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Maybe They Just Love Stigmatizing Autistic People: Autism Speaks Does It Again.

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Have you heard it? The “Maybe” commercial that Autism Speaks and the Ad Council are promoting over radio airwaves in these final days of 2017?

We have and it is as obnoxious and misleading as any of their other “Autism Awareness” actions taken over the course of the organization’s existence.

 

 

The script for this radio ad goes something like this…

 

Maybe he isn’t a happy baby.

Maybe he is just being a boy.

Maybe he is teething.

Maybe he is just going through a phase.

Maybe he has… Autism.

No big smiles by 6 mos. of age IS a sign of Autism. Go to Autism Speaks for more info blabla blabla

 

 

time to listen

After a decade of #ActuallyAutistic people boycotting and speaking out against Autism Speaks using this type of stigmatizing assumption about Autism, against Autistic people, it seems they just cannot follow their own it’s time to listen “tag-line” of advice. Even after being systematically boycotted and shamed into placing the long asked for Autistic representation into it’s governing board of directors and removing cure from their mission statement, they just cannot help themselves. It’s nearly 2018 and they still insist on using harmful stigma to drive people to their website in fear of the newborn non smiley Autistic neurology. (?)
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Babies do indeed have a unique non speaking communicative style which informs discomfort most readily. Sensory needs are a very easy thing to read when you pay close attention at 3 a.m. or high noon. All babies need swaddling to feel safe and they indicate that need for physical comfort at every given moment. Don’t forget that in life we all want to feel safe and may need swaddling at any stage or age. Our human systems crave comfort and flow. When that isn’t happening smiles are not happening, it’s a very simple equation. Don’t believe this rhetoric which brands and reduces Autistic people as unhappy sufferers that do not smile. It is this kind of “Autism Awareness” deemed marketable for this “charity” that sets Autistic people back. Bad information countered as real advice to people unaware of what Autism actually is and how it may or may not present itself within each individual’s system. In 2017 we can call this type of rhetoric as #FakeNews.

 

More importantly something to absolutely frown upon. As 2018 fast approaches it looks as if we will still be telling Autism $peaks that they must DO BETTER for Autistic people… by listening to Autistic people. Send people to your website without telling them that Autistic babies do not smile. Uncomfortable babies do not smile. Be more discerning with the language and attitudes your “Awareness Ads” contain. This year society is receiving a wake up call concerning oppressed and marginalized people that will represent their own truths because, they wish to be interpreted correctly! Not portrayed yet again by the truths of non-Autistic people that are guessing and assuming how they -think -feel and -react to this life. This beautiful life we all share… uniquely!

 

To my great pleasure over the last 18 yrs. and through our chalk festival event I have met hundreds of Autistic people and their families on line and in real life. Never once have I heard a person describe or assert that they themselves or that their child did not smile in the first 6 months of glorious life.

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Have you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vibrating Three Dimensional Energy

That’s what’s happening. This universe, this planet, this country, this very vibrational moment in creation. Dimensions of humanistic expansions and remembrances of knowledge. Cutting edge knowledge that will be communicated through literature, science and the arts is truly about to blow-up!

 

"In the air" after day 1 of the 2017 Ventura Art & Street Painting Festival!

“In the air” photo taken by event founder Barbara Hinton after day 1 of the 2017 Ventura Art & Street Painting Festival!

AutismHWY has continually advocated for this rediscovery. The rediscovery of our instinctual and natural ways of being and loving. A momentus universal expansion which cannot be stopped. We’ve called it all along in this great decade of communicative change 2010~2020. A decade which has been exponentially hypercharged by technology and the connectivity of diverse cultures. In the fall of 2017 this was most apparent at this years very emotionally charged 2017 Ventura Art and Street Painting Festival. What a fantastic group of organizers, artisans and spectators understanding these vibrations of great change. Artists like Tracy Lee Stum and Rod Tryon taking us into dimensions we have not been before! WOW…So much love all under the sun moon and stars equally!

A Universe of Love as felt and chalked by artist Lesley Perdomo

A Universe of Love as felt and chalked by artist Lesley Perdomo

This was AutismHWY’s 4th trip to this stellar event sharing the work of Autistic Artisans. In year’s past we have shared the work of talented friends Nora Blansett, Nele Muyleart, Maryellen Szper and this year the work of April Dawn Griffin.
April lives in Canada and views the northern lights. Her art reflects so much of the world’s natural energy making her work a fitting choice for this time in history! This very powerful piece titled “Bring It On” was perfect and eerily so just after Hurricane Harvey and as Hurricane Irma
landed.
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The IDEA...is the beginning vibration...

The IDEA…is the beginning vibration…

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Coloring the energy that vibrates WITHIN!

Coloring the energy that vibrates WITHIN!

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April Griffin's strong energy emerges!

April Griffin’s strong energy emerges!

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The winds of change were apparent in the many conversations had on this artful weekend. Friends and family loving the convergence of artistic and humanistic diversity is the only highway forward. We are always better together as loving and feeling people. Art has a way of reminding us of the healing natures we all bestow. Let’s mine that energy and harvest that positive flow bringing it with us everywhere we go …TO GROW!


PLEASE take the time to watch Artisan April Dawn Griffin in this brilliant film trailer of the ANCA Naturally Autistic documentary film Connected!

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Autism Awareness Antics

As another April winds down and all of the amped up Autism awareness antics die down we MAY resume our normal lives.

 

There was a time when I believed that “awareness” was a worthy cause. It quickly became very clear however, that what I considered Autism awareness was very different than the ribbons and gaudy puzzle piece fanfare streaming on line and in the world. In 2010 our idea was to provide useful awareness. Information that children and adults could naturally utilize in every day life upon meeting or trying to make an Autistic friend. Not just a shallow icon or blue light directing you to empty “Autism awareness.” Not silly campaigns that do little else than exploit people as puzzles and point to Autism. As if we still need to ‘spotlight’ that Autism exists once a year. (?) Everyone is aware that Autism is in the world. What everyone may believe about Autism and what Autistic people experience or don’t experience…  is where the awareness has gone all kinds of wrong.
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Awareness as cheerleading. Rah Rah Rah instead of A~HA HA!

 

That is exactly what we saw early on in our on-line activity. A lot of color and enthusiasm with very little to ZERO useful information. Looking at puzzle pcs emblazoned onto every item imaginable does absolutely nothing to help my son navigate the world. More importantly it does nothing to help the world “navigate my son.” This black-hole of useful knowledge was precisely why we wanted to create informative art in relation to the Autistic cause. Using art as a vehicle for information is what AutismHWY is really all about and why we were in fact imagined and created. Meeting the Autistic community enhanced and expanded what we were  universally feeling!

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Partnering with actually Autistic people has empowered us and has strengthened our mission beyond belief. Listening to the Autistic voice is the platform we stand on and build upon. There is NO AUTISM AWARENESS with out information provided by actually Autistic people. The city of Covina has heard that authentic truth and has generously supported that amplification by partnering with us and helping us produce our annual CHALK FESTIVAL. That is  what ACCEPTANCE and platform building look like. Not blue light shining and ribbon waving empty awareness campaigns driven by folks raising money while excluding Autistic architects and partners.

 

 

We NEED society to understand that the parents of Autistic people are really NOT the one’s that should be driving Autism Awareness. Many parents are stuck in that ‘main stream societal rut’ filled with misinformation which non-Autistic experts have delivered to us, concerning all things Autism. It’s time to LISTEN to Autistic people.

 

On MAY DAY 2017 AutismHWY continues our call for ALL parents and professionals to “gather” their awareness from Autistic people and to AMPLIFY their very valid and crucial VOICES. This is what will prove vital for the future generations of Autistic people …to be authentically welcomed into the world.

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believe

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It’s Amazing What a Day can Change…

Every year just keeps getting BETTER!

NEW Chalk Festival Logo dateless w red butterfly

This year’s event video by Manuel Valenzuela features the heART and soul of our event. Our hat’s are off to ALL of our participants. ALL of you that breathe life into this wonderful CHALK FESTIVAL each and every April here in Downtown Covina. Thankyou…

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Take a bow, you are all BEYOND amazing! SEE YOU next year! April 14th 2018…4+14=18!!

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