Monthly Archives: March 2016

Why you need to stop using the puzzle piece to represent autistic people

Autistic Alex

I hate the puzzle piece. I hate it with every fiber of my being. Therefore, since in a lot of places it’s national autism awareness month, I’m going to write about why you shouldn’t use the puzzle piece.

First; a little history on the puzzle piece. It was originally a national autistic society symbol. It’s history is documented here , towards the end of the piece, but the important bits regarding the puzzle piece are quoted lower down here. (trigger warning for ableism on that piece).

That first logo was this.

[Image description] A disembodied weeping head on a puzzle piece. [Image description] A disembodied weeping head on a puzzle piece. “’The Committee decided that the symbol of the Society should be the puzzle as this did not look like any other commercial or charitable one as far as they could discover’. It first appeared on our stationary and then on our newsletter in April 1963. Our Society was the…

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Autistic Activist Amy Sequenza to Pope Francis: “Autism Speaks Does Not Speak for Me”

The Digital Hyperlexic

Autistic activist Amy Sequenzia wrote an open letter to Pope Francis. You need to read it. Like, yesterday.

Why? Because in November 2014, the Vatican hosted a three-day conference on autism. Present and speaking at that conference was Suzanne Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks.

Her presence at the conference was quite unfortunate. Scratch that — it’s downright deplorable that she, along with her organization which continually stigmatizes autistic people and does not listen to autistic adult voices despite repeated efforts to reach out to them — gained an audience with His Holiness.

If you’re new to this — i.e. if you’re unfamiliar with the number of issues that autistic adults have with Autism Speaks below are a few reasons why autistic folk (myself included) have a problem with them. In short, Autism Speaks has:

  1. in its advertising, repeatedly relied on “offensive and outdated rhetoric of fear and pity…

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Introducing the McDonald Autistic Pride & Neurodiversity Lending Library!

Parenting Autistic Children With Love & Acceptance

Autism Acceptance Libraries are popping up all over!  We are so excited to highlight the work of Rebecca McDonald and the McDonald Autistic Pride & Neurodiversity Lending Library in Boston, MA!

Can you introduce and tell us a little about yourself?

I am a 45 year old mom of four Autistic children living in the Boston area with my husband, kids, and two cats. I self-identify as being Autistic, after giving much thought to the way that I have always perceived and interacted with the world, despite suppressing myself for so long in an effort to blend in. Two of my children are nonspeaking, and I have been learning Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) to teach them academics and to learn to communicate by typing.

How are you connected to autism & the neurodiversity movement?

When my kids were diagnosed, the main “resources” available were therapies aimed at changing…

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About The Autism Society of America on #DDoM2016

Parenting Autistic Children With Love & Acceptance

By Amy Sequenzia

TW: Graphic description of Filicide

About the Autism Society of America

First, I want to say that this post refers to the National Organization. I don’t know all the chapters but I know that while some are terrible, others are great to their communities, and some are run by Autistics.

I should be trying to sleep. Today was Disability Day of Mourning, the day we remember disabled people murdered by their parents or caregivers. We do this because the media likes to find “excuses” for the murderers, portraying the victims as burdens on “exhausted parents” who “of course” had good reason to murder their children.

We do this because the idea that disabled people are “non-persons” is not really controversial in many circles.

So, by the end of the day I was exhausted, drained. Then I received an email from the Autism Society of America (ASA). After…

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NT’s And Reasonable Accomodation

The following is a rant i just posted on my Facebook wall. Because….NT’s need to read this.

Because….this is a thing. This is a real thing.

NT’s who don’t care, who don’t want to learn about my Autism, and who remain hell bent on doing what triggers me anyway, plus who refuse to grant what IS for me, a reasonable accomodation,…………………

as i hate, and have always hated harsh bright blinding light in my eyes, are what makes life hard if not impossible to live. This includes bright sunlight right in my eyes.

I did not feel that asking for my neighbor to either have her supposedly grown ass 23 year old daughter move her huge monolithic black shiny pickup to a different spot just for 2 1/2 to 3 hours each afternoon, so that the bright late winter sun won’t blind me at my computer………………..

or have her daughter, who does work, purchase a tarp to put over her pickup when it is parked there,—-so that the bright sun doesn’t come into my house—-is being unreasonable.

That bright sunlight from her parked “castle” keeps me from being able to use my computer.

Is that fair to me?

Yes…’s a public street. She has a right to park anywhere on the street.

However, being that i have alot of fears and sensory issues about having to change my actual inside environment so i can better cope with all the bullshit i have to cope with sensory wise outside….example, change my whole entire living room around when i am perfectly comfortable with it the way it is, and when my house is too small to just be able to change things—–especially when this someone knows and is aware——instead of them being nice and making one small accomodation for me so i can use my computer freely—–is downright cruel.

It would traumatize me to have to move my TV and computer to different spots. I cannot handle changes like an NT person can. Changes make me more prone to meltdowns because my world, my whole comfort zone, has just been upset. Me moving my living room around would be an undue hardship for me. Changes makes me disoriented and i shut down.

I don’t know why people want to keep insisting on not seeing and understanding Autistic and Neurodivergent people.