Autism

[last edit: 02/07/07, to fix/remove broken links]

Below is a repost of the leading page from my old (now deleted) LiveJournal blog. It’s unpolished, and amittedly, more than a tad angsty, but it does convey some accuracy of the flavor of my position on “autistic disorder,” “Asperger’s disorder,” and related neuro-cognitive developmental styles — not to mention something of my take on human rights as a whole. Some of the links included also appear in the sidebar of this blog.

It also appears on my less formal rantspace at InsaneJournal.

[I really need to edit the hell out of this … and I will … someday … I promise.]

Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg in a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It’s that you are destroying the peg. What if normal school makes you abnormally miserable? And what if growing up into normal society makes you a miserable adult? Is that success? Is that normal? Do you want to be in the mainstream if it’s going to drown you?” –Paul Collins

Like he said, brother.

So … what’s this “autistic underground” about?

Good question.

There are a lot of different interpretations. Most aren’t worth the ad hominems and straw-man arguments they’re comprised of (i.e., Schaffer, Rimland, Kirby, John Best, Harold Doherty, and other assorted power-hungry neurobigots and snake-oil salesmen). It’s pure grassroots, but not an organization in any formal sense. The Autistic Underground is pretty much synonymous with the Autistic Liberation Front, which is really little more than a global peer-group of people on the autism spectrum (and a few unusually insightful non-autistics) who reject the mainstream paradigms of autism as a disease and a tragedy. We are here to rescue each other, to whatever degree possible, from a world of crude stereotypes, bigotry, discrimination and dismissal.

A human rights movement? We can only hope.

Oh, but far be it from us to suggest that actual autistics might have anything useful to say about autism…

neurodiversity.com – honoring the variety of human wiring

* Required reading: The Autistic Distinction by Kathleen Seidel

Autistics.org – resources by and for persons on the autistic spectrum

* Autism Information Library

* Autistics Need Acceptance, Not Cure

* Autistic Authors Booklist and Facts

No Autistics Allowed: Explorations in discrimination against autistics – Michelle Dawson

Autism Network International: An autistic-run self-help and advocacy organization for autistic people.

Bridging the Gaps: An Inside-Out View of Autism, by Jim Sinclair

Ooops…Wrong Planet! Syndrome

University Students With Autism And Asperger’s Syndrome – website and listserv

Vocational Supports for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome

Frank Klein’s Autistic Advocacy Website

* Autistic Advocacy (“AutAdvo”) – group/listserv

Moggy’s Autism Spectrum Links

* Autism Spectrum and Proud Of It! – group/listserv

oddizm central – links, writings, art, and even some cool cafepress stuff

Autism National Committee (AUTCOM)

The above links are just a sampling, but will most certainly get you to the heart of the matter.

For those many who honestly believe that people with developmental differences are not abused or discriminated against, but instead are “cared for,” no offense, but PLEASE READ the study, Abuse and Neglect of Adults with Developmental Disabilities. If nothing else, please pay close attention to the statistics in Chapter 1, at the very least.

I also highly recommend a gander at Ragged Edge Magazine Online, for a perspective on disability from actual disabled people — a point of view that continues to appear utterly beyond the comprehension of mainstreamers. Go figure. I recommend anything by Cal Montgomery — and Defining Autistic Lives, in particular, is a must-read.

Cause and effect: the roots and the fruits. Do the ends justify the means? Does might make right?
Bob Altemeyer — “The Authoritarians.”

Get free nails for behaviorism’s coffin at: Self Determination Theory

oh, and United Nations – Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask how you can make your country stop exploiting human beings.

Have a cow, dude.

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