I’ve been writing articles about autism for April, “Autism Awareness Month”, for 6 years now. That sounds like a lot in some ways, but compared to how long other autistic activists have been writing, it’s not much. Yet, I’m already tired of it.
There is a fairly persistent belief I come across regularly that autistic people are antisocial. I think what people mean by “antisocial” is that the autistic person doesn’t socialise in ways that are considered typical so they assume that the person does not like to be around people, or is not “good” at it.
I reached two personal goals this month. I’m feeling pretty proud. As I’ve been patting myself on the back (figuratively) I’ve also been reflecting on how different my life looks and what the things are that have helped me get to a place where I could achieve these goals.
Earlier this week I posted to my Facebook page a few thoughts about Sesame Street’s new puppet, Julia, who “has autism”. I’m putting those thoughts here, for reference, and following them with some further thoughts having now watched the new videos including Julia that have been added to the Sesame St website.
It’s taken me months of processing to know what I want to say about current political happenings in the USA. You may wonder why I’d bother at all, since I live in Australia. You may wonder what US politics have to do with neurodivergence, autism, disability or me… Let me explain.
“I hope I don’t make you uncomfortable by saying this. But- you don’t seem Autistic.”
Nobody likes being scammed. Knowing that someone has told you a story that is not entirely true in order to convince you to give them money leaves us all feeling angry and insulted. Rightly so. We have learned to recognise it in many contexts, like marketing calls and tv advertisements,where we easily acknowledge when some one is trying to rip us off. But in other areas we seem reluctant to recognise that the people saying they are helping might not be. Like some organisations promotion of Autism Awareness Month.
It is almost April again.
Almost that time of year when it is cool and trendy to be *aware* of Autism and to support that awful Autism Speaks driven money grabbing “light it up blue” campaign.
We were talking tonight, my husband and I. We were talking about how people are so afraid of things that are unknown and different. We were talking about how it’s important to have diversity in a group. And he said, “do you know what the opposite of diversity is?”