This Is Autism by Amy Sequenzia

It happened again. Autism Speaks organized a Summit and did not invite any autistic person.

This time though, they kicked off the event by releasing an article, a call to action, that not only ignored us, but also demonized us.

I already responded to that article but I have more to say.

Autism
is not what Autism Speaks wants you to believe. They have spread many lies and caused pain for far too long. They made a conscious effort to try to silence us and ignored the existence of a community of autistic adults, ready to embrace young autistics and their families.

 

We want to help the world to understand that autism is not the tragedy A$ propaganda says; we are helping parents and professionals (the ones who are our allies) to use better approaches when dealing with some issues that can make the life of an autistic person, in a majority neurotypical world, difficult.

Autism is complex.

We do not deny that some autistics will show very disabling characteristics.
We know that some of us will need a lot of assistance for the rest of our lives.
We know that we can seem detached and “weird” sometimes.

We have been doing our best to fit in the neuromajority world.
One thing that many of us will not do anymore is hurt ourselves for an arbitrary need to look, as the majority likes to say, “indistinguishable” from them.

Autism can be complicated.

We are not against treatment for some conditions that are not autism but co-occur with autism.
We know that parents need respite and that it is necessary to plan for the future. Just like any parent would do for a neurotypical child.

What we condemn is the use of autistic children’s images, depicting their worse moments, as if all autistic children have meltdowns all day, every day.
We want to help families find out what is triggering the meltdowns.

When we are met with understanding and acceptance, it is easier for us to succeed. The anxiety of being easily overwhelmed, sometimes the “fear” of being judged, is lowered if we have accommodations. We can be ourselves without using all available energy to regulate our brain and body.

Autism is a spectrum.
And we all deserve respect.

We want equal opportunities to grow. We want a chance to communicate in a way the majority will understand. We want our rights.

Autism is not a burden.

As Henry Frost , a young Autistic self-advocate said: “Know you are not a burden or trouble for being. You are a person who has every right to be. A family that is saying love but saying you are so hard so wrong for not being as they wanted. The family is wrong. Not you”.

We are not holding the world hostage. We want to be part of it. The only burden is the one A$ puts on us, as if we had to prove we are human beings.

Autism is joy.

We enjoy our lives, we celebrate our successes. We learn and we share. We are everywhere.
We come together and we party together. We invite our allies. We spin and flap and jump and we smile.
We protest together. We are proud and we are the pride of our families. Our families who are living and advocating with us.

This is autism.
Human beings, being.
Autistics living, learning, growing
Good times and bad times
Rights
Hope
Human beings being human

Image description black and white photograph of woman with short dark brown hair. She is smiling. Dark grey text reads:Amy Sequenzia Passionate Autistic activist, writer, and poet . Read more from Amy on Ollibean and visit nonspeakingautisticspeaking.blogspot.com .

About the Author:

Amy Sequenzia is a non-speaking Autistic, multiply disabled activist and writer. Amy writes about disability rights, civil rights and human rights. She also writes poetry. Amy has presented in several conferences in the US and abroad, and her work is featured in books about being Autistic and Disabled. Amy is deeply involved with the Neurodiversity Movement and has been outspoken about the rights and worthy of disabled people. Amy serves on the Board of Directors of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), and the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST). http://nonspeakingautisticspeaking.blogspot.com and Autism Women’s Network. You can also follow Amy on Twitter at @AmySequenzia.

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