#SayTheWord, Not “Special Needs”

#SayTheWord, Not “Special Needs”

Just yes to all of it!

Erin Human

The deeper I go into autistic culture and autistic rights activism, the more I find myself pulled to align my goals, my activism, and my identity with the broader disability rights community.

There’s a social media campaign going on right now to #SayTheWord – it was started by Lawrence Carter-Long, the Public Affairs Manager for the National Council on Disability, and is an active Twitter hashtag. The word, of course, is disabled.

The importance of this campaign is driven home to me over and over again as I see people performing ludicrous and painful contortions to avoid saying it. Reminder that when I make a criticism the way well-meaning people interact with disability, I am not attacking the people (parenthetical reminder that I was immersed in ableism myself not long ago), but inviting people to think about things in a different way.

Instead of saying disabled, nice people say things…

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I Abused Children And SO DO YOU: A Response To An ABA Apologist

I Abused Children And SO DO YOU: A Response To An ABA Apologist

An excellent piece. The only part I am missing is about how arguments like “makes our lives easier” “[child] has no problems anymore” completely eradicates the perspective of the child as such.

And a point I wish had been touched upon a little more is how ABA facilitates autistic people developing abusing relationships were rape is sadly only the dramatic tip of the iceberg.

Thank you for typing this word monster! You are a hero!

Diary Of A Birdmad girl

This was written in response to this article which was written in response to my first article:
http://www.singingthroughtherain.net/2017/04/aba-not-abuse.html

You can read my first article here:
https://madasbirdsblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/i-abused-children-for-a-living/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true

*CW: ABA/Autistic Conversion Therapy, abuse, torture (including graphic images and video of), mention of “awareness,” “recovery,” Autism Speaks, filicide, and links to all of this and other material that many people may find triggering. Please proceed with caution…

*CN: This is a very long read so settle in for a while (or save for later)…

Dear Condescending ‘Autism Mom,’

I’m assuming that’s what you call yourself since your views seem to be right in line with those who prefer that title. I also think it’s fair to make assumptions since you’ve made plenty about me.

Still, I wanted to sincerely thank you for writing your article, “True ABA Therapy Is Not Abuse: A Response.” You see, despite the fact that my article contained language…

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On the “Science” and “Evidence” of Early Intervention and ABA

Age of Neurodiversity

My name is Greg Love. My partner and I have three-year-old twins, one of whom is autistic. I am an undiagnosed autistic adult who went through a lengthy process of self-discovery beginning  before my son was himself diagnosed. He was both our initial introduction to autism as well as the broader autistic community. Like so many adults, I grew up at a time when autism was not understood nor diagnosed like it is today.

 

Like all new parents, we learned through a process of self-education and experience, not having any previous knowledge of the system in place for diagnosing disabilities and the various services available to assist children and their families.

 

Our son was born with various developmental delays that became most obvious around six months. He was also born with a medical condition called metatarsus adductus that created additional difficulties in his learning to walk. We started…

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Autscriptic

Autscriptic

I am not aware if I have any stims but other than that it’s very much on point.

I think it is an autistic thing to be able to surpress one’s initial fear reaction (or any other reaction based on emotions). Society asks us to just deal with neon lights, this horrible smell, the background music, eye contact. Whatever it is. And often it causes something very akin to physical pain. Expressing that pain is often social suicide. I’m sure there’s other marginalised group with the same issues.

Autism and expectations

You don’t look autistic.

Yes I do.

You don’t act autistic though.

Yes I do.

Yeah, but you’re not like “properly” autistic.

Yes I am.

You can make eye contact.

Yes I can.

You don’t flap all the time.

I do at birds.

You flap at birds?

I flap at birds.

Why do you flap at birds?

It would be rude not to wave at them when they wave at me.

That’s a bit weird.

Is it?

But you don’t do all that proper stimming and stuff, do you? Or do you?

Every day. Most moments of every day. See this?

Looks like a tiny bead mat.

Yup. I made it, I made lots of them, for when I lose them. I get distracted easily.

Can I have a go?

Go for it.

It feels nice.

It feels essential.

Why do you do it?

I’m an addict.

But it’s not…

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A ‘Winter’ Tale

the {ar}chive

By Jay Carr – The Boston Globe; Via Alan Rickman Fan Page

Getting a new role down cold, Alan Rickman makes his debut as a director

You’d know the languid, chiseled, resonant drawl with your eyes closed. It belongs to Alan Rickman, who has managed the difficult feat of remaining a respected British stage presence while launching a Hollywood career based on playing indolently sexy villains who seem amused by evil-doing. Perhaps because he holds strong socialist convictions, and to this day feels a conflict between Hollywood’s high-priced glitz and his egalitarian principles, he has not exactly been extroversion incarnate when talking about himself.

Maybe the reason Rickman is relaxed on a recent cold afternoon is that there is no audience except for a lone journalist in the tiny office borrowed from a theater manager. Certainly it helps that he isn’t going to have to talk about why women find…

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Alan Rickman Reads

The Poetics Project

When I read, I don’t hear my own voice in my head. Generally, I’ll hear someone with a British accent. Why? Because I like the way it sounds.

And, after watching some of my favorite movies like Sense and Sensibility or, you know, any Harry Potter film, I get Alan Rickman’s voice stuck in my head. For about a week on out, his voice echoes in my head as the voice of every play, poem, and novel I read.

And now I’m going to get Alan Rickman’s voice stuck in your head too. Youtube – beautiful, wonderful Youtube, has entire playlists of Alan Rickman just reading stuff, like poems and excerpts from novels and plays. My favorite reading, because the only thing I love more than Alan Rickman’s voice is Shakespeare’s works, is Alan Rickman’s reading of Sonnet 130.

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No room to grieve and no room to breathe

An ode to facing hard truths unashamedly weeping and to those strong enough to be weak

This past month has been filled with the empty business that death brings to the mourning. Nothing made sense, everything tasted and sounded grey, nothing caught my eyes or ears for all my efforts to listen in his memory. I have enough practice in grieving to go through the motions mechanically. Stopping makes it all much more unbearable and even worse brings everything to a standstill.

I do cherish and adamantly defend downtimes as autistic people, introverts and highly sensitives are known to do but I cherish and adamantly look forward to the times I’m pretending to be a normal non grieving still human being. Neither is the truth anymore (have they ever been?). Truths seem to have stopped existing. Again. He seems to have taken them with him, along with colour, taste, cuddles, smiles, sense and a great deal of my personality.

 

I’m well and truly miserable but unlike most people I grew up like this so this is my home turf. It’s what I know, what feels comfy because I know every nook and cranny of it. There was a time my demons had tea in my mental living room and there was nothing I could do about it just as I couldn’t do anything about the demons claiming to be loving and supportive family members. So the sight of said demons taking away hard won victories against depression and cPTSD does not horrify me in the least.

I find many people are pathologically obsessed with feeling happy all the time and manically fleeing into escapistic escapade after escapistic escapade pretending everything is just fine. This does horrify me. We evolved with a full set of feelings, including sadness, frustration, anger, shock, fear and all the other distinctly uncomfortable feelings and they all serve a function. I find it truly sick how people seem to actively castrate their limbic systems and think this is a good idea.

If you run away from the skeletons in your closet said closets will become surprisingly mobile and versatile in finding ways to haunt you. Your life will be spent forever running and running and running all for the sake of some fleeting happiness. We do not even seek content, the more sedate and longer lasting positive feeling. Instead consumerism has indoctrinated us successfully. We think we can have the short enthusiastic sparks of happiness all the time. We can buy emotions and harness and control them according to what we like. It’s no wonder people become mentally injured living in such a world. As soon as you aren’t manically smiling you suddenly become defective rather than simply being a full human.

This obsession has gone so far that people simply can not stand someone being in touch with their harder to deal with feelings anymore. Being reminded of the castration we are demanded to collectively perform on our limbic system is uncomfortable and thus a part of what needs to be slaughtered away. So it isn’t enough that one does not allow themselves to have a full set of emotions, people also have to preemptively castrate the people around them as well.

This is such an accepted practice that it’s become the norm to tell other people with mental illnesses including ones about whose lives we know about three sentences of conversation all sorts of bullshit rather than just being real with them. As if it was the end of the world to simply say “I can see you are going through a hard time and I bet it’s teriyaki hard, heck it’s already very stressful for me to just witness it.” We have no room for humanity anymore because we have no room for the uncomfortability of the human condition. We think if we give the run down house that is our loneliness and isolation a fresh coat of paint everything is fixed and we actively harass people who acknowledge this house is pathetic and there needs to be something done about it.

To me grieving isn’t done for the dead, we mourn because we are still alive. We mourn because our lives have to change and we have not chosen this change. It’s frightening to face change in general, but changes we didn’t look for become the stuff cPTSD is made of. Especially if we systematically erode all versions of support systems that should help deal with the catastrophes we all inevitably face during our lives.

We need to have a right to be miserable again. We need to stop wishing everyone without fail a happy day and to sleep well. Some days there is no room for happiness and some nights are sleepless as a last expression of fondness for the ones taken away from us. To me this is sacred and I have a hard time understand why this wouldn’t be sacred to anyone who is mourning. I also have a hard time understanding why mourning as another castrating act needs to be limited to the physical death of blood relations or you who is already in a rather dire phase better be ready to justify yourself to the grave that may or may not exist and back.

 

I see us being so cruel to each other and I see this planet being made inhabitable as a result of us locking our empathy with ourselves and others away and some days I just wish the human species would just find its selfish end already. The skeletons in our closets will not stop haunting us unless we stop our frenetic flight in a hamsters wheel and turn around and face the ugly truths we will find. Personally I consider it an extreme failure of evolution that there is any species who attempts to forget that simple mechanism.