Thursday, July 10, 2014

Autism advocacy: It’s our table

Many things have changed during the past decade of autism advocacy, according to author John Elder Robison, writing at his personal blog.

“Between growing up, being recognized in adulthood, and developing more ability to communicate effectively, members of our autism community have become far more able to speak for ourselves. Given that reality, I believe it’s time for a shift of balance in some of the organizations and groups involved with autism.”

Robison makes an important point, that autistic people are expressing our own wishes and opinions, more compellingly every day.

“We no longer need parents or professional to speak on our behalf as a community. Some individuals will still want such assistance and that’s fine for those individuals but — just as in other communities of adults — the majority of us can and should communicate for ourselves. ...

“Parents, family members, guardians, and professionals have a place at the table, but let’s recognize that it’s the autistic people’s table, and parents, friends and helpers are the guests, counselors, and advisors, not the leaders.”

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