The Problem With Autism Experts

I never claim to be an expert. I am an Autistic Person who is sharing her experiences. Those are two vastly different approaches when it comes to providing insight as to what Autism is. There are people out there who are passing themselves off as experts and they are getting feedback from those who are taking it all in as fact. Please be careful! Perpetuating untrue stereotypes and misinformation does not help anyone. Do your research. Be skeptical, ask questions.

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Etsy! Podcast! Radio Interview!

So excited to share some great things. I actually accomplished some tasks that were on my list.

Links are here:

Etsy

Soundcloud

Radio Interview

The Importance Of Art

Ever since I was young, I have always been surrounded by Art in some shape or form.

My Mother would spend a fair amount of her time at her light table, working on inscriptions she was hired to do. Her expert hand-painted watercolour images and master calligraphy beautifully came together in a harmonious display.

It was a memory I won’t soon forget. I really enjoyed art class in my early years. It was one of the only classes I didn’t have to stress over. I knew I would not fail.

Museums and galleries are some of my favourite places to visit. I have had the pleasure of visiting not only local galleries but galleries abroad. I’ve been to the Louvre in Paris and the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, Netherlands. A shining moment for me was being able to see Piet Mondrian’s work in person. That brought me a lot of joy.

In the Royal Palace, Amsterdam
Standing in front of the Louvre
Posing with some Mondrian

I started really getting in to my own art around the time I was transitioning from a teenager in to an adult. It was a reliable source of comfort and expression.

I was lucky to show my art at a gallery in Vancouver’s Gastown, as well as headline the Here Be Monsters Festival in 2011. My achievements have been more extensive than I could ever have imagined. So much so that I had to make a list.

I find that having the ability to integrate my activism with my art has been a great way to build bridges and bring my many messages to the forefront.

My process of creating very rarely relies on an idea. It generally is a subconscious, intuitive movement, picking up colours and seeing what happens. It amazes me that I am able to make such vibrant pieces of work even in my darkest moods. It’s nice to have an outlet to help me cope with my depression and anxiety.

I still long for more immersive art experiences. I also really enjoy watching theatrical performances and some genres of live music. I think that getting to absorb creative expression is one of the best ways to get inspired.

Art show and an unexpected conversation

I currently have a piece of art up at the JCC Vancouver’s Community Longing & Belonging exhibit. Tonight was the grand opening of the exhibit and a lot of people made it out. I was happy to share the space with so many talented artists, some of which included my Mother, who painted a Hamsa and birdhouses, as well as my two Sisters, one picture missing. My younger Sister used a pouring technique.

I was also interviewed by an old school friend of mine, Alison, for Co-Op Radio which will be on this Sunday.

I was taking a photo of myself with my art and lingering around the same general area when a Lady came up to me and started talking. I can’t recall the exact conversation but it got to a point where I tried multiple times to end it. Being an Autistic Person is part of my identity and I harbour no shame towards that. I believe I may have introduced myself as an Autistic Artist. This Lady was very forward with the things she said, some of which included how we shouldn’t label ourselves and how she does not believe in that. I was saying it’s part of who I am. I can’t remember what else I said but she was still persistent. I felt really invalidated and upset but I didn’t want to show those feelings.

If someone wants to refer to themselves as the way they identify, there’s no reason for someone else to decide that for them. I wasn’t saying anything negative about myself! I find it empowering because it’s a celebration of what Autistic people are capable of and bringing light to how diverse we can all be.

I just want to add that i’ve felt incredibly depressed lately and my emotional sensitivity is taking a beating. I can’t handle very much and I am in no mood to argue. It completely depletes me of any energy I was harbouring.

I was able to channel my negative mood in to some new pieces of art that are very bright, happy and positive.

Kim’s Convenience is BACK!

I’m so excited to announce that Kim’s Convenience is BACK for Season 3!

I think as a collective whole, we can agree that the wait has been long but good things come to those who wait and I can assure you it’s good, really good.

I want to thank CBC for giving me the chance to watch the first episode, aptly titled “New Appa-liance”. I honestly don’t want to give too much of the plot away. What I can tell you is it starts with a fart and ends with a dishwasher.

Janet’s has her struggles in her photography program and grapples with her name. There are some wonderful moments with Jung and Appa. Umma is a bit more emotional in this episode, but I find she has good reason. If you haven’t watched the show and you’re looking for laughs, you can catch up on previous episodes on CBC Gem & Netflix.

Premieres on CBC January 8th at 8/8:30NT.

Read my previous article about the play & meeting Paul Sun-Hyung Lee here.

Autism Speaks Has A New Ambassador

Watch my video:

Read all about it here

New Art & Featured on Art of Autism!

Here’s another one of those random updates with a couple things to touch on. I also wanted to thank all my new visitors! Hi!

I created a new piece of art called “Disillusion fragmentized”:

And, I was featured on The Art of Autism!

What Happens When Autism Speaks Appoints A New Ambassador

Before any opportunity is offered to me, I always do my research. I search up the positives and negatives so I can make an informed decision. That seems to be common sense; at least that’s what I thought.

Occasionally, i’ll do a twitter search for “Autism Speaks” to see what kind of propaganda is being perpetuated. I’ll usually see parents, this running app (CharityMiles) that donates to them and merchandise with puzzle pieces for sale.

Yesterday was a bit different. The last big rift between the Autistic community and an outspoken supporter of Autism Speaks would be the whole Niantic deal. The Makers of POKEMON GO decided it would be excellent publicity to partner with the Autism Speaks Run and have their own family fun booth. They were met with outrage and rightfully so. Pokemon Go gave some individuals a reason to get outside and engage. I wasn’t one of those people, but there were other reasons given that made it seem like the Autistic community embraced it–that is, until, they made an incredibly rash decision without any research.

So, back to yesterday, I noticed there was a gamer by the name of Ash or Clash With Ash (CWA) who was incredibly excited to share the news of his ambassadorship with Autism Speaks. His video was complete with puzzle pieces in the background. What a lovely touch.

He’s even gone so far as to raise money for AUTISM SPEAKS, already.

We, the Actually Autistic community have been on it. We’ve let him know that this isn’t helping us – that it’s actually hurting us. Ash’s followers are commending him and don’t seem to be questioning him. I’m assuming they believed he did his due diligence and researched Autism Speaks before he went full out and posted all his puzzle-piece laden propaganda for them to eat up and praise him for. He’s been incredibly quick to thank his supporters and put us in the backseat. Part of me believes he thought this would be good publicity and paint him as some kind of saint because his late Brother was Autistic. Here’s the initial tweet that started this all.

If you take the time to scroll through his twitter, you’ll see the calm before the storm. I took it upon myself to let his followers know that his actions are the opposite of commendable-by informing them that Autism Speaks is not a good organization. I don’t recall any of them responding to me.

I’m not sure how this benefits him. Perhaps it gives him a greater sense of purpose and believes that because he has a platform and an audience, that he could bring some kind of awareness to a cause he says is so important to him. We don’t need that. We can advocate for ourselves without hiding behind the guise of a hate group. There’s also better organizations to donate money to, like ASAN.

If you wish to add your opinion and let him know that we don’t need him to speak on our behalf, his social media platforms are:

If you want to learn why Autism Speaks is so terrible, here’s a great list: A Roundup of Posts Against Autism Speaks