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"When people ask me why I don’t like Autism Speaks, I explain their lack of focus on true advocacy for autistic people, the bulk of their funding does not go toward creating support systems and programs, and that their campaigns are dehumanizing and harm people on the spectrum....

Since the public isn’t typically familiar with all of their rhetoric, I decided to break it down here...."

Read the rest at: https://lamonthelam.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/i-am-sounding-the-alarm-on-autism-propaganda-everyday/

"After reading this, tell me how I’m supposed to give my support to Autism Speaks."LAM on the LAM
 


 
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"... You want it to be called differently-abled?

Go change the world so that our different sets of abilities really are just different sets and they don't get all kinds of discrimination for being unexpected or (supposedly) wrong sets.

Go make sure people don't think existence with my set of abilities is tragic and not worth living and that murdering people for being like me is seen as the murder and horror that it is, not as some sort of mercy killing.

Go make sure that the tools we need are in our possession.
Go get rid of the access barriers.
Make ableism stop being a thing, and we can talk..."

 
 
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Jim Sinclair gave a presentation at the 1993 International Conference on Autism which turned into the essay "Don't Mourn for Us."

Many people consider that presentation and that essay the beginning of the modern autism rights movement.
 

 

Autism isn't something a person has, or a "shell" that a person is trapped inside. There's no normal child hidden behind the autism. Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person--and if it were possible, the person you'd have left would not be the same person you started with.

This is important, so take a moment to consider it: Autism is a way of being. It is not possible to separate the person from the autism.

Therefore, when parents say,

I wish my child did not have autism,
what they're really saying is,
I wish the autistic child I have did not exist, and I had a different (non-autistic) child instead.

Read that again.

This is what we hear when you mourn over our existence.

This is what we hear when you pray for a cure.

This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us: that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.

 

The rest can be read at: http://www.autreat.com/dont_mourn.html
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"I celebrate my Autistic, Disabled life.

It seems illogical, but it is not...

It is about assumptions, based on what is considered “normal”, how we are supposed to feel about things considered “difficult to live with”....  I do not celebrate that majority or their assumptions....

I celebrate MYSELF, my LIFE, and everything about me. I do celebrate being non-speaking because I believe I am a better me when I am really LISTENING and LEARNING. I celebrate being non-speaking because it is the only me I know, and because I can still “say” what I want to say, and fight for my rights, without oral speech...." 

- Amy Sequenzia  ~   http://ollibean.com/2015/04/17/celebrating-my-life/





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Image is a graphic reading, "And it’s funny really (in a not funny at all kind of way) that we talk so much about the inflexibility, the rigidity of those on the autism spectrum when really, isn’t it US, the so-called neurotypical population, who are stuck in this frightfully narrow rut of perception? Isn’t it us who insist that Autistics conform to our version of .. well, everything? Isn’t it us who are really so rigid in our thinking as to be capable of believing that other ways of processing / thinking / communicating / experiencing are wholly invalid? That’s pretty remarkable (and, in its practical application, horrifying) stuff, isn’t it?"} - Diary of a Mom
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Posted this in previous years, but still applicable for this year's autism awareness week.  It features a page torn from a book by Uta Frith (2003), justifying the use of "it" as a pronoun to refer to autistics.  Would the same justification be so casually made if the book instead dealt with children of a specific ethnic or religious group, deaf or blind children, etc?


BETTER QUALITY / SIZE image is available here: http://fithfath.com/agangi/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=1556&amp%3Bg2_imageViewsIndex=1

Title: Notes on Style

Artist Notes: This is mixed media on canvas board, involving paint, torn book pages, paper cut outs, and zip-tone press type; with some additional editing done on the computer. The text is from a page torn out of the book: Autism: Explaining the Enigma by Uta Frith ( http://books.google.com/books/about/Autism.html?id=1sIxN1qNNDMC )

I've had this multimedia piece hanging around for a couple years now so i figured I'd finish it finally for Autism Awareness Month. I'm not that happy with how it turned out, but it's one less thing sitting here unfinished at least.

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I wanted to write at least 1 post a day on topic for Autism Awareness/Acceptance month, and already, I've managed to screw up days 3, 4, 5 and 6, as well as sleep through the holiday weekend that my mum, her boyfriend, my wife and I were looking forward to after weeks of stress and more to come (medical tests mostly for several of us). I suppose in a way this is "on topic though",sleep problems have been found to have some overlap with autism spectrum disorders.

Read more... )
alchemia: (- - Cello Cat - default)

(described in text)

Today is #LightItUpBlue day, launched in 2010 by #AutismSpeaks.  The cartoon above features "soundbites" from past "awareness" campaigns by Autism $peaks.  DON'T "Light it up Blue", DON'T Support Autism Speaks, learn why here: http://www.boycottautismspeaks.com/why-boycott-1.html


For those that can't see the image, the sound bites (being said by blue puzzle pieces, similar to  Autism $peaks' logo) include:

"You are why we can't have nice things and have any fun!"
"We don't hate you, we just hate your autism!!"
"Worse than Cancer and AIDS combined!"
"Anyone who puts up with you must be a saint!"
"Hands Down!"
"Mommy would have killed you were it not for your NORMAL sister!

The words are directed at three children. one is covering her ears, one is crying and one holds a sign that reads: "And you say that we are the scary ones"

Video clip that the "mommy would have killed you..." references (Trigger warning for a mother talking about killing her daughter, IN FRONT OF SAID DAUGHTER): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7NTfZzS9b8 it is from  Autism $peaks' video "Autism Everyday" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_Every_Day )


This entry was originally posted at http://alchemia.dreamwidth.org/55336.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
alchemia: (Default)

(described in text)

 

Today is #LightItUpBlue day, launched in 2010 by #AutismSpeaks.  The cartoon above features "soundbites" from past "awareness" campaigns by Autism $peaks.  DON'T "Light it up Blue", DON'T Support Autism Speaks, learn why here: http://www.boycottautismspeaks.com/why-boycott-1.html


For those that can't see the image, the sound bites (being said by blue puzzle pieces, similar to  Autism $peaks' logo) include:

"You are why we can't have nice things and have any fun!"
"We don't hate you, we just hate your autism!!"
"Worse than Cancer and AIDS combined!"
"Anyone who puts up with you must be a saint!"
"Hands Down!"
"Mommy would have killed you were it not for your NORMAL sister!"

The words are directed at three children. one is covering her ears, one is crying and one holds a sign that reads: "And you say that we are the scary ones"

Video clip that the "mommy would have killed you..." references (Trigger warning for a mother talking about killing her daughter, IN FRONT OF SAID DAUGHTER): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7NTfZzS9b8  it is from  Autism $peaks' video "Autism Everyday" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_Every_Day )
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April is "Autism Awareness Month". Some prefer to call it "Autism Acceptance Month". I like that, but acceptance won't happen without awareness, and unfortunately, the most vocal on the subject tend to be NeuroTypicals (NTs) talking about us, without us, for their own agendas; this usually means that what gets presented in the media is at best, ignorant, at worst, calculated propaganda to incite fear and/or hate.

I have not written much for a long while, so in an effort to make it more habitual, I am using this month as a springboard. I will try to make at least one post each day this month on Autism, it might be a long post, or it might be nothing more than a link to something by someone else. If I can manage my spoons, I may post something 'off topic' as well... I dunno... our pets, fanfic related, whatever. Hopefully, I will find it easier to be more active about posting after April is over with.

PS: Please do NOT donate to "Autism Speaks".  I will write, or find a link, about why, and will find some other groups people can donate to instead, in an upcoming post.

My first two links for Autism Awareness month:Blue Puzzle Piece (symbol commonly used by Autism Speaks and other Autism groups) inside a red circle with a diagonal line through it, indicating a rejection of the puzzle piece symbol.  I am not a puzzle

 
ThAutcast: Aspergers and Autism Community on Facebook
Several of my autistic friends are expressing anxiety about the fact that April begins tomorrow.
We know we will be the subject of month-long focus on what a problem we are.
We know that there will be many news stories about the research breakthroughs that promise to get rid of us.
We know people will talk for a month about how we are bankrupting our countries and ruining the lives of our families.
And then they will check "autism" off of their list of causes and forget about it until next year.
Autism Awareness hurts.

https://www.facebook.com/thautcast/posts/891874334203511?fref=nf&pnref=story

 
The Depiction of Autism and Why it Matters
by: Ariane Zurcher (Mother of an Autistic daughter)

...As someone who once devoured anything on the subject of autism through the lens of ignorance and as a result was paralyzed with the fear these depictions induced, I am aware of the underlying emotional manipulation that is often so obviously being employed. It is propaganda, whether intentional or not, biased, deeply prejudiced and intended to create fear. And it is doing tremendous damage to autistics and to all of our autistic children who will soon grow up to be autistic adults. These types of imagery perpetuate the marginalization and unfortunate stereotyping of people on the spectrum....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ariane-zurcher/autism-media_b_1559993.html?ref=healthy-living
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April is Autism Awareness Month.  So there is something I'd like to caution people about when it comes to making charitable donations.

Despite the misleading name, "Autism Speaks", the largest and most vocal autism organisation, does not have any one on its board or leadership that is on the autistic spectrum. They've caused much grief in the autistic community by bullying autistics into silence, and presenting autism in a way that dehumanises us.

There are many others groups that need support, such as the Autism Society of America in the US and the National Autistic Society in the UK, both of which, despite having flaws (as all groups do) at least make an effort to have people on the spectrum on their boards/committees, to support Autistics in all life stages, and to be sensitive to the feelings of actual Autistic people.

    National Autism Society, UK: http://www.nas.org.uk
    Autism Society of America: http://www.autism-society.org

So if you make a donation- please, make it to groups that care about what Autistics have to say, rather than a group that ironically goes out of its way to silence us.

alchemia: (Default)
I've had this multimedia piece hanging around for a couple years now so i figured I'd finish it finally for Autism Awareness Month. I'm not that happy with how it turned out, but it's one less thing sitting here unfinished at least.
Title: Notes on Style
Artist Notes: This is mixed media on canvas board, involving paint, torn book pages, paper cut outs, and zip-tone press type; with some additional editing done on the computer. The text is from a page torn out of the book "Autism: Explaining the Enigma" by Uta Frith.
Click to enlarge.

alchemia: (Default)
I was contacted by someone heading fund raising for their local autism group  to donate some of my art / jewellry for a silent auction. Naturally I check out the organisation first, and what's the first thing that catches my eye? this:
"...The children with autism in our group range in age from toddlers to adults..."
Emphasis added of course.  I'm sure they "mean nothing by that", but infantalism of the disabled is a common problem. I've lost track of how many times, because I needed to sign or write instead of speak, and/or because a person learns I was diagnosed with autism as a child, that suddenly, they're the ones that stop  looking at me (and we're the ones that are supposed to have problems with eye contact and social interaction?). Instead, they talk to who ever is with me, about me, in front of me, as if I don't exist. Once, I had someone... A social worker I think(?)... tell my mother in front of me that caring for me must be so difficult, and that she had their sympathies, as if... what? I was already dead?

Thing is, its an Autism Society of America chapter which (while still far from perfect) actually is much better than the other well known group out there, Autism Speaks (Autism Speaks has no one on theri staff/board iagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder- so they can't really be speaking for autism;  more disturbingly, they have outright compared autistics to people with terminal cancer, and promoted miss-information-al films depicting, among other things, a mother describing her homicidal feelings towards her autistic daughter in front of said autistic daughter... but like me, when others talk about me, in front of me.... I'm sure she couldn't possibly understand.   :-(
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The problem with so many many many autism communities (like this one) is that it is akin to having a GLBT community run by straight people who refuse to recognise their own priveledge.

And of course, ditto for so many "charities" out there, but those organisations are less obvious than online forums which are a group-environment where interaction is invited... except when it's not.
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Harry Potter and the Bigoted Charity
G-rated, Gen.  Short one shot.
http://autisticcats.blogspot.com/2009/09/harry-potter-and-bigoted-charity.html

A sort of cross over involving real people ( Alfonso Cuarón who directed one of the HP movies, Suzanne Wright of the erroneously named "Autism Speaks" and Hermione and Ron )

Background info is over here, along with the text of the video voice over for those that can't watch the video.

(I'm not all wow about the fic itself, but I heart that there *IS* fic)

alchemia: (Default)
I created [community profile] autism on DW for anyone interested.
alchemia: (Default)
http://autismgadfly.blogspot.com/2009/05/asking-newsweek-magazine-for-equal-time.html

The "autism forced me not to work and forced me to be celibate" guy wants media that does articles on "neurodiversity" / advocacy for autistic right, to give people like him equal time in such articles, because you know, there's not enough negativity about autism in the mainstream already. The best though is in the comments- if you depend on someone else to make you a sandwich you're a burden on tax payers and you suck, unless you are Stephen Hawkings, then its OK.

Honestly, I didn't mean to go look at this assholes blog again, I was inadvertently linked through another site >:(

alchemia: (Default)
The Salon.com article, I am not a Puzzle by Elizabeth Svoboda has been posted to a few of the communities I am in. Initially, the summaries look fine, but on reading the article, I found that despite claiming to be about Autistic culture, it was simply another article unashamedly gazing at the condition.
Like the deaf culture movement before it, the so-called autistic culture movement continues to gain traction, boasting thousands of adherents among parents, patients and healthcare professionals.
Most revealing here are the words "so-called" which signal that this article isn't about awareness and respect for Autistics. By using these words, the Svodoba immediately sets up autistic culture as doubtful or suspect. Read more... )
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The following stems from my recent reading of Stuart Murray's Representing Autism: Culture, Narrative, Fascination

-o-o-o-

There has been an incredible increase in contemporary narratives dealing with autism, but despite the books, articles, movies and television shows, there is still very little understanding about what it means to be autistic.Fictional works with autistic characters, have become common (especially in the past 20 years), but by and far, most of the published material is written by and for parents and other care givers with a focus on diagnosis, treatment, and the effect on the family.In both fiction and non-fiction, the autistic usually appears as what Murray terms the 'sentimental savant', existing to enrich the lives of the non-autistic majority and aid in 'the construction of normalcy'.

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