Text says: How to be an ally. Part One, A concise guide. Text is on a stack of books surrounded by a megaphone and stationery items.

How To Be An Ally (Part 1)

This post is inspired by a collection of things that have happened over the past few weeks. I have seen people, who appear to genuinely want to be allies to autistic people, stuff up and stuff up big. So hopefully this list is useful.
1. Don’t explain your perspective as a neurotypical person to autistic people

Text says: Half-in, half-out acceptance. Dark green text on a white circle over a dark green background.

Half-in, half-out acceptance

I’ve written a bit about this before, but I think more words need to be written about it.
To me, the idea of non-autistic parents saying that they want acceptance can also be tied to being an ally. To see what I mean, read this post from Autism Women’s Network which discusses whether allies are helping or hurting.

Text says: Unity. White text over a red-coloured image of a tied rope.


I’ve seen the idea of unity come up a lot this week. I’ve written about unity before, but I have some more words to write about it since it seems to be such a big thing.
A particular call for unity stands out to me:
“We’re all on the same page. We should be working together.”

Text says: I will not let my hangnail define me. Grey text on a semi-transparent white square over a purple-coloured photo of a hand.

I will not let my hangnail define me!

Wait – what?
I woke up this morning to a parent insisting that she would not allow autism to define her son, just as she wouldn’t allow high blood pressure, psoriasis, or hangnails to define anyone.
So, um, yeah.
That brings us to the whole labelling debate which really isn’t even be a debate. It isn’t a debate because a world without labels would look like like this: