Category Internet Activism

Reflections on a Changing World

Reflections on a Changing World

The neurodiversity movement got its start in the early 1990s, when a few autistic people got together on mailing lists and dared to imagine a day when they would be seen as equals in society.  Their conversations were, at that time, largely unknown to the world.  The prevailing stereotypes about autism were so extreme that the very existence of autistic people who were capable of having such conversations was generally thought impossible.

It took another decade, and the advent of blogging, before pro-neurodiversity sites burst onto the Internet in large numbers.  Some of these sites had modest aims, looking to dispel the worst of the prejudices by simply showing the public that autistics could indeed write coherent articles and have intelligent conversations.  Others had more ambitious goals, posting specific, in-depth criticisms of society’s attitudes toward autistics and setting forth a detailed civil rights agenda.  Most fell somewhere in the middle.

How much progress has our society made, since then, toward acceptance of its autistic citizens?  While many are still without jobs in 2011, we’re seeing more efforts to enforce antidiscrimination laws and to include autistic applicants in diversity hiring programs.  Although the schools still have a long way to go, they’re slowly learning how to educate our children in respectful and inclusive ways.  There’s not nearly as much of the ugly rhetoric that was commonplace just a few years ago.  As with other minority groups that have become integrated into mainstream society, just seeing autistic people on a regular basis — both in online venues and in schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods — has brought about more understanding, while showing up ignorant prejudices for what they really are.

Because so many beneficial changes have taken place in recent years, some neurodiversity sites already are outdated.  Aspergian Pride, created to highlight stories about the accomplishments and positive qualities of autistic people, has become an antiquated reminder of a time when many otherwise reasonable folks thought there weren’t any to be found.  Accordingly, the blog is being closed as of today, July 27, 2011, although the site will stay up for historical purposes.  Many thanks to all who have contributed their time, energy, and wisdom to bring us this far.

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Worldwide Resistance to Autism Speaks

Worldwide Resistance to Autism Speaks

Worldwide Resistance

Since Autism Speaks released its appalling video “I Am Autism” earlier this week, to widespread global condemnation from parents and autistic self-advocates alike, British blogger Socrates of The New Republic has taken a leading role in organizing resistance to this latest atrocious effort to demonize autistic people.

He has taken the top Google spot from Autism Speaks with a parody of the “I Am Autism” video. To show your support for his efforts, go to his blog and leave a message in the comments! And if you have a blog or other website where you can express your views, please write your own post making clear why Autism Speaks does not speak for you. It’s past time to put an end to their hatred.

Other resources:
Treating Sleep Apnea Through Lifestyle Modifications
Aspergian Story
Treating Nighttime Reflux from GERD With Sleep Apnea CPAP Machine