As we land into the year 2018 it seems that this is finally happening. People understanding the multi-faceted everyday marginalization of others and the harm that causes. We here at AutismHWY have been chalking up plans for this societal epiphany…all decade! Calling on people to please remember their humanity. Calling on people to listen to, respect and amplify the Autistic voice. Calling on people to reclaim their humanity. The human empathy that our fast paced, competition driven society has beaten down and all but erased. Building a future that reveres the diversity of Autism and the Autistic wisdom that resides within the community of Autistic adults on line and in real life. Wisdom that does NOT eminate from non Autistic people. Wisdom waiting to be tapped into.
For far too long certain sub-groups of people have been “splainin” as authority for other sub-groups of people. Men explaining women quickly comes to mind. One group explaining the experience of another group to the world. Everyone that is not Autistic: explaining Autistic people endlessly. If you look you will see there is actually a cottage industry of explanation that is so often not affective! When one group has sole control over defining the needs and supports for groups they are not a part of and do not truly understand… the outcome will always be erroneous. This type of speaking over and about people, “for people” has never made pragmatic sense and is completely unauthentic. Why can’t each group speak and seek to represent themselves in life? Why haven’t we honored some people’s authentic experience at the table of practical and precise ideas? Why have we muffled their voices? Too often we allow professionals or someone “of authority” in power to be the final answer…when in reality their answers may not even be close to a beginning, let alone a finality on the matters in focus.
Organizations have made enormous amounts of money by claiming that they alone are the “information gatekeepers” for all things Autism.
All of this should sound quite familiar after the alarming non-stop spinning of information in 2017. We believe that the current political turmoil where one faction of people demand to speak for all people has awoken many to the harsh daily assaults Autistic people have experienced at the hands of “others” for the last century. So now that you all have a “feel for it”…help us stop it from happening.
If you see people trampling all over truths that actually Autistic people share do something. When you see someone marginalizing Autistic people…say something to relieve it. Identify it and stop it. Believe in the splendid variations humanity offers. Respect those variations, include them in culture and learn more deeply from them.
Many voices, many minds, many hands collaborating. That’s what we will see in 2018 as we move closer to “20/20 vision” and back to a MORE HUMAN, humanity.
In 2018 we expect the world to begin playing catch-up with the knowledge Autistic people can provide to all neurologies. We will continue to advocate that ALL parents, professionals and people RESPECT Autistic identity and what that means in the era of renewed communication. The pragmatic supports Autistic people need that other Autistics can impart to those providing care will fuel success and comfort. The future we seek will hold full time consulting and employment opportunities for Autistic people to support their own community members.