Thursday, March 28, 2013

Autism Speaks, I Want to Say

Think what you are doing to our mothers.

Perhaps you believe you must use the hurtful, bigoted rhetoric to cause the panic to raise the money.  Perhaps you think you have to make videos about us without ever really showing us using our actual voices, our actual use of AAC as it actually is, or people will get the idea we're not such a terrible burden or tsunami or whatever the the trigger word of the age seems to be.  I don't know what you're thinking, but I know what you're doing, and I know it isn't good.

This morning I saw a tired, pained mother say she "had to be pro-Autism Speaks" even though she disagreed with your tactics of this nature, because you lobby for services for her family, and she had "nowhere else to turn".  I looked into this, but didn't have the heart to tell her this thing that you already know, that you spent $460K on lobbying last year, a mere drop out of the millions, millions you raise and carry as assets (yes, I can read a financial report) and much less than you spend on your salaries, which are so high you don't easily make it in to count as a non-profit in the USA any more and have to explain the exact rules to your stakeholders in well-crafted wordsmithing so they don't get skittish.

I didn't have the heart to tell her that of that wee amount that goes to lobbying, not all of it or even most of it seemed from the government reports to be having anything to do with services for her family.  A lot of it seemed to do with "science" again....  How is it going to help this woman's family right now for you to figure out how her child could have been prevented?  It isn't, and you know it.

You will be hearing from a lot of us Autistics today in this Autism Speaks, I Want To Say flashblog, if you listen at all, about what you are doing to us.  But I am very clear on the fact that you do not care what you do to us.  Still I wonder: do you care what you are doing to our mothers?  Scaring them and taking their money and saying you will help them get needed services when what you are really doing is trying to prevent more of their families from happening, and making a very handsome living while you are at it: does this sound decent to you?

This is our mothers you are doing these things to.  Our mothers and fathers.  Are there no mirrors in your house?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Autistic People Are Loved

This blog is part of a FlashBlog is in response to the fact that the first four auto-fill responses to "Autistic people are..." in Google are/were quite painful to see, though not as breathtakingly horrific as those to "Autistic people should." 

Because of last week's FlashBlog event, Google is running systems to make that kind of hatred invisible.  This is going to take a while to go into effect, but soon, we won't be able to see the hurtful search terms when we Google what we are and should be.  I have two things to say about this before I commence talking about what I was going to talk about, which is that Autistic people are loved.

First of all, delegitimizing the hate speech and working to lower some of its replication is a wonderful action on the part of Google, because it is a lot of work, and also, Google has nothing to do with the origination of the hatred.  The people who searched these things typed that stuff in through no fault of Google's.

Second, the hatred is absolutely not universal.  Though I have met my share of cruel people and had my share of hard times, I meet a lot of parents and others through my profession and on this blog and other social media, and they are loving and kind.  I meet a lot of other Autistics as well, loving Autistics, and kind.  While I'm on the topic of loving and kind, my family and friends are nonpareil.

Let me tell you the truth.  Autistic people are loved.  Autistic people are loving.  We love each other, and we love other people, and other people love us.  We are people: lovable, loved, loving people.  Autistic people are loved.

Of course, not everyone is loving.  We mourned the loss of our fallen yesterday, and keenly felt this vacuum.

But many, many people are loving.  There must be more people who are loving than who are hating.  Let the love outshine the hate.

Autistic people love.

Autistic people are loved.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Disability Day of Mourning

Trigger warning: Talk of death and mourning.

Today, March 1st, Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Not Dead Yet, and the National Council on Independent Living are observing a Disability Day of Mourning.

We remember the lives of those people with disabilities who were murdered by caregivers, by people they should have been able to trust, by people they maybe thought loved them, who maybe themselves even thought they did love them.

At vigils all around the country, we read their names, but we cannot read all their names, because so many of their names are not known to us when the news reports focus only on the hardships in the lives of the murderers.  So we also remember our fallen whose names we do not know.

Some people imagine that a disabled life is not a life worth living.  This is not the truth.

Some people imagine that a disabled person is not a person worth loving.  That is not the truth.

Some people imagine that not being able to talk means not having anything to say.

Some people.