, 16 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
FRIENDS WHO ARE NOT #ActuallyAutistic

You sometimes ask me how you can be a better ally to people like me.

Well, we need you now.

I want to tell you about a play called #AllInARow, and about how it’s harmful to #ActuallyAutistic folks like me. 1/
You may not have heard of it, and that’s ok.

On the surface it’s about an autistic boy growing up with his family.

Except it’s not. It’s about an allistic (not Autistic) family living with an autistic child.

A child who is to be played by a PUPPET. 2/
The Autistic character is the only one played by an inanimate object. Every other character - the ones who are not Autistic - is to be played by an actor.

Why does this matter? Why is it harmful? 3/
It matters because people learn and absorb a lot from the material that they consume.

And what they’re going to take from this is that Autistic children do not have autonomy; do not have our own minds, ideas and experiences; and that we are there for the amusement of others. 4/
It’s harmful because what people see on that stage will inform how they see - and treat - Autistic people in their lives.

And that’s not ok. 5/
Others in the Autistic community have put it far better than me. I’m going to quote some of their threads here so you can find out more.

And then I’m going to tell you what you can do to help us fight this. 6/
This thread is great on how the play enforces harmful stereotypes about Autistic folks: 7/
The play is written by an Allistic (not Autistic) man who used to be a carer for Autistic children. This thread articulately breaks down why, if anything, that’s more harmful: 8/
And this is an expert thread on the use of puppets to amplify dehumanisation and marginalisation of people: 9/
There is so much more. Pop over to #ActuallyAutistic to *read* other reflections from some of us. Most of these folks are far better informed than I. 10/
So, my patient friends, what can you do to help us?

Well, the noise from our community against #AllInARow has been staggering over the last few days. And they organisers have noticed us.

But they’ve claimed that too much money has been invested to row back now. 11/
Yes, you read that right.

They’ve acknowledged the harm and chosen to take no action.

So pro ally tip #1: DO NOT GO AND SEE THIS PLAY.

Don’t give them your money. Vote with your feet. And tell others to as well. 12/
Pro ally tip #2: listen to #ActuallyAutistic voices on this, and amplify us. Retweet us yes, but talk about how horrendous this is too. Tell people in the office. Over the dinner table. In the pub. In the hair salon.

Make our voices heard. 13/
And finally, pro ally tip #3: they’re not really listening to us. We need more people to tell #AllInARow that this is not acceptable. This is not representation. And they can and must do better.

Please. We need you to step up.

Thanks. 14/14
Adding this bonus thread from the incredible @QueerlyAutistic that explains it so comprehensively:
And this thread, on why they’re using a puppet to ‘represent autism’ and how that compounds the harm of this play and everything it represents
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