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 read 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.
- I intend to continue compiling this series on an annual basis. In mid-February 2017, I will be posting details on how to submit a post if you would like to contribute. In the interim, if you would like to submit a guest post unrelated to this series, you can do so here.
- Sparrow’s book, The ABCs of Autism Acceptance, has now been published. If you live in the US, you can buy it directly from Autonomous Press. Those of us outside the US can buy it from Amazon.
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 Cas Faulds from Un-Boxed Brain)
- Bias (by Manuel Díaz from Neurodivergencia Latina)
- Culture (by Cas Faulds from 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 Cas Faulds from Un-Boxed Brain)
- Institutionalisation – Part One & Part Two (by Mitchell Wilson from Musings of a Wandering Autistic)
- Judgment (by Cas Faulds from Un-Boxed Brain)
- Keyboards (by Cas Faulds from 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 Cas Faulds from Un-Boxed Brain)
- Youth (by Jennifer “Grimalkin” Partin from Felis Autisticus) & You (by Cas Faulds from 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.