Saturday, April 15, 2017

Interview with Alex Kronstein- Autism Acceptance Day 2017

An interview with Alex Kronstein, 31, who is does film and television.

I’m a freelance film and television crew member, and have some of my own short film ideas in the works.  All of which are disability-related.  

I also host a podcast, The NeurodiveCast, which you can listen to here:

What is your life like as an Autistic person?

My life as an Autistic person is not perfect by any means, but I love it!  I wouldn’t change anything about myself for anyone.

What is the most joyful, fun, exciting thing [you can have more than one!] about being Autistic?

The best things about being Autistic, for me, is that I can see the significance in details that others may not notice or care about.  I can use newer, groundbreaking means of storytelling in my creative work.  And I have such a strong appreciation for the wonderful work Autonomous Press does!

What is the most difficult?

For me, the most difficult thing about being Autistic is sometimes feeling that I’m just shouting into a vacuum when it comes to all my activism work as of late.

I’ve been doing a ton of advocacy work lately, but sometimes I feel as if no one’s hearing me.  Whether it’s my comments and concerns being ignored, dismissed, or occasionally being gaslit by people, it can be quite frustrating.

How has the Autism Acceptance Day/Month effort over the past seven years affected you personally? If you were not aware of it until recently, what meaning does Autism Acceptance Day/Month have to you now?

The last few years, I’ve been observing Acceptance Month and not Awareness Month because I’ve read about all the harm Autism Speaks has caused the Autistic community.  However, it’s taken on a much more significant meaning for me in the last year, as I’ve now completely liberated myself from the last shred of the pathology paradigm, and made the full shift over to the neurodiversity paradigm.

What does “moving beyond awareness” mean to you?

More than anything else, it means LISTENING TO AUTISTIC PEOPLE.

What is one thing about acceptance that would make a difference in the world?

There are several things about acceptance that would make a difference.  The most important thing is involving Autistic people in everything related to autism.

I would especially like it if the medical and psychological establishment would start listening to Autistic activists about the harm ABA causes.   In fact, a major German charity recently withdrew all funding for ABA-related services after extensive pressure from Autistic activists.   I am slightly hopeful that certain Canadian and American groups see fit to follow suit.

I’d also like to see autistic autoethnography accepted as the most important autism research method.  There are some very fine examples of this, and I hope to see lots more in the future.

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