I was so bummed by #SocialStories that gaslight #ActuallyAutistic kids that I made one that is not traumatic. It’s for ALL kids because it’s not necessary or healthy for minority groups to assimilate against their wishes and neurology. Alt text added to each image. 10 slides
I want to apologize for my responses to the Sia movie. Nonspeakers had replied, but I didn't see it. It was erasing their input by asking people to listen to them. I also should have used my personal account and not the publication account. (cont)
My personal perspectives are very affected by my experiences & are not universal among our contributors. I am really sad for all the constant pain & erasure & misrepresentation autistic people experience. I definitely don't ever want to invalidate any of that. We deserve better.
I (Terra Vance) will do better to use my personal account to respond to things that are not an issue that is pretty universal among our contributors and apologize for not doing that. I made mistakes and missed things that were relevant to inform a full and fair reaction.
I want to clarify a few points about my thread about the Sia movie because I think in my long thread, I still wasn't clear enough on a few points. I'll try to condense them to one thread at a time.
1. I wanted the point of the thread to be about how we as a community were addressing the issue was often using talking points and language that doesn't reflect the best language for nonspeaker rights.
2. Many of the things said about Sia were things that are tacitly ableist and can cause harm.
I’m having a hard time with the discussion about the movie, Music, written and directed by @Sia. First, everyone is referencing NonSpeakers as “non-verbal.” NonSpeakers are nonspeaking because they are apraxic, and that means they can’t coordinate their movements to speak.
They often also can’t coordinate their bodies. They do things without being able to control themselves. Asking them to act in a movie where they have to do very complex ordered tasks would be overwhelming.
It can take a NonSpeaker a week to write an article because of the difficulty of spelling to communicate. But when we publish articles by nonspeakers, nobody reads or shares them. They are our lowest traffic demographic despite that I put 10x more effort in promoting them.
Thread: I’m going to put a trigger warning on this for attempted suicide, but is good news. A couple days ago, I announced to Twitter what had been told to me: that someone I cared about profoundly had died from suicide. He was an autistic 22-year-old.
That was what the family was told. He had tried to save someone from an abusive situation, but it resulted in him being shunned and scolded and written off as a troublemaker. But what he did was brave and heroic, which I’d been saying daily. I was afraid this would happen.
But, and my details are incomplete right now, he is ALIVE. What happened (I think. Will confirm) was he was on a ventilator for his family to say goodbye, but he continued to breathe when they took him off the vent. He was triaged for 18 hours, & finally his vitals stabilized.
These people may have an aggressive approach to bullying autistics & our allies out of our own narratives & using their white (that's all white people) privilege to maintain the #monopoly on #Autism, but they are NOT allies. They are #oppressors. We can and do communicate. See?
Let me explain why autistic people may perform better with robots. It’s not their “Easy to read” social cues, it’s because they’re honest and predictable. They aren’t going to give an exasperated sigh or treat us like we’ve verbally assaulted them by expressing a need (cont)
They’re not going to call us into the office and tell us they have “concerns” because they misinterpreted our responses. We aren’t going to find after six months of mistreatment that someone has been harboring a grudge because they misunderstood OUR subtext. (Cont)
They won’t assemble in groups in the break room and stop talking when we walk in. They aren’t going to think we are angry at them if we don’t wrap every instruction up in platitudes or remind them they’re a good person if we need to ask them to do something differently. (Cont)
I assure you that our ability to tolerate suffering is monastic already and that your testing of our patience is already a Sisyphean marathon you can’t fathom. Maybe the reason we are underemployed is because your nonsense is a parody straight out of Swift’s Laputa.
To be autistic is to be the narrator in Gulliver’s Travels. There are not enough words to express how abjectly fucked this is. You want us to act like human beings? Start with treating us that way.
Today is day three of Suicide Prevention Week, and we are continuing the #NoDejahVu campaign by posting daily with articles and social media posts focused on suicide prevention. We need you to help! (cont)
Of all the factors related to suicide, no lists suggest that "being loved, embraced, respected, and accepted" contributes. Being dismissive, embarrassed, or judgemental of people's personal truth and way of existing, their very identity, devastates them. (cont)
Lack of acceptance contributes to why so many LGBTQ+ youth consider, attempt to, or do end their own lives. Teachers, parents, friends, classmates, grandparents-- respect & accept those in your life for where and who they are.
This is a thing about being autistic. NeuroClastic had an article about 50 ways society gaslights autistics. I experienced a different one yesterday, but it's happened to me a lot. This is informational for allies and an #AskingAutistics and #NeuroLurkers to see if others relate.
I was doing something internal, and it was glorious. I mean, I doubt most people's brains work this way, but I really don't know. I was totally in my mind, oblivious to the world around me, rearranging all these moving parts visually in my head. I see my thoughts. (cont)
I can explain it best by saying that it's like dreaming in that I'm not seeing it with my eyes, and the things I "see" are like a coded language. I can use this "system" to bring thousands of disconnected things to working memory and arrange them to make sense of them. (cont)
I have the forensic reports from the accident Matthew Rushin had. I have transcripts from body cams now. Here is what really happened. On January 4, 2019, Matthew was going to Panera Bread to get pastries. And to see his girlfriend who worked there. This was a routine for him.
As he is pulling in, a man at a stop sign begins to pull out. Matthew had the right of way. Their front left bumpers graze each other. Matthew maintained the entire time that the other man hit him. Police continue to say “the man you hit,” and Matthew continues to correct them.
“No, he hit me.” Matthew pulls off to the side and waits. And waits. The man is illegally sitting in an intersection. For minor accidents, people are supposed to move out of traffic. The man would not move. Matthew tries to prompt the man to get out of the intersection.
Our community is really broken. It's a cruel place. I thought if I named this site what I did and reidentified the name, equated it as a synonym of autism, then it would do something to reverse the bullying and unnecessary division. It hasn't. I mean, it's accomplished a lot.
But I thought if people saw that we were this great, inclusive publication, they'd see the merit of the approach and also how much of our community was out there with no safety net and no "community." Autism groups ran by non-autistics can get 100k+ people. Ours rarely get 10k
No matter what I do with the site name, it's going to disappoint a ton of people. But right now, it's meaning that a lot of people are constantly being stressed and pulled into defending us against charges of fascism and white supremacy and a hierarchy of ableism.
Dear parents, teachers, & employers of autistics. Today, I'm celebrating that my child ate half a yogurt and 3/4 of a PB&J for breakfast. She used a spoon for the yogurt and made it half way through before getting a bit upset because she spilled a lot & was getting overwhelmed.
Before, a PB and J would've been a no-go. She wouldn't eat anything with more than one visible ingredient. She will eat cheese (alone), or bread (alone), but never both at the same time. She's sometimes eat peanut butter on a spoon because it doesn't spill off.
This didn't just happen. This was the result of three years of trying different things, of eating tons of pureed food in pouches, and of grand efforts that were futile in execution. But not once was there force, punishment, or shaming. Just low-demand encouragement.
2. AMA seeks to validate each person's individual strengths, accommodate their disabilities, and provide for them a set of circumstances wherein they can thrive to meet their full potential.
3. ABA reinforces behaviors undertaken in the interest of "social consequence." Those social norms go unquestioned and maintain the status quo. The status quo maintains dominant power structures and keeps minority populations marginalized.
@ASHAWeb Imagine that a family of faith believes in creationism. They have autistic children who are receiving services. Would it be ethical for practitioners to bully and defame that family for years, calling them "charlatans," "anti-science," and equating them with perverts?
Would you credential people who have encouraged groups of thousands of people to dogpile on those children? Who paint their families as "post modernist ideologues" and who wield their academic privilege to publicly shame them and call into question their sanity and intelligence?
Would you allow those people to be of major influence in your policies and procedures? What if they decided to run "dissemination" campaigns by employing extremist online trolls to promote their ideology?
My child gets very excited and overwhelmed when in large groups. She loves Halloween and costumes, and she loves rescue vehicles (as long as the sirens aren't on). A large car dealership in our area had a "Trunk or Treat." It was huge.
The line extended forever. We would've never made it in the front door. We wouldn't have lasted three minutes in the line before she would've taken off running through the path of least resistance. The close proximity to others would've been too hard for her.
I didn't know what to do, but she was so excited to trunk or treat. I found one of the first responders, a firefighter, who was volunteering and told him that my daughter was autistic and loves events like this, but they become quickly overwhelming and we wouldn't be there long.
I've been very ill lately. Functionally bedridden and on death's doorstep. There were hours in the last two weeks that I thought might be my last. What I'm about to say might be a mistake, but I am going to say it anyway. Trigger warning for completed suicides and bullying.
When I first told my closest living friend about being autistic, it was the first person I'd told other than my husband. This was her response.
Though she knew I was going to be tested, she'd continued to use the word Asperger's. I'd been helping her through the process of understanding her son and autism. I loved her deeply. I still do. But she blocked me on social media and told everyone before I was ready to come out.
We can all stand to learn so much from marginalized folks about change-making. To be a changemaker, people often feel they need to be a perfect representative. This is a lie you tell yourself. You think you need to live a perfect example free from trauma & who makes no mistakes
But that's not true. You're going to make mistakes. Small ones, big ones, mistakes beyond your control. It's going to happen. You think you need to be organized and have everything planned in advance. You think you have to drop your emotions and be calculated. Lies, again.
You just have to be willing and brave, and sometimes being angry is the force that will push you through those insurmountable odds. Sometimes, being scared is a lie you tell yourself, because nothing is going to hurt more than doing nothing.
Katharine Beals and team work hard, to the level of fanaticism, to discredit techniques used to help nonspeaking people with poor motor control or apraxia be able to communicate. Facilitated communication has been discredited by a small team who seem to make it their life's goal
They are not scientists, though. They are bullies. These are the same people trying to commandeer ground to discredit that sensory processing disorder affects behaviors. I have evidence of far more than a decade of academic and social bullying of autistic people at their hands
They are part of the crew responsible for editing the Wikipedia articles and having them removed for people like Tito Mukhopadhyay, who literally can use a pencil and write his words, yet they still try to invalidate his words. There's loads of evidence!
Here's a little 101 on what happens in behaviorism (ABA). Behavior analysts set themselves up as the authority in science and against what they call "pseudoscience." These people are sharing this article as "evidence." Look at the article: news.fiu.edu/2019/weighted-…
At first the article didn't even name an author, but after complaints, it has been added. The article asserted originally that ADHD meds were not effective. That has since changed. It also asserts that it's the first to study weighted vests and activity ball chairs in classrooms
It talks about how much money is spent on OT in classrooms. Same financial fear-mongering as they always use. As "The Usual Suspects" of alt-autism use to talk about the "epidemic rise" of autism to ask for more money to go into eugenics and behaviorism.