The right to not understand

“We have to be allowed to not necessarily understand perfectly, not understand everything, not understand right away, or to try and not understand at all, without being declared forever incapable of understanding,… “

Chavisory's Notebook

As I’m finishing this post, it’s nearing the end of Autism Acceptance Month, and almost Blogging Against Disablism Day (which is officially May 1), and the more I thought about getting around to writing it, the more I thought that it kind of stands at the intersection of those two things… acceptance of autism and disability, and opposition to prejudice based on disability.

We talk a lot during Autism Acceptance Month about the rights of autistic and disabled people to education, to employment opportunities, to accommodation and acceptance in public spaces. We talk a lot about our capabilities, and about what we understand about our experiences.

But I think that there needs to be an understood right of people—particularly young people—to not understand. And to not have that impact their right to access and to information.

Here are some examples of how what I’m talking about plays out:

My most-shared…

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The “inspiration” continues!

An autistic woman recently married her live-in platonic gal pal in a civil friendship ceremony indicating the two intend to be best buddies forever or at least until the right man shows them what they’ve been missing, according to courthouse records. But to make matters ever more inspiring, our Channel 7 Catch an Inspiring Person […]

via Autistic Woman Marries, Does Not Torment Partner — Autistic Academic

 

I think I sprained a rib!

The inspiration, it hurts! ;)

The family of a local autistic woman have learned how to interpret her various movements and gestures in an incredible display of generosity that is without precedent in the great history of our nation. “She’s real easy to read once you get the hang of it,” said the autistic woman’s platonic live-in female roommate. “Like, […]

via Autistic Woman’s Family Learns Her Language — Autistic Academic

 

ho boy, my sides hurt!

the courage to listen 

If intent and result don’t match – it doesn’t matter how great/noble/loving the intentions are.

a diary of a mom

There’s something that tends to happen an awful lot in advocacy circles (and everywhere, really, but it’s most obvious there) and I was hoping we could talk about it. It tends to go something like this:

Someone, typically a member of a radically disenfranchised community (let’s call them A) says, “Doing X, no matter how well-intended, hurts us and our community.”

Someone else, who is almost never a member of said community but is somehow related to someone who is (let’s call them B) says, “But we do X to HELP you and the community.”

And A says, “Okay, but it’s not actually helpful. In reality, it’s hurtful. Here’s a detailed explanation of why the action in question is hurtful and a map of its consequences as they’ve played out in my life-long experience as a member of this community …”

And B says, “How dare you cast aspersions on…

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inspiration porn goes to the prom

a diary of a mom

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{image is the word “PROM” spelled out in a delightfully cheesy balloon arch. I kinda love it.}

So apparently we’re in the height of prom season. One might be forgiven for thinking that prom season would be in May or June when most proms are typically held, but in a country where we start decorating for Christmas three days after Halloween, I suppose it follows that prom season starts in April. 

Besides, now that the word promposal – and all of the over the top absurdity that it represents – has entered our lexicon, the goal of asking a fellow high schooler to a school dance has become to create a scenario so extravagant that it makes it into HuffPost. The game has clearly changed. 

And with the new game comes the onslaught of “feel-good” stories in which well-meaning, non-disabled kids invite disabled friends to prom and the news heaps praise on…

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acceptable/unacceptable

Lots of happy here, as it should be.
And a piece of heavy that weighs on the heart.
We all need to keep reaching to help move the heavy.

that cynking feeling

Philip was on a roll. He lightly gripped my hand with his left while pushing his right against the wall to propel himself forward. He skated toward the far end of the rink that was lined with mirrors. I knew he would pause there to admire his own mug.

“I see you,” I said with a smile.

I had lost count of the number of laps we had made but they far outpaced his falls. We made several circuits before taking a break.

“He’s skated before,” the owner remarked as Philip headed to the flashing lights of the arcade games.

“This is our third time,” I confirmed.

“He’s doing great,” was the reply.

I had never considered taking my seven-year-old autistic son roller skating until his cub scout pack held its holiday party at a local rink. The den leader assured me that I could walk alongside Philip in street shoes…

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