Hi cross-disability twitter! I deeply appreciate the solidarity y’all are showing the autistic community right now. I want to ask you to engage with this beyond just “they cast a non-disabled actor!” Here’s why: 1/10
(1): Nonspeaking people are some of the most marginalized folks in our community. Nonspeaking actors exist, but it is incredibly rare for them to be hired, even compared to other disabled actors. This has real consequences for them, and makes them invisible. 2/10
By talking generally about Sia hiring a “non-disabled” or “non-autistic” person, we contribute to that erasure. We should be centering this inequity explicitly, and naming that Sia should have cast a *nonspeaking* person. 3/10
(2): Sia has said it would be “cruel” to have cast a nonspeaking autistic person. This response is specifically and deeply rooted in societal ableism against nonspeaking people and people with the most significant developmental disabilities. Name that. 4/10
(3): Despite being a disabled person herself, Sia doesn’t appear to know about workplace accommodations--or doesn’t think they apply to nonspeaking people. She certainly isn’t familiar with works like Pixar’s Loop, which shows that this can be done, and done well. 5/10
(4): The casting is the LEAST of our problems. Autistic people do not appear to have been consulted in any meaningful capacity on the creation, writing, or directing of this story. The script appears to promote guardianship. 6/10
The actress prepared for the role by watching videos parents put online of their autistic children melting down, exploiting our most vulnerable moments. Sia is attacking and insulting self-advocates who raise concerns. The problems are endless. 7/10
(5): Most of this stuff is very heavily rooted in specific kinds of ableism encountered by nonspeaking/autistic/ developmentally disabled people--and sometimes wielded against us by other disabled people. That matters. Name that. When you erase that, you perpetuate it. 8/10
(6): When pieces are written about this--and they will be--I want to see them written by nonspeaking people, first and foremost. Start thinking now about how you can boost those voices. That’s what will most powerfully flip this script. 9/10
(7): Let’s use this moment to promote nonspeaking/AAC user voices! Here are some powerful advocates I follow right now--if I’m missing you, drop your name below!
And I'm already kicking myself for forgetting folks like @AAC_Autistic! I will almost definitely be back to this thread with more folks I forgot. Please add your name if I am missing you, or others if you think of folks!

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More from @JustStimming

6 Jul
So, this study shows that autistic toddlers may (small sample size, needs replication, etc) have brains where sensory networks are more connected than the brains of NT toddlers. I want to talk about how these findings are presented. (1/7) spectrumnews.org/news/sensory-n…
The autistic toddlers’ brains have more connections in sensory networks. They are "overconnected." God forbid we ever have a neutral or even positive difference. If there were less, we’d be “underconnected.” The right amount of connections is the number the NT brain makes. (2/7)
But even more troubling is this quote from the lead investigator. "Their brain is busy with things it shouldn’t be busy with.”

This is how she chooses to characterize results that may help explain and validate the sensory experiences many autistic people report. (3/7)
Read 7 tweets
25 Jun
I keep coming back to this amazing thread from @slooterman about this. I want to add a couple things. People really underestimate:

(1) the reality of the *industry,* including many disability-oriented nonprofits, pushing PWD here. (1/n)
(2) The role of many nondisabled people in supporting and feeding that industry, even if they aren't aware of it, and of pushing the young PWD in their lives in that direction. (2/n)
(3) How *young* PWD start getting pushed into inspiration porn in an organized way (I know of workshops for *middle schoolers* with ID on how to Tell Your Story To Inspire Others) (3/n)
Read 9 tweets
28 May
The Biden disability plan is up. It is solid. There is some exciting stuff. It's much more moderate than the Castro, Warren, or Sanders plans. #CripTheVote joebiden.com/disabilities/
Exciting stuff:
--Lots of stuff the agencies can do regardless of Congress
--Including addressing guardianship!
--A White House Domestic Policy Council member focused on disability (this sounds boring but is really important and we've been asking for it for years #CripTheVote
More exciting stuff:
--Big focus on competitive integrated employment and ending subminimum wage
--Addressing violence, including sexual & domestic violence, against people with disabilities
--Supporting higher education for students with intellectual disabilities #CripTheVote
Read 4 tweets
12 Apr
Mel's blog was one of the first things I found when I was googling "autism" at 15 years old, scared and not knowing what was going on with me or what kind of future I would be allowed to have. (1/4)
Mel's writings showed me that I would be okay, that there was a whole world of people like me out there, that we were worth defending and celebrating. I am struggling to find the words to describe the impact Mel had on my life. (2/4)
Over the years, Mel's example taught me disability pride, the importance of standing with our siblings with intellectual disabilities, and what it looked like to not leave anyone behind. I am who I am and I am doing what I am doing, in large part, because of Mel. (3/4)
Read 4 tweets
11 Feb
You still haven't apologized for "Autism Every Day," where a leader in your organization talked about fantasizing about killing her daughter while her daughter was in the room. You haven't apologized for Suzanne Wright's op-ed comparing autism to domestic violence. (1/2)
You haven't acknowledged, apologized, or in any way taken responsibility for the huge role that your organization, specifically, has played in directly increasing stigma and fear of autistic people through years of PSAs and damaging rhetoric. (2/3)
Read 4 tweets
31 Jan
This is a really strong disability plan. It isn't perfect--no plan has been--and it definitely has its quirks, but it's incredibly ambitious, and I'd definitely put it in the top 2. (1/4)
It's been really great to see a virtuous cycle this campaign with candidates essentially competing to have the best disability plan. Things no one would commit to 6 months ago are now standard. (2/4)
The scope of what counts as a "disability issue" has also really broadened. Plans are now naming us in their proposals on criminal justice, climate change, immigration, infrastructure, and more. We are being taken more and more seriously. (3/4)
Read 4 tweets

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