Sunday, February 26, 2012

Why Do We Have So Many "Autism Days?"

Autistic Pride Day and Autistics Speaking Day, as well as Autism Acceptance Day, are initiatives that have come from the Autistic Community. Often other days, such as "autism awareness day," or other disability-focused days, are more focused on "curing an epidemic" and that sort of thing, which is why these events began. Autism Acceptance Day is a corrective to "business as usual" in April, which make many Autistic people cringe for the whole month. Autistic Pride Day is June 18 and was started by Aspies for Freedom. And Autistics Speaking Day is November , started by Corinna Becker and Kathryn Bjornstad, and was a response to a "Communication Shutdown" that was supposed to show "what it's like to be Autistic" by people voluntarily going offline all day (there are lots of problems with that concept!). These three dates as well as Autreat (put on by Autism Network International (ANI), and I think Autscape, as well as Autistic-run meetups like AAGW (Asperger Adults of Greater Washington (DC, USA), are initiatives coming out of our community that non-Autistic people can join but not take over to promote businesses, cures, treatments, interventions, etc. that are usually are given a lot of attention and airplay in April.

I am thinking of these three- Autism Acceptance Day, Autistics Speaking Day, and Autistic Pride Day, as community holidays, but that have also a serious focus and mission.

1 comment:

  1. Aspies For Freedom is every bit as bad as Autism Speaks. It is a cult-like tyranny that many folks have been thrown out of the instant the leadership disagrees with a words they say.
    Autistic Pride Day is evil, it has not come from the autism community at all but from 2 people have cut a trail of hurt through the autism community. Destroy it by having Autism Acceptance Day INSTEAD.

    AFF even threw out supporters who had tried to start local groups for them in 2 places on different continents, the offence those loyal supporters were thrown out for was claiming any local credit at all for any local activities done for AFF. The leadership, totally self-appointed, is one couple, the woman twice as old as the man who was late teen when they began and who walked out on his family taking a lot of computer equipment with him and producing frantic emails by them around the aspie scene as he cut off contact with them.

    When the purged speak their minds on other forrms about what has happened to them, any AFF spokesmen present in the same forums have tended to accuse them of mental health conditions and to accuse that their aspieship is fake.

    Within 2 months of AFF's creation, they introduced a regime where they:
    •ban all further discussion of a topic, at any time, without allowing a member about whom personal comments have been posted since his own last post, to answer them. This constituted AFF libelling its own members. No forum can operate this way in legal fairness to its members: you can't start a topic knowing you will be allowed to finish, or to react if topics are edited in misleading ways.
    •ban certain members from posting on certain topics, and without even telling the other members so.
    • have the final say on whether a member has been personally misrepresented or not, again without allowing the member's arguments to be put onsite.
    • decide arbitrarily that some members don't have to answer any questions about anything they write, but others do.
    • agree with a member to discuss a problem in the chatroom at a fixed time, but come that time, hold him to ransom at banning point with the authoritarianism "I've made my decision ... are you going to accept it? ... if you don't you will have separated yourself from our cause ".
    •ban members for expressing an opinion, on another site, of what future policy directions will mean he can or can't continue to support AFF.

    Within a year of its creation AFF completely abandoned the line against drug treatments that it was founded to take, and its first Autistic Pride Day was totally about writing to pro-drug doctors and asking fro their endorsement.

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