Navigating Autism Acceptance Month and Autism Myths

Autism Speaks

April is a tough month for #ActuallyAutistic people. We do not support Autism Speaks or the Light It Up Blue campaign. Many autistics consider Autism Speaks to be a eugenicist hate group that diverts resources, talks over autistic people, spreads harmful “awareness”, and funds research and practices that abuse and kill us. April is a month of disinformation, and Autism Speaks is responsible for much of it.

This video explains what’s wrong with Autism Speaks.

Here are a few pieces detailing the troubled history of Autism Speaks.

Support ASAN and Autism Women

Instead of supporting Autism Speaks, support The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) and Autism Women’s Network.

Puzzle Pieces

Autistic people are not puzzle pieces. Instead of the puzzle piece propagated by Autism Speaks, use the neurodiversity rainbow infinity symbol.

Acceptance > Awareness

Autism Acceptance (or Appreciation) Month is preferred over Autism Awareness Month. acceptance > awareness

Hashtags

Instead of promoting Autism Speaks, Light It Up Blue, and puzzle pieces, promote these.

Identity-First Language

Like most neurodiversity and disability communities, we prefer identity-first language, not person-first language. I’m autistic, not a person with autism. Autistic is my identity. I’m a disabled person, not a person with disabilities. Disabled is my identity.

Autism Is Not a Disease

Autism is not a disease. Vaccines do not cause autism. There is no cure for autism, nor do autistic people want to be cured. Autism is an integral part of our being. Removing it would be a death of self. Autism is an identity and a culture. It is a valuable and natural part of human diversity.

ABA

ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) is abuse. It is torture. There is no excusing it. We do not condone it. Autistic people are not neurotypical and should not and cannot be made neurotypical. Trying to pass as neurotypical comes at great cost and leads to burnout. Being forced to pass leads to PTSD.

#ActuallyAutistic Tweets

This Twitter moment collects Autism Acceptance Month 2017 tweets made by autistic people. These are the voices that should be centered during acceptance month.

We have enough “awareness”. The time is now for acceptance and inclusion.

More Resources

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