Why You Need To Listen To Autistic PeopleĀ 

Last night I attempted to explain to someone why autistic people hate Autism Speaks. With another person (who did a better job than me), I laid out a case that they were a hate group that does no good for us. And what did I get? Ignored and told I shouldn’t judge a charity by bad people in it. 

Here’s the thing. I explained clearly that they were not a charity, and even cursory research shows they have an abysmal record, and that they as an organization were bad. And I was shut down because they were believed over me. 

This is a patten I need to discuss. Not all but far too many Neurotypical people trust “experts” over us. Experts can be teachers. They can be researchers. They’re often parents. What they never are, save for Dr. Grandin, are us. 

I get it. Autism is a mental condition. It’s a lens that distorts our world view. I understand distrust of a distorted perspective. At least in theory. 

Here’s the reality though. When we discuss what it feels like to be autistic, there’s no distortion. We’re clearly laying out how it feels to be us. We’re telling you exactly what’s going on in our heads. A parent can live with a child for years and never know what we know. 

We’re also rather skilled at research. It’s funny how being an expert on various subjects is a stereotype of the condition up to the point where we discuss that condition. Then we know nothing. But seriously we have researched ourselves more thoroughly than any other subject. We have to to survive. 

We are also quite good at expressing this. I’m far from the only blogger out there. There’s tons of us. Many are better at this than I am. So we’re quite loud to be clear. 

But this is the most important point: it’s basic decency to listen to us. We’re the ones living with this. We’re the ones affected despite the hype. Just do the right thing and assume we know what we’re saying. 

Because we do. 

Breaking the Break

It’s been a long time since I’ve written either a review or a blog entry for this site and I’m not high on that being the case. I’ve been silent because to be blunt I’ve not had much drive to write. I could address my life but it’s been a lot of dad work. I could write a review but beyond the horror of Batman and Harley Quinn, I haven’t felt like writing on film. I’ve needed a break.

And who can blame me? It’s been a long, tiring year for all of us. I don’t know very many people who’ve had much drive to do anything. I think society as a whole is trying to rebuild. I’m just one of them.

During my break I’ve had fun. I’ve seen a few solid films on video such as Kong: Skull Island and Shin Godzilla. I’ve rested when I can. I’ve taken Lola on early morning drives when I can’t. I’ve been in therapy. I’ve been on my meds. I’ve reread all of Big Nate and read all of Retail.

I’ve stepped back. But you can’t step back for too long. So it is that I got my Moviepass and I’m hoping to go once a week. There’s a ton of autism media on its way and I need to watch/review. There is a huge, massive project hopefully hitting very soon from me and a collaborator.

It was nice to catch my breath this summer. Time to get to work.