i autistic » Dark Side » How to assess the quality of autism work

Confronting our inconvenient truths is necessary for the growth of each person. Due to political incorrectness and to avoid unnecessary drama, people will not provide feedback on the quality of our autism work even when actively solicited. We need to be able to perform quality control by ourselves to ensure that we contribute effectively to the autism community and do not embarrass ourselves in public.

 

  • Can ChatGPT write what I write?
  • Can Generative Artificial Intelligence replace me in my work?

If that can replace our work from Generative AI, we are not adding value to the community. Do reflect on how we can add value.

 

  • Does my work fit professional standards?
  • If someone pays me market rates to do my work, will they accept the quality of my work?
  • Can a schoolchild do what I have done?

There are too many autistic advocates whose work looks like that of a schoolchild, but like the proverbial pink elephant in the room, no one wants to point it out. Such low-quality work perpetuates the perception of NeuroTypicals that autistic people are not to be taken seriously. Each advocate is a representative of the autistic community, and they should be mindful of what they do as it will impact other advocates, too.

 

  • Does my work unite or split the autism community?

To gain acceptance among influential stakeholders for implementation, our work must be one of unity, not separation. Creating splits also adds more drama to the autistic community when it can hardly afford to be distracted.

 

  • Does my work directly improve the quality of life of autistic people?
  • If my work does not exist, what happens to the autism community?
  • If my work was fully implemented or propagated, what happens to the autism community?

Simple things like providing quality advice unavailable elsewhere and a safe platform for autistic people to chat with each other can do wonders for the mental health of autistic people.

Conversely, providing maladaptive advice (such as pursuing your hobbies/passion as your job even if you become broke) and attacking the work of other autistic advocates is counterproductive.

Engaging in ivory tower projects which make no meaningful contributions to the lives of autistic people (such as disability language movements) but give people the impression that they are being more inclusive can distract us from doing what is necessary to be genuinely inclusive.

 

  • Have I learned from other people who are more competent than myself?

Many autistic advocates, including myself, when I was still active in autism advocacy, are not keen to learn from others (including people who have nothing to do with autism). This is a huge mistake since there is always much we can improve on ourselves.

 

  • Have I upgraded my skills and qualifications for people to take me seriously?
  • Have I gained the necessary experience to back my proposals?
  • Am I prepared to implement my proposals with evidence-based research and concrete action?

An autistic advocate who can only speak but lacks the knowledge and skills to back their words up will not be taken seriously.

It is one thing to propose and another thing to implement proposals. If we wish to challenge insurance discrimination, it is up to us to study financial planning and insurance before we take on the insurers who will challenge us as ignorant of how their product works. If we wish to request peer support training for autistics, it is up to us to form a team of autistic people who demonstrate the feasibility of said training before asking for official funding.