Open Letter To Jon Stewart

Light orange and light yellow striped rectangle with quote marks cut out in top left corner and bottom right corner. White text reads: Maybe you will read more autistic words. Maybe you will learn about Autistic culture.Maybe you will become an ally.Amy Sequenzia

Dear Jon Stewart

I am glad you are learning.
I am glad you finally decided to read something about autism written by an autistic person. Even if the book you read was a translation and some meaning might have been lost.
I am glad because you said, at last, that we are not burdens.
I am glad because you are beginning to understand that autistics have souls, minds, complex thoughts and empathy. Isn’t it obvious since we are human beings?
I am glad because I think you finally believe us when we say many of us don’t want a cure.
I am hopeful that you, who have lent your name to organizations that raise money “for” autism, will start questioning where the money is going and how it is being used.
I am hopeful that you will no longer support Autism Speaks, since you now disagree with them on the burden and tragedy stance.
I am hopeful that you will read more what autistics write about autism because, despite your apparent surprise, we have been doing this for a while.
I am hopeful that you will not only embrace autistic words as valid and important when you read them, but that you embrace and value autistics you may meet in real life, even when they look very disabled or a little “odd”.
I say that because we have met; I typed a question for you; I mentioned I am a proud autistic. You responded with condescension, maybe because I look very disabled. Was it pity? I don’t need it.
But now, you seem really touched by what you’ve read.
I hope you are also curious.
Maybe you will read more autistic words.
Maybe you will learn about Autistic culture.
Maybe you will become an ally.
For now, I want to invite you to Autism 101: “Nothing About Us Without Us”.
Autistics are the real experts on autism.
We are speaking up. Are you going to listen?

Sincerely,
A proud Autistic

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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