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Posts Tagged ‘Autistic pride’

Road Rage on the AutismHWY?!




After my last blog post  The New Scarlet letter I was accused of   going on an attack. Really?!
Let’s examine the definition of the WORD attack:
1. To set upon with violent force.     NO, most definitely NOT.
2. To criticize strongly or in a hostile manner.    Well, Yes, yes I did.
3. To start, work on with purpose and vigor: attack a problem.   Exactly. The problem of continued disrespect of a cherished word by folks in our own community.
4. To begin to affect harmfully   Changing perceptions is only harmful to some. The people trying to keep others in “their place,” separated from them.
The Autism Sparkles page and blog does not like the word Autistic and when ”Queen Sparkle” boasts about that, it damages the community and those of us here at We wrote a blog pointing that out. Is that violent, hostile, vigorous or harmful behavior? We think not. However  the self appointed Queen thought it was and set out to stir up a propaganda frenzy in the ensuing days. (It was a labor day delight!)  She wrote her own blog mischaracterizing many of my points Then melodramatically threatened to take her wondrous sparkles away from the internet (Oh my, how will we ever survive without them?)  Her ‘followers’ recruited droves upon droves of entities to come forth and save her from this horrible “attack” from AutismHWY!  She misrepresented my words and banned any corrections I tried to make to her victimized spin on things. Posting again and again and again about the hatred directed at her. Hundreds of presumptive commenters grew meaner and meaner begging her to stay and declaring that I was an evil, mean bully and a lot of other disgusting things. Branding us negative attacking “haters.” You get that picture. Very scary to see what a growing group of uninformed people will say in a moments notice at the coercion of some misguided “Queen.”



There were a few comments that were rational amongst it all. Like my favorite: ”All I saw was a women defending Autistic people.” Thanks random woman, you get it!  Or another fav, “Oh my, a pity party.” Thank you Jane S., right on target as always! Another good friend to AutismHWY Steve S. posted some great articles about ‘person first language’ theory written by talented Autistic Activists! (Extremely helpful if read!!)
Another young woman I had never heard of  messaged me privately during this unbelievable flurry of ignorance. This is what she wrote.

These cupcakes spark something a bit more substantive.

These cupcakes spark something a bit more substantive.

 “Hi, although I was not involved I wanted to tell you I completely agree with you about Autism Sparkles. I am Autistic, and there were many times she shunned me, because my Autistic point of view did not jive with her non-Autistic point of view. She cooed and “liked” over everything other parents would say, but completely ignored any input I gave. God forbid an Autistic person have the right to comment on Autism related matters! Anyway, thanks for speaking up about it.
 Well, she’s being dishonest about the situation. She is telling people that you accosted her solely for saying her child is “on the spectrum” instead of “Autistic.” Having been repeatedly offended by her in the past for various reasons I assumed this was inaccurate”
That alone says it ALL for us. A group intent on positivity and sparkling encouragement? For whom? Autistic people and their family of supporters?…or just for families with the Autistic person pushed off in the background? Not as important as the parents yet again?
Lot’s of gooey and  sugary baby talk is served up daily on this page with pink cupcakes, princesses & sparkles along with moments of genuine love. However, when a status posting goes out of it’s way to make a self righteous point that the word Autistic will never be allowed to cross the lips of the status writer, in regards to her spectrum child- that says a lot. A lot that is not good, useful or helpful as we advocate for erasure of negative stereotypes. Stereotypes that have been hanging over the heads of Autistic people and their families for decades. Forget those stereotypes and consider the people. How can you negate any part of the child you love no matter how greatly they are, or are not affected? To us it seems like loving goldfish yet, hating the color gold?
Hey! LOVE all of me!

Hey! LOVE all of me!

We ALL know that when you proclaim you will never allow yourself to use a particular word. You are making a huge and strong statement. You are elevating the language you will use while belittling the language you won’t use. Everyone has the right to use and call themselves whatever they deem fit. was NEVER asserting otherwise. On the Spectrum, Autistic person, person with Autism. 3 ways of saying the same thing in our view ( and we believe the majority of people’s.) We use them all with an emphasis on Autistic, especially in recent years. The adult population is burgeoning and will continue to do so!  More and more “Autistic adults” will be identifying just that way! It’s a beautiful emerging self identifier that is necessary for navigating the world. As we move forward and people begin to recognize the cogs in the wheel that are Autistic and how this world has always used these cogs to get around. The shame will dissipate and the pride can freely rush in. This is what we want Queen Sparkle. You may use your own brand of spectrum speak but, do not denigrate other’s choices in that process. Please don’t deny us that my lady nor hinder our progress through words of hatred and fear masked with  huge delirious servings of sugar.
Sometimes information can seem very heavy, as well it should!

Sometimes information can seem very heavy, as well it should!

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The New Scarlet Letter?


Silke Heyer's hand painted scarf back-dropping empowerment!

Silke Heyer’s hand painted scarf back-dropping empowerment!



The other day I came across a post where a Mother claims she will never refer to her child as AutisticThat he is more than that stigma and hopefully one day that will change.

People say all kinds of things. Over and over, again and again. Is it a type of thought “brand messaging” or, is it straight brain washing? Whatever you want to call it. It can be damaging to the way a person (a society) is conditioned to think and react.


We have all heard the old adage; if you say something long enough it becomes the truth. Even if it never was. Scripts people compose serve purposes, especially when seeking to control and domineer others perceived to be different. This is an insidious way to behave. Even more insidious is that this behavior is seen everywhere when you really look, in small ways and in very big ways. The running script concocted for Autism in particular has been way off of the mark. I for one, am sick of sticking to it.


There are scores of Autistic adults with powerful things to say about rewriting that bad script the world has been handed. They work passionately for a more complete understanding of these different Autistic and valid ways of being.  We as a community could use a new script for the so-called ‘mainstream’ world. If we had our way here at these would be a few of the new head script writers: Ibby Anderson-Grace, Nick Walker, Kassiane Sibley, Amy Sequenzia ,  Alyssa , Paula C. Durbin Westby, Zach Richter, Michael Scott Monje Jr., Emily Page Ballou , Lydia Brown, Ari Ne’eman, Jane Strauss,  Matt Young , Judy Endow  and many others I will CONTINUE TO LINK here by name.






Why hope for the ableist status quo to just go away one day and in the mean time continue following their restrictive bad script? If “they” say Autistic is the big “A” word and no one will allow a son or daughter access to the real world with the word Autistic attached to them. Why not improvise? Why not strive to change that? Why should we just accept someone else’s oppressive script or tag concerning the word Autistic? Concerning Autistic people? When schools of thought aren’t that intelligent shouldn’t we deviate? Educate? The people that have decided the word Autistic is the big “A” word are not that informed, truly. “My child cannot have that word associated with them. People won’t see past it. Until things change, I will just whisper it to you that he or she is on the Spectrum.”

Is AUTISM equivalent to a "Scarlet Letter"?

Is AUTISM equivalent to a “Scarlet Letter”?

People are still looking past Einstein’s Autism. How about Isaac Newton’s or Nikola Tesla‘s, how many other’s past, present or future ? The Autistic mind is essential to technology. It always has been. So why are people afraid to be associated with the word Autistic? Why has my son’s condition been made into a dirty word to some people? I truly don’t understand. 1016226_10151498480143461_1259390007_n


How does that attitude help, coming from a parent advocate? Someone, who is supposed to be an ally. If we ourselves, whom live with Autism everyday in our amazing children and wonderful friends are afraid to say the BIG BAD ”A” WORD out loud….well then, call me a monkey’s uncle. Will anyone else? Will the people in society allow us to be considered something more than a 1 trick pony Rain Man? Autistic people and allies  need to break down those barriers that were built divisively against us. Familiarize people unfamiliar with Autistic ways and (comfort zone) means. Definitely, don’t continue to demonize the very word Autistic adults use everyday in reference to themselves. Can we please all agree on that and realize we must work together to shift the negative stigma that has been bestowed upon our lives? Can we be the change we want to see…?


Not just waiting for somewhere over the SPARKLY RAINBOW!


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”~Dr. Martin Luther King


YES, Yes we do!

YES, Yes we do!




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