Monday, November 18, 2013

This is Autism (‘This is Autism’ flash blog)

Red background with pink and white letters that say: "THIS is AUTISM"
Image credit: This is Autism
I don’t typically wave the “Autism” flag when I talk about creative projects: about the Jedi Knight’s costume I crafted from a picture of Japanese field clothing in a pattern manufacturer’s catalog.

About my House of El, “Share the Road” and “No Bully” T-shirt appliques.

But maybe I ought to emphasize “This is Autism” the next time I embark upon a creative project and work from an inspired vision.

Maybe I need to emphasize more often that the traits that I consider my greatest strengths -- honesty, creativity, an absence of pretense, my sensitivity to my cat’s communication and my crusade to combat bullying -- can be attributed to autism.

Because Suzanne Wright’s vision of autism leaves no room for these gifts. She uses the pulpit of a powerful organization to spread messages of fear and prejudice.

The “This is Autism” flash blog, of which this essay is part, attempts to combat the harmful messages perpetrated by Autism Speaks and other organizations that purport to “speak” for people on the autism spectrum.

No organization truly speaks for us that repeatedly fails to engage with us and fails to empower us to take the lead in articulating autism policy. That uses hate-filled messages of fear and despair to promote its agenda.

My existence is not a national emergency. It’s an opportunity for society to reap the gifts of autism while removing any barriers that prevent the realization of these gifts. Autism Speaks does not speak for me.

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