35U

EDIT* for proper pronoun, please respect peoples’ pronouns

just gonna leave this here..

“The first question we wanted to ask was - why blue? What does the color blue have to do with the autism spectrum? The answer is that Autism Spectrum Disorders are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 54) than among girls (1 in 252). So, the color blue represents the boys diagnosed with autism.”

-from the Autism Speaks website

Super important PSA

Hey guys please remember to celebrate Autism ACCEPTANCE month this April and not Autism AWARENESS month. Autism Acceptance month is supported by #actuallyautistic people. Autism Awarness is supported by Autism Speaks AKA the people that have been spreading propaganda about Autism and other cognitive disorders and making money off of it. Autism Awarness instills fear and lies about autistic people in an effort to “cure” us. Autism Acceptance says “We’re not sick. We are here and can live happy healthy lives.”

Bonus: Don’t light up blue! Go red!

(Image description: A partial screenshot of a blog post. The title reads “How I reduced screaming and verbal stimming in my child with autism”, and below that is a colour photograph of a hand holding a rectangular plastic “clicker” device.)

I think I may have mentioned this blog post, and the sadness and confusion I felt when I came across it, in one of my videos. This screenshot is from the blog of an “autism parent”. Yes, that is a clicker. Yes, she is encouraging the use of animal training methods on Autistic children. Yes, she considers any kind of vocal stimming, not just screaming, to be a “bad behaviour”. To top it all off, her blog banner reads, “Discovering SOLUTIONS to the Everyday Problems of Living with AUTISM”. Here is an excerpt from her tutorial on how to train your disabled child like a dog to have a “Quiet Mouth”:

Third, I sat back and watched my child. Since he was making bad noises, I decided to reinforce Quiet Mouth (i.e., lips together, no sound). Whenever he had a split second of Quiet Mouth, I immediately tagged (made a click-sound with the device) and handed over a treat. Every time his mouth was Quiet, I tagged (clicked) and treated. Soon there was much more Quiet Mouth behavior. When doing this it is important to ignore and pay no attention to vocal stims or screaming. Do not look at the child, do not speak to him/her or explain. Just say nothing, and immediately tag and treat as soon as there is even a split second of Quiet Mouth. You can also tag and treat a child for any appropriate vocalizations. If he/she says a nice word, or makes an appropriate comment, then tag and reinforce that. Your goal is to increase Quiet Mouth and appropriate vocalizations.

And sadly, as bad as this attitude and treatment of Autistic children is, this is a relatively tame example when compared to the other unethical treatments, therapies, and methods of discipline that Autistic children are being subjected to every day (all in the name of making them appear less obviously Autistic). This is why we need Autism Acceptance Month and not the fear-mongering, negative, misinformed “awareness” that Autism Speaks and its allies are pumping out this April.

We need acceptance because Autistic children should be loved and accepted wholly and completely for who they are, not hurt and mistreated in their parent’s frantic search for a “cure”. Because Autistic people deserve to be treated with respect and listened to, not silenced and forced or coerced to conform to an ableist, non-disabled ideal. Because Autistic children need accommodation and understanding to live healthy, happy lives, not sketchy “treatments” and intensive, soul-crushing “therapies” to try to make them appear more neurotypical and less Autistic.

For more information on ASAN’s Autism Acceptance Month, see the about page on the website here: http://www.autismacceptancemonth.com/about/

Autism Acceptance Month: Things to Do (and things to avoid)

*Will be updated every now and then throughout April*

Invariably, and inevitably, every April it is a deluge of theAutism “Awareness” campaigns that do little to promoteacceptance for autistic people. This is a compilation of good ways tosupport acceptance for autistic people and make it Autism Acceptance Month instead, and also a list of things to not do. 

Here we go!

Amplify autistic voices. This is our month (not, as Autism Speaks would have you believe, a month for“families of people affected by autism”) and we want it to reflect that.

Actually autistic autism bloggers/blogs to start with (only a sampling of the many fabulous people out there):

Disability in Kidlit (disabilityinkidlit)​ is doing an Autism on the Page Event with contributions from autistic people

Follow the Autism Acceptance Day page started by Paula Durbin-Westby. 

Support self-advocacy organizations run by autistic people by donating or getting involved.

Ways to donate to ASAN by buying online

Raise money for ASAN online

Go to Autism Acceptance Month Website. There, you can:

#AcceptanceIs Social Media Campaign: Tell everyone what autism acceptance is!

Walk in Red instead of Lighting it Up Blue on April 2nd

Avoid Autism Speaks and Lighting it Up Blue

Here’s a good checklist of how to determine if a charity is a good one to support.

Things You Can do to Help Disabled People That Don't Cost A Cent
  • Do not talk about an obviously disabled person in front of them as if they can’t hear or understand you.
  • Do not talk to a disabled person’s companion instead of them.  
  • Ask permission before touching people, or their wheelchairs/other equipment. Even if you want to help.
  • Ask disabled people about their lives and really listen to their answers.  (Within reason. Asking people personal questions about their sex lives, for example, is rude unless you are very close to them and they’ve communicated they’re OK with that).
  • Listen to what they say whether they are speaking, writing, typing, using text to speech, using a letterboard, using PECS, gesturing, using sign language, or using any other form of communication.  People who cannot speak can still communicate.
  • Stand up for people you see getting bullied.
  • Understand that disabled people don’t just need friends, they can be friends, too.
  • Every public place does not need to have loud, blaring music and TVs with flashing screens.  
  • If you blog, put bright, flashing images that can trigger seizures under a cut so that people with seizures can avoid looking at them.
  • If a job can possibly be done without a person driving, don’t require candidates to drive/have a driver’s license, and don’t interview candidates and then reject them because they don’t drive.
  • When talking to someone who has trouble speaking or stutters, and takes a long time to speak, wait for them to answer. Don’t keep repeating the question or pressuring them. Yes, if you’re like me and your mind is going really fast and you forget what people are saying if they take too long, it can be hard to be patient.  Do it anyway.
  • If you are talking to a deaf person, make it easier for them to lip-read by facing towards them while looking at them, and not covering your mouth with your hands.
  • If you are talking to someone with hearing impairment or auditory processing disorder, it is more helpful to slow down or rephrase what you’re saying than to just speak more loudly.  
  • Some disabled people have difficulty understanding nonliteral language such as metaphors and idioms (e.g., “a stitch in time saves nine”). If you’re talking to someone like this, try explaining what you mean by these figures of speech, or just not using them.
  • Recognize that failure to make eye contact does not mean someone is lying to you. It may be uncomfortable for them.
  • Recognize that unwillingness to go out to loud, crowded bars does not mean someone isn’t interested in socializing with you.
  • If people have difficulty spelling, or using the appropriate jargon/terminology for your social group, do not assume they’re stupid.  You may need to paraphrase some “jargon” for them.
  • Recognize that a person can need time alone and it doesn’t mean they don’t like you or want to be with you. It’s just something they need so they can function at their best.
  • If a person does not recognize you, do not assume they don’t care about you.  They may be face-blind.
  • If a person does not remember your birthday (or other major names, numbers, or dates) do not assume they don’t care about you. They may simply have a bad memory.
  • Understand that a disabled person’s talents, however esoteric, are real, not unimportant “splinter skills.”
  • Colorblindness affects more than just knowing what color something is.  To a colorblind person, colors that they can’t see will look the same if they have the same degree of lightness/darkness.  That means that to a red-green colorblind person, a red rose on a green background will blend in instead of contrast starkly, and the Chicago CTA El map will be difficult to understand.  Understand that something that stands out to you and seems obvious may literally not be visible to a colorblind person.
  • Accept stimming.
  • Don’t tell them “but you look so normal.” But, if they accomplish something you know they were working really hard to do, it’s great to compliment them on it.
  • Understand that a person can be working incredibly hard to do something and may still not perform as well as you’d like them to, as well as the average person would, or as well as the situation demands.
  • If someone has a major medical problem, disability, or chronic illness, then just eating some special healthy diet or exercising more isn’t going to cure it. It might help, it might hurt, it might do nothing, but they’ve probably heard it before, and it’s none of your business in any case.
  • A person with OCD knows that checking or counting or whatever compulsion they perform won't really prevent disaster from happening, it’s just a compulsion. That doesn’t stop them from feeling the need to do it anyway.  A person with anxiety may know at least some of their fears are irrational or unlikely to occur. That doesn’t stop them from feeling anxious.  A person with trichotillomania may know it hurts them to pull out their hair or pick at their skin, but they have trouble stopping themselves anyway.  A depressed person may know they would feel better if they got out of their house and talked to people, but that doesn’t make them feel any more up to doing those things. A person who hallucinates may know the hallucinations aren’t real, but that doesn’t make them go away or feel less upsetting.  You see the pattern?  You can’t cure people with mental illnesses by telling them they’re being irrational or hurting themselves.  If it were that easy, they’d have cured themselves already.
  • Do not tell a person with ADHD or mental illness that they should not be taking medication.  This is a personal decision. Furthermore, since medications have wide-ranging effects on people’s bodies and minds and often unpleasant side effects, most people taking medications have thought through the issue, done a cost-benefit analysis, and decided that the ability to function better is worth it.  Their decision should be respected.
  • A disabled person with intellectual disability who has the academic or IQ abilities of, say, a seven year old does not actually have the mind of a seven year old. They have different life experiences, needs, stages of life, bodies, and so on.
  • If a disabled person is having a meltdown, they are not angry, they are terrified.  They’re not throwing a tantrum or being aggressive, they have gone into fight or flight. The best thing you can do is remain calm yourself and help them calm down. It may help to keep your distance, keep your voice low and calm, let them retreat to a safe place if they know to do that, or remind them to do so if they don’t.  Reasoning with them won’t work well because they’re unlikely to be able to hear and understand you.  The worst thing you can do is start yelling yourself, threatening them, be violent to them, cut off their escape route, or get right up in their personal space.  

Other ideas?  Please reblog and add more.  The more the merrier.

Image is of a text message from Did you know to ASAN as on an iPhone or iPad interface. The text from Did you know reads: “Autism $peaks yearly media budget is $10,238,115. The reply from ASAN reads "That could buy 14,226 iPads to let nonverbal Autistics speak for ourselves!

Below the texts is an Autistic Self Advocacy Network logo, with i"April is autism acceptance month” in smaller text below the logo.

To my non-autistic readers

I want to touch base on something that’s not Elementary, or 221B Con related for a moment.

Tomorrow starts the month of April, known to the autistic community as, “the month where non-autistic people pretend to care about us by spreading AWARENESS, but in actuality do not ACCEPT us, and use us as cookie points for being a “Good Person” ™.

More commonly named, “Autism Awareness Month”.

“Awareness” in this context, is either used as a scare tactic (”1 in 88 or 1 in 50 people are autistic, based on something that we-believe-is-anything-other-than-genetics”)…

Or is used to passively spread the knowledge that we exist, and that’s it.

The autistic community retaliates against Autism “Awareness” Month, and instead celebrates Autism Acceptance Month, because we deserve nothing less than acceptance.

I encourage you to read the following, if you yourself are not familiar with Autism Acceptance Month:

To my autistic readers, and my fellow autistic Holmesians/Sherlockians - Be safe. 

This month is hard on all of us (my workplace, where I don’t disclose my autism status, sells chocolate that donates to Autism Speaks), but please know that we have each other in this fight.

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Image description: The first photo shows me (a white-passing, femme young adult person) sitting in a wheelchair, holding one sign in my hands and with one leaning against my legs. The first sign says, “Got questions? Autistic adults are the best resource of parents of autistic kids. Autisticadcovacy.org”. The second sign says, “Autistic rights are human rights #lovenotfear”.

The second photo shows myself in my wheelchair with my signs and three other femme people who are all also holding signs. The visible signs are rainbow coloured and say “Love not fear”, “Think posAUtive”, “Autism Speaks does not speak for me!”, and “Autism is Awesome”. There is a small table behind us with a sign that says “free earplugs”, a box of earplugs, and ASAN pamphlets on top.

Pictures from Vancouver ASAN’s protest at the Autism Speaks walk this morning. I made those two signs I’m holding, Alanna made the rest of the signs, and Marvin took these photos. A few more people ended up coming so there were seven of us there (and Marvin). I think we all did good work today!

Now I’m going to go lie down and never get up.

Part of autism acceptance is allowing autistic people to choose what strategies work best for them, no matter how “odd” the strategy may be. When I am stressed out or angry or overwhelmed, I go into my “safe place” which is under a table that’s now turned into a fort and watch shows I love and hug soft things. I also stim to help my brain focus. It is so important to allow autistic people to do whatever it is that helps them be happy, whether it is drawing, flapping, fiddling with string, or scripting. Don’t try and force autistic people to be “normal”. Autism acceptance is where normal is SELF-DEFINED.

Ultimately, everyone should be able to decide what they think their normal should be. It’s a basic human right.

—  Candi B., “Autism Acceptance”
Light It Up Blue is an annual reminder that Autism Speaks can't make us go away

Today is Autism Acceptance Day, and April is Autism Acceptance month. It’s also an annual reminder that we are strong, we are still here, and that attempts to eliminate us are failing. When they light it up blue, they’re admitting that they’re weak and they’re failing.

Autism Speaks and others who wish that autistic people didn’t exist think that it’s Autism Awareness Day. They’re calling us a public health crisis, and they’re trying to get others to agree with them and give them money. They want to get rid of us. They try to pretend they have any chance of succeeding.

I realized today that April 2nd is actually an annual reminder that, no matter how hard they try, they can’t actually get rid of us. When Autism Speaks supporters are turning on blue lights, what they’re really saying is that they have just spent another year wasting a lot of money in a completely futile attempt to get rid of us. They are acknowledging with those blue lights that we are still here, and that we’re not going anywhere.

We are more powerful than they want us to believe. We have persisted in existing despite their pervasive attempt to eliminate us. We are succeeding in spreading love and supporting one another in power and pride.

We are speaking up. We are being heard. People who care about autism, autistic people, education, and communication are listening. The tide is turning.

Their hate symbols are a sign that, even though we have far less money and far fewer resources, we are more powerful than their ineffectual attempts to make us go away. We are right, and we are strong, and we will be here long after Autism Speaks is gone. We ought to keep that in mind when we see the pathetic hate symbols they’re displaying today.

anonymous asked:

My brother is a non verbal autistic. He doesnt understand a word anyone is saying. He can't do anything by himself. When we are out of the house he just screams and cries. Yeah, autism does need a cure. What about people who dont want to be autistic?

…Well first of all, if he doesn’t understand a word anyone is saying, how do you know he doesn’t want to be autistic? Because that sounds a lot more like you don’t want him to be autistic. And people like me speak for your brother more than people like you do. Since I suspect you would call me “high functioning” (let me repeat, functioning labels are silly, inaccurate and used to divide and silence us), I’ll direct you to this post by someone probably more like your brother. You might also want to check out this blog post about why you shouldn’t divide us like this.

As for people who don’t want to be autistic, I admit, there are some. There are also gay people who don’t want to be gay. And black people who don’t want to be black. You know why? Because gay people get told that being gay is unnatural and immoral and disgusting. Black people get told that white people are cleverer than them and prettier than them and better than them. Oh, and people are murdered just for being black or gay. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you don’t think there’s anything wrong with being black or gay and that it’s just the attitudes of society, and a few terrible people in particular, that make people hate themselves like that.

And the same is true for autism. When autistic people don’t want to be autistic, it’s for two reasons. It’s because they’ve been abused and bullied for being autistic, because they know people get discriminated against and sometimes murdered for being autistic and they just want their lives to be easier and safer. And it’s because they’re told all the time that there’s something wrong with being autistic. If you’re an autistic child with parents who resent your autism, with an organisation claiming to be the world’s leading autism charity telling you you need a cure, getting training to seem more “normal” and praise when you do, then yes, it’s likely that you’re going to grow up believing that autism is something bad that needs to be cured. That doesn’t mean it’s true.

And that’s why I’m as autism positive as I am. I want everyone, including autistic people, to know that there’s nothing wrong with being autistic. Yes being autistic can make life harder, but that’s because we lack acceptance and we’re judged by the same standards as allistics (non-autistics) are. The way to help autistic people is not to convince them us we need a cure, it’s to accept us for who we are (and we wouldn’t be the same people if we were “cured” - autism is part of our neurology) and help us love ourselves. The problem is with society, not with autism. 

We’re not broken, we’re not missing, we don’t need a cure and I am going to keep on spreading that message until every autistic person loves themselves like they should.

For everyone who is going to go through the autism tag today and tell parents, friends, and family members of autistic children what is wrong with Autism $peaks, please remember to be gentle. These people don’t realize they are doing anything wrong. They aren’t aware that they are hurting autistics. They want to help and bring awareness. I’ve seen plenty of #liub post where they didn’t want a cure they just talked about how much they loved and were proud of their autistic family member. Don’t go out and tell them that they are horrible people, they’re simply misinformed, so let’s inform them in a positive way that will show them the difference between autism awareness and autism acceptance!

For the month of October, PACLA will be sharing information to help make Halloween safe & accessible for everyone! Autistic children deserve a #posAutive experience in an often overwhelming time of
year. We ALL do. Look for the hashtag #AccessibleHalloween, contribute your own ideas and accommodations, and share widely! The more people we reach, the more inclusive we can make this holiday. Thanks and may we all have a HAPPY and #AccessibleHalloween!

Image Description: Orange textured background, with a large hashtag at the top, #accessiblehalloween, and a large number 1. A black banner stretches across the meme, with white text reading:

Strobe light might seem fun to create a “scary” atmosphere, but they are not safe for those with epilepsy or sensory sensitivities to lights. Strobe lights can trigger seizures and migraines. Lanterns and soft, glowing lights are a safe alternative that will let ALL know they are welcome.

facebook.com/ParentingAutisticChildrenWithLoveAcceptance

Autism is essential to your child’s identity. If you took away her or his autism — which isn’t possible — your child would be a different person.
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If you want a different person for a child, you don’t love your child.
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So, you aren’t hating autism. Autism isn’t a thing that exists to hate. It does not exist outside of its expression in actual human beings. We’ve just created an idea and given it a name and clustered definition, representing a shared way of being for some people. The only place autism exists is in people — it exists as real people. Instead, you are hating your child, despite your words and beliefs to the contrary. And you are teaching your child self-rejection and self-hatred.
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Autism is no different than race or sexual orientation or humanity itself. It is simply part and parcel of a person’s being.
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I love my black child, but I hate blackness. I love my gay child, but I hate homosexuality. I love my son, but I hate men.
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I love my autistic child, but I hate autism.
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Like the others, that is a failed formulation, incoherent thought and emotion and obviously harmful.
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It is not love.
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It is abusive parenting.
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Autism is integral to every part of your child’s personhood. It informs the way he or she thinks, feels, acts, and engages —receives and expresses — with the world, including interacting with people, most certainly including you.
—  Ray Hemechandra, “Autism 101: Hating Your Autistic Child,” at Ray Hemechandra @ Golden Moon Publishing
youtube

“Ask an Autistic - What’s Wrong With Autism Speaks?” by Amythest Schaber

This video is so important! In honor of Autism Acceptance Month, please listen to the voice of an actual autistic person speaking about Autism Speaks, the most visible organization involved in Autism Awareness Month. Please, rather than supporting Autism Speaks and listening to their supposed “allies,” take the time to listen to AN ACTUAL AUTISTIC PERSON. Thank you!