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: I have a special talent. Green text on a white rectangle over an image of white claymation figures with one figure holding a magnet which is attracting the other claymation figures.

I have a “special talent”

One of the more irritating things about parenting an autistic child is the question do they have a special talent? If I’m in a snarky mood, I reply that my son can recite every single episode of a specific TV show perfectly. When I’m feeling less snarky, I explain that savant skills are really not a great concept.

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: There was joy and mutual understanding that they were kindred. Grey text on a white square enclosed by decorative quotation marks over a purple bubble-painted texture.

Making a Connection

A few years ago, my son’s former Occupational Therapist recommended a social skills program. My son attended one session of the six week program. They focused on “making a connection”. That was code for insisting that autistic children make eye contact, so I withdrew him from that program.
But making eye contact is not the focus of this post.