Today marks the start of Autism Awareness Month. Like many Autistic folks, I’m dreading the invasion of puzzle pieces, blue lights and general autism awareness material. Awareness is harmful. Awareness does not lead to acceptance. Awareness turns us into a problem to be aware of; a problem to be solved.
Many Autistic people are using April to focus on acceptance, and while I fully support those campaigns (including RED Instead and Tone It Down Taupe on Facebook), I thought I would do something a little different.
I loved Unstrange Mind’s A-Z of Autism Acceptance which is a fantastic series of posts that you can start reading here. After reading those posts, I thought a similar A-Z of Neurodiversity would be awesome. I set about planning a series of posts to do just that, but then I started feeling overwhelmed and I couldn’t quite get to the point of writing anything.
So I decided to reach out to people in my community and ask for help, which means that this series has now become a collaborative project and it will be better than anything that I could have possibly written on my own.
Every day in April, a new post will be published which addresses a theme related to the neurodiversity movement and/or paradigm. All posts will be written by neurodivergent people who are Autistic, so while neurodiversity means recognising the value of the diversity offered by all neurotypes, this series will offer a distinctly Autistic perspective.
Each post will be themed in alphabetical order. These are as follows:
- Autonomy (by Un-Boxed Brain)
- Bias (by Manuel Díaz from Neurodivergencia Latina)
- Culture (by Un-Boxed Brain)
- Defiance (by Klynne Keyes from Autistic Musings about Stuff and Things)
- Erasure (by Neurodivergent K from Radical Neurodivergence Speaking)
- Freedom (by Sparrow Rose Jones from Unstrange Mind)
- Gender (by Seren Guinness)
- Humour (by Un-Boxed Brain)
- Institutionalisation – Part One & Part Two (by Mitchell Wilson)
- Judgment (by Un-Boxed Brain)
- Keyboards (by Un-Boxed Brain)
- Labels (by Daniel Obejas from Acting NT)
- Misunderstandings (by Cami Renfrow)
- Neurodiversity (by Dani Alexis Ryskamp from Autistic Academic)
- Outrage (by Amanda Burkhart from [introspection intensifies])
- Passing (by Bobbi Duncan-Ishcomer from This Sort of Life)
- Quirky (by Alyssa Hillary from Yes, That Too)
- Respect (by Tuttleturtle from Turtle is a Verb)
- Stigma (by Nora Ruth from A Heart Made Fullmetal)
- Therapy (by Briannon Lee)
- Understanding (by Cat Walker from A is for Autiste)
- Vigilance (by The Caffeinated Autistic)
- Why time is a rubber band (by Anna Savva Smirnov from vodkadietcokes)
- X (by Un-Boxed Brain)
- Youth (by Jennifer “Grimalkin” Partin from Felis Autisticus) & You (by Un-Boxed Brain)
- Zig Zag (by Michelle Sutton from Michelle Sutton Writes)
I hope that you will enjoy reading this series as much as I have enjoyed compiling it.
For a full list of definitions related to neurodiversity, please see Nick Walker’s post on neurocosmopolitanism.