Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Problem with ''Autism Mom'' Merch (and what to buy instead)

I got a Facebook ad for a shirt (not pictured in thumbnail, but it's in the video) that can be harmful to autistic people. I explain why the shirt is harmful, and some alternatives that are more supportive. Support my work! (one-time donation) The Ableist History of the Puzzle Piece How Autism Speaks has NOT been kind to autistic people Before you donate to Autism Speaks, consider the facts Self-regulation methods that have helped me feel my best Fierce Autie edited the sunflower shirt design and made it auesome! BETTER AUTISM MERCH, FOR AUTISTIC PEOPLE (that supports #ActuallyAutistic people) Neurodiversi-Tee
Fierce Autie Neurodivergent Rebel Growing Up Autie BETTER AUTISM T-SHIRTS, FOR PARENTS, FRIENDS AND ALLIES "Autism Acceptance" on teepublic "Autism Acceptance" on zazzle "#RedInstead Autism Acceptance" "Light it up gold - Autism Acceptance" "Celebrate Neurodiversity" "Embrace Neurodiversity" "Neurodiversity is human diversity"

Vanessa Blevin's page "Parenting Through The Fog"
Autism Support Groups & Resources Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Gaming Channel (Twitch) My Blog Facebook
Twitter ---MUSIC CREDITS--- "Inspired" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ "George Street Shuffle" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Advocacy vs. Assholery

In the Autistic community, there is a difference between being angry about injustice / advocating hardcore for change, vs. being an asshole to your own people.

Getting angry at corporations partnering with Autism Speaks = Good ✔️

Gently educating non-autistic parents about the harms of ABA = Good ✔️

Policing the preferred language and identities of fellow autistics = ❌ Bad

Harassing helpful autistic advocates off the internet due to a single disagreement or mistake = ❌ Bad


We are all humans

It helps to avoid having an "us vs. them" mentality and recognize that we are all humans with strengths and flaws, unique circumstances, different upbringings, and all kinds of traumas.


Harassment ≠ Change

Harassment does not help educate or make change, unless the change you want is to scare the other person into a corner.

It's totally reasonable to request removal or alteration of harmful content or statements. It helps to explain why it is harmful too, if the person is genuinely ignorant.

However, if a fellow autistic advocate is doing tangible good, a small mistake should not warrant complete removal of that person from the internet.


On language policing...

If an autistic person is seeking help, validation, or sharing their story with others, but you disagree with their use of functioning labels or how they identify, consider whether it's useful or not to correct them.

You may have a strong opinion on how someone identifies, but their identity is ultimately their own choice. They may be coming from a different perspective.

Your feelings are valid, and it's okay to vent when you need to. We've faced so much abuse and trauma and it's not right. Just don't harass or invalidate others in the process.

The cycle of abuse stops with us.

Educate, do not force.


3 Days Left! $2.99 for "Through Our Eyes" DVD


There's only a few days left to grab a copy of "Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger's" Special Edition DVD for only $2.99!

Since it's Autism Acceptance month, I wanted to make this film more accessible on DVD for people on the spectrum, educators, and parents.

Get a copy from my shop by clicking here.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Autistic Reacts to "Light it up Blue" Autism $peaks' Video ._.

I decided to actually watch Autism Speaks' "awareness" videos for 2020 and give my opinion as someone on the autism spectrum who has been aware of/researched the organization since 2015-ish.

The videos are short, but still telling about some of the organization's shortcomings.


They have not changed much over the years. Check out these infographics which explain the problematic aspects of Autism Speaks. The first infographic is from their 2010 budget and the second is from the 2018 budget. (more resources below) 


2010

2018

WHY YOU SHOULDN'T SUPPORT AUTISM SPEAKS
"The Horrors of Autism Speaks" by iilluminaughtii  "The Truth About Autism Speaks" by Stephany Bethany ➤ "What's Wrong with Autism Speaks?" by Ask an Autistic  "Why Autistic People Generally Dislike Autism Speaks" by Neurodivergent Rebel
Autistic Self-Advocates List Autism Support Groups & Resources Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Support my work! My Website Facebook Twitter

Friday, April 3, 2020

"The Life of an Aspie" Re-branding (Again)

"The Life of an Aspie" is now "Lushia's Neurodivergent Life." aka @NeuroLushia.


This is likely the last time I will re-brand. I decided to make this change for two reasons:

#1. The Asperger's diagnosis is no longer in use (at least in the USA), and has a problematic history and is considered controversial. Same goes for the term "aspie."

#2. I have other conditions that make me Neurodivergent, so it made more sense to me to label my blog with "Neurodiversity" since I talk about not only autism, but Neurodiversity and mental health. Discovering I was multiple also pushed me in this direction.

I hope this clears up any confusion--It's still me, Alyssa Huber from the old The Life of an Aspie, renamed (as a person) "Lushia," and re-branded as "Lushia's Neurodivergent Life" or @NeuroLushia.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Letter to Nickelodeon... (On Promoting Hate Groups)

TW: silencing of autistic voices

This. is. not. okay.


Nickelodeon is deleting comments from autistics left and right on their post promoting Autism Speaks on their official Facebook page.

Even my comment, which I very carefully worded to be calm, rational and polite, was deleted.


Pay attention. The 3.1K total comment count includes deleted comments.


There are only 1,908 comments remaining. They deleted 1/3 of the total comments, about 1,000 comments. That's an awful lot of censorship.


Proof that comments are being deleted:

Nickelodeon, have you considered WHY you're getting so many comments from autistics, who are understandably upset that you would promote an organization with a problematic history (that continues even now) of stigmatizing autistic people, excluding their voices, and promoting their abuse?

I believe you had the best intentions with your post, and if you're unfamiliar with the history of Autism Speaks, the angry comments you're getting seem to be coming out of nowhere. But there are many compelling reasons why most #ActuallyAutistic people do not support Autism Speaks and why you shouldn't either.


WHY AUTISM SPEAKS IS BAD

Autism Speaks is the PETA of autism organizations. Fear-mongering, and doing more harm than good. It is a hate group disguised as a charitable organization.

Look beyond simple statements from Autism Speaks and actually research their history, what they stand for, and what they are STILL doing that is harmful for our community. They promote quack "medicine," anti-vax propaganda, and stigmatizing views and outright abuse of autistic people (look up Judge Rotenburg Center, and ABA Therapy).

This video gives a good summary of why Autism Speaks is awful.



Their funding is also flawed--only 2% goes towards "family services" while the rest is for searching for a "cure" that doesn't exist (Autism is a neurotype, not a disease!), salaries, and stigmatizing ad campaigns. This video does an excellent job breaking down what percentage of each donation goes where.



Here's a helpful graphic with more info on their funding.



Here is their most infamous and stigmatizing "awareness" campaign advertisement.




MY RECOMMENDATIONS:

#1. Delete your posts promoting Autism Speaks. It doesn't matter how much they paid you to post it, or how good your intentions were, or how seemingly "harmless" the words in the post are. Please delete it.

#2. Promote organizations that actually help autistic people, like The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWNN)! They are run BY autistic people, FOR autistic people, doing tangible good for our community.

Also, check out the Autistic Gaming Initiative, a monthly event hosted by autistic gamers to raise money for ASAN and AWNN. Sharing our website and events will also help!
(I stream on there too, my name is Lushia on the AGI website, and LushiaGaming on Twitch.

#3. Amplify autistic voices. You have a large platform and a huge audience, with kids especially--it will be really important for autistic kids to know that there other autistics out there advocating for equality and better quality of life for them!

Here is an excellent list of autistic self-advocates online. (post below)


CONCLUSION

We will not tolerate abuse of autistic people.
We will not tolerate being treated like children.
We will not tolerate being silenced.

Please stop trying to stamp out autistic voices, and take our concerns seriously. WE are the face of autism, not Autism Speaks. These issues directly affect our lives and its important that people in power are being responsible, and not promoting organizations and ideas that do serious damage to autistic people.

You have the privilege of a wide reach and a loud voice, please use it wisely.