As April draws to a close and the competing agendas of April Âûtism Awareness and Âûtism Acceptance months draw to a close that perhaps it is time to think further. To think beyond Acceptance and towards inclusion. The April month has been awash with posts and news articles predominantly from the “cure culture” agenda. Mixed in with this has been the ridiculous but damaging to acceptance of the “vaccination causes autism” rubbish alongside a little of the crazy damaging and abusive CD/MMS bleach enema inserting loony tunes like Kerri Rivera and her devotees. I know personally my feed has had much also flowing from those that are for the Acceptance and Self-Advocacy movement but I would be concerned that this has not been the case for many that just happen to know someone who is autistic. They have a friend who has a child etc.
I am convinced we are making much progress through the self-advocacy work of organisations like ASAN and wonderful work through individual advocates like Jeanette Purkis. Amythest Schaber, Tori Haar, Daniel Giles, Tina Richardson, Andrew Power and many many others. I am so thankful for the support of such as those, and their encouragement and support as I have really just begun this journey of self-advocacy and acceptance of my own Âûtistic identity.
I have grasped this with both hands and taken it on board. This identity that is like an amazing new revelation of truth. This identity that is like a clearing of fog and a new found making sense of the world I inhabit. This new found connection with people that get me. This new found realisation that I am not crazy and bonkers, after all, I am just wired differently. Yes, I have grasped it with both hands tightly and I am working my online voice to speak with pride. To embrace and celebrate and communicate to all my Âû pride.
With the work of the cure culture organisations like Autism $peaks and Autism One, the communication space is crowded. A couple of online friends have made the suggestion. And I am going to run with it and see if we can’t drum up support to make it a reality, a grass roots reality, a reality driven by those that are autistic. Our voice. In the spirit of “Nothing about us without us”.
The proposal is that we adopt Âûgust as Âûsome Âûgust Âûtism Âcceptance and Inclusion month. The inclusion addition is I believe the next step for us to take. Yes, we need to be accepted but we do not want to just be accepted as ones in the corner, accepted as token members of the conversation. We strive for real inclusion. Real inclusion means we won’t be mostly unemployed or underemployed. We won’t be underrepresented in peak groups. We won’t see most of the fundraising dollars go to the horrid organisation like Autism $peaks to be used to work out how to stop us from ever existing to begin with. Inclusion means disgusting comments and non-apologies by public figures like RFK Jr will not be tolerated by the community at large. Quackery like the CD/MMS movements and the Vaccinations cause Autism movements will be cast into
the rubbish of society where they should be.
I propose we embrace Âûsome Âûtistic Âûgust and make it our own. Who’s with me?