Friday, February 15, 2013

#Autism Experts: New Blog Dedicated to Autistic Expertise

Autism Experts: Breaking News about Autism!

#AutismExperts. The real experts about autism are Autistics. What could be more simple? Autistics are the ones “on the ground” when it comes to knowing what Autistic experience is. This blog will feature original posts and re-posts by Autistic researchers, Autistic thinkers, and some posts by allies. All pro-neurodiversity and all geared toward embracing and accepting autism. Follow our tweets on Twitter and our blog. This is a multi-Autistic effort just getting underway.Sign up to follow us anywhere and get the REAL INFORMATION about autism.

(Note: Blogs are up but some content has not been loaded.) 

Autistic experts will be tagging our posts on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and other social media with the #AutismExperts tag. 

#AutismExperts goes far beyond the idea of "reclaiming" expertise, although that is sorely needed. What we are doing is re-directing expertise about autism-related things to the people who actually know. 

Many people have theories about autism. Some of them are interesting;some of them are laughable; some of them are dangerous or potentially dangerous for us. Some non-autistic "autism experts" showcase their pet theories, including"theory of mind," "lack of empathy," an almost pathological focus on eye contact, and other questionable ideas. 

For non-Autistics: We at #Autism Experts would like to go beyond merely pointing a well-directed finger at some of these theories and the "experts" behind them; we'd like to engage in serious dialogue with some of the people and organizations involved. All too often, though, our outreach attempts are ignored or dismissed as the product of "our disorder." 

If you are a non-autistic researcher or parent reading this, consider dialoging with the real Autism Experts in your life, online, and in the growing body of research and other writings by Autistic adults, teens, and children.

It's not all about "sharing our success stories" with you. We will be talking about issues of importance to us, first and foremost. Please realize that topics of importance to Autistic adults are more than likely to be topics of interest and importance, in some way, to the Autistic person in your life, whether or not that person is a child, does not speak, or has disabilities that you assume (often in error) that we who are writing these articles do not have.  

Posts will feature topics that are of interest and importance to Autistics at every stage of life.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Estée Klar: Decolonizing “Autism Acceptance”

Decolonizing Autism Acceptance is an important article, well worth reading, by Estée Klar of The Autism Acceptance Project.

TAAP is one of the foremost parent-ally initiatives, founded in 2006. Klar asserts that there are not versions of "autism acceptance" out there, and cautions against co-optation of ideas and rhetoric that originated in the Autistic community.

" I will argue, however, that charity, parent and scientific “voices” are the predominant ones leading the autism discussion and appropriating the term “autism acceptance.” 

"To return to the autism community, for instance, an acceptance campaign movement that focusses on parents as “sufferers” and the “most important” people to talk to in addition to medical professionals, perpetuates the very oppressive, dominant voices that autistic people work so hard to be heard over."

NOTE: Autism Acceptance originated in the Autistic community. When mainstream organizations try to jump on the bandwagon, they water down our message and meaning. They can't help it. They have to try to be everythihng to everyone. They should choose and use their own rhetoric, not appropriate ours.