Hey y’all, April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day around the world. Here are some things you should know about autism.
- It’s “autistic person,” not “person with autism.” You say “gay person” and “person with cancer,” not “person with gayness” or “cancerous person.” We’re different, not diseased.
- We have several great autistic posters on this site. Shoutout to all of them.
- Autism Speaks is a shitty organization that advocates for “cures” for something that doesn’t need to be cured, and doesn’t prominently feature autistic voices (ironic) in its leadership or outreach. Don’t use its symbolism (puzzle pieces, the color blue) as autistic advocacy unless you want to tacitly support the organization.
- ABA (applied behavioral analysis), while I cannot speak for every case, is often an abusive “treatment” that suppresses autistic behaviors to an unhealthy degree and teaches autistic children that they aren’t normal.
- While many “autism moms” might tell you otherwise, being a parent of an autistic child does not teach you as much about autism as actually being autistic, and while there can be difficulties in parenting autistic kids, it’s absolutely not the same thing as experiencing the condition yourself.
Feel free to discuss today and what it means in the space below, but I’m going to ask a favor: ONLY AUTISTIC PEOPLE make top-level comments. Allistic friends are welcome to discuss civilly in replies, but I want this to be a space for autistic people first and foremost. Even if you have autistic children, that doesn’t entitle you to a seat at the table.