i autistic » Advocacy

If you are newly diagnosed and want to know the very basics of autism, read this online book

12 Guidelines for the Autism Community

Inspired by the International Charter of Autists Rights, I created this document with the hope of promoting unity within the entire autism community. Instead of engaging in conflict, the Tripartite of Autistics, Caregivers and Autism Professionals can work together to promote the welfare of autistics in a peaceful and mutually respectful manner. 1. Equality: Autism...

Read more ...

What if people see femininity the way they see autism?

[Female readers: I apologise in advance for any offence caused. This article is not meant to degrade women but to make a point about how NeuroTypical people are degrading autistics while believing that they are helping autistics.] Imagine if we use the same way of describing autistic people to describe female people: Feminine Spectrum Disorder...

Read more ...

The Spirit of Inclusion

Inclusion is not so much about including those who are different in all our daily activities, but the automatic acceptance of our selves and differences. Each of us have different preferences and needs; each of us expresses ourselves differently; each of us has strengths and weaknesses. Finding the best way to allow every one of...

Read more ...

Beyond charity: A new deal of empowerment & opportunities

When most people want to help make a difference for the autism community, they tend to think in the context of charity. Commonly proposed methods include promoting autism awareness, authoring books to share one’s personal stories, raising funds to help families defray therapy costs, and organising symbolic shows of inclusion. There are indeed many people...

Read more ...

True Inclusion, Acceptance, Awareness

I believe that true inclusion is to provide people with options where their needs can be met and choices can be respected, not by forcing people to interact in the same space and same manner with each other. It can be counterproductive, for instance, to require an autistic child to manage the social demands of...

Read more ...

Autism Advocacy Summary

After having done much autism advocacy work, I have summed up my position below: 1) Autism is distinct from its ‘friends’. Autism is different from hyperactivity, allergies, depression, anxiety, sensory processing, epilepsy, intellectual disability and other disorders and needs that often accompany it. 2) Autism is a difference in neurology. Instead of specialising in socialising...

Read more ...

Autism Awareness is a double-edged sword

Budding autism advocates, before you sally forth as a brave knight to slay the monsters of ignorance and ableism, please remember that awareness is a double-edged sword. When everyone knows about autism, employers will be able to catch on to autistics who opt to hide their autism status to avoid discrimination. Insurance companies will explicitly...

Read more ...

Autistic Advocates, beware of exploitation

In the past, parents and professionals took the limelight during autism events and projects. The tide is now turning towards including autistics as part of these initiatives just as a new generation of autistic children are entering adulthood and seeking to express themselves. Taking advantage of the situation, some socially savvy people have started to...

Read more ...

Questioning Ignorant Parents

Autism advocacy is not just reserved for giving autism talks and taking part in autism awareness events. Autism Advocacy is standing up to the bullies we meet in the real world, including those parents who claim to be fighting for us but are treating us like trash. In school, people bullied us by calling us...

Read more ...

7 types of autism

There has been much disagreement within the community regarding autism. Much of this is unnecessary misunderstanding because people are  talking specifically about one of the seven different types of autism. It is important to be clear about which autism we are talking about. 1) Autism as a disorder: When autistics pose a danger to themselves...

Read more ...

Healing the Autism Divide

"If you are a parent of an autistic child, you cannot hate autism and love your child. If you hate autism, you hate your child. Also, you are teaching your child to hate herself or himself.” - Ray Hemachandra Strong words indeed, by a parent autism advocate. This also echoes the views of many autistic...

Read more ...

6 Pillars of Autistic Total Defense

Applied to the autistic community, Total Defence refers to our ability to protect ourselves against the full range of threats that includes psychopaths, extremist ideologies, mental illness, technological obsolescence etc. Total Defence goes beyond just discerning allies from enemies – we must develop and keep improving our capabilities including executive functioning, communication, and social skills...

Read more ...

Advice for Media Interviews

When working with the media, we have to be careful to avoid accidentally creating negative narratives about autistic people. Honest omissions or mistakes can have repercussions such as professional reputational damage, so we as the interviewee need to play our part to prevent undesirable portrayals. For example in the Today article about myself, the reporter...

Read more ...

Autism Advocacy References

This listing was originally compiled for the panellists of the Life After Death Autism Forum 2019 to reference. This is not a complete list that covers all the major issues, but it should give a rough picture of what autism advocates in Singapore ought to know about. The world is not in black-and-white; there is...

Read more ...