Well, that’s a wrap. The ten principles of Âû and my thoughts and reflections about them have been covered. It’s been a challenging exercise to articulate some of the feelings and thinking that sits deep within me. These 10 principles really do encapsulate a lot about what it means to live as a proud autistic person in a non-autistic world.
In a sense, I long for the time when these ten principles would be obsolete and not needed because all of the stuff within them was inherent to the culture in which we live and breathe. But, alas, that is not the case at this time and embrace and promote them I must.
If you have not been following the series of blogs you the ten principles are:
1. I am Autistic. [or] I support those who are Autistic.
2. I embrace my Autism as a very significant part of my identity.
4. I embrace the belief that Autism does not need any “curing”.
5. I embrace the self-advocacy goal of “Everything about us, with us”.
6. I embrace the definition of Autism as a neuro-social difference.
7. I embrace measures directed at protecting Autistics from attack.
8. I embrace a person-centered approach to all Autism issues.
9. I embrace rigorous scientific approaches to co-occurring conditions.
10. I embrace Autistics leading their own welfare organisations.
You can read my introductory post to the series too to get a little bit more information about how this came about for me. You can also head on over to the Autistic Union facebook page and check out lots of great stuff. It’s worthwhile checking out their mission statement for a bit of info too. You will find a variety of content their including some helpful hints on how to make the groovy little circumflexes happen on your phone, your mac or your PC.
Way back when I first chose to wear the Âû it was a quick and easy choice to embrace the ten principles. I did it without a lot of deep thought. This has meant that whilst I have throughout the time I have worn it I have not wavered from my commitment to those principles, yet I have not put a lot of thought or reflection into that.
It goes without saying that within any community tensions, differences of opinion, and even arguments and personal conflict occur. Several months ago one of these personal conflicts occurred for me. I mention it as it was a conflict between myself and the founder and author of the Âû and its ten principles. It was a difficult time in some ways. It was at the time when I was having my Âû tattoo inked onto my arm.
Unfortunately I was not the only one to have a conflict with them and of course, I will not be the last. There was some discussion of people not continuing to wear their Âû any longer because of it. Personally, this was never an option, but it did prompt me to come back to the principles and ensure that I was still able to ascribe to them.
I went ahead and had my ink done. I continue to wear my Âû, and conflicts continue to happen. But the thing is Âû, though created by a single autistic is bigger than any one person. It’s a statement of solidarity, a coming out, a drawing of a line in the sand and an embracement of identity well-being.
Months have passed and not much active thought about the principles occurred for me. Life was just doing what it does and going on. Occasionally I would find myself tagged in a Facebook post, or asked directly what the Âû was all about. Life goes on.
Sometime in the last several weeks, the admin over at Autism Evolution Facebook page asked me if I had ever written about it here on my blog, and so the spark was lit that birthed this series of posts.
Working through this series has been an exercise of reflection and articulation. I am personally pleased that it was prompted. I am thankful that it has caused me to reflect and then articulate what the principles mean to me. It has been rewarding. I thank you for taking the time to stop and read my ramblings and enter my mind a little as I have shared it with you.
One thing I can say with certainty after this process is that I am even more committed to these ten principles than I was when I first fleetingly added those letters to the end of my name.
I encourage all who are autistic or move in and out of the autism world to stop and reflect on these principles and if you dare to join me in lighting it up gold for autism acceptance.
I embrace and uphold the 10 principles of Âûtistic Ûnion.