The timing of the recent hullabaloo/AutismSpeaks Fail is amusing to me. Why?
Because the latest Rethinking Autism video is Out!
“Speaking for Myself” features the voices of actual Autistics providing voice overs. I am the Savannah that Speaks twice in the video- once at “Celebrate Neurodiversity” and again at “Why shouldn’t I have a say in laws, organizations, and research that involves me?” Also featured are Dora Raymaker, Steven Kapp*, and David Mahaffey*. The Captioning file was contributed to the wonderful Codeman38. We would have been able to participate in the filming but there really wasn’t money for that.
Rethinking Autism is maybe better known for some of their more Risque (read: actress in revealing garments) videos encouraging people to look at the research. Included are topics on No Vaccine Link, Special Diets, Inclusive Education, and Neurodiversity. Rethinking Autism attempts to comment not only on these issues but also on how celebrity and sex appeal is used to spread misinformation. In their Key Concepts page they give a run down on common misconceptions and direct people to sites containing more information.
On a related subject, Cat in a Dog’s World has an excellent post on the Diagnostic Double Standard in the Autism conversation. Those of us that are closer to the “passing” end of the spectrum are included in the statistics used, but yet when we speak up, too often parents say that organizations like AutSpks “aren’t talking about” us. And by us they mean not only those of us who can almost pass, or even those of us who can verbalize, they also mean “those on the internet”.
There’s an assumption that if you can use the internet, you aren’t “Autistic Enough”. Now, All that says to me is how much of a lack of hope or vision in the parents that think this. Drew Goldsmith, a talented young director who has been featured at film Festivals, is Nonverbal. Dora uses AAC devices to communicate. Carly Fleischman Approached her computer and began to type, and has revealed her life even though for years she was brushed off as “mentally deficient.” The assumption that if an Autistic is on the internet they are less “severe” is bogus.
* Steven and David, or anyone who is better acquainted with either of them, could you give me a link for you?
ETA: This is a personal note: My biological father watched the video. Now, I’ve mentioned he’s always been a little uncomfortable with the MH DD thing, but has become supportive. He watched the Video, and sent me a text message. “Loved the video. You spoke very well. Love Girl.” 😀 😀 😀