Don't tone police Autistics

As always, I want to put out a disclaimer:

These are MY PERSONAL VIEWS. These belong to me. Other Autistic folks may agree and some may disagree.

I wanted to talk about something that’s been really unnerving lately which is: Non Autistic Parents of Autistic Children sharing imagery and inspiration porn that is very harmful.

As an Autistic person myself, I feel as though attempting to bridge the gap with Autistic parents is a very important stepping stone to creating unity and setting their Autistic child up for success in the future. Assisting them with the tools needed to make sure that hateful imagery, improper terminology and ableism is eliminated. However, when Parents of Autistic children and their friends chime in and belittle, berate and negate the work of an Autistic person, this is moving backwards.

A few days ago I saw this image come up on my facebook feed. I was dumbstruck.

It got widely shared by this father who I believed I was friends with and he tagged his wife and said his child would love it. I pointed out 2 very prevalent things that are troublesome:

  1. The puzzle piece is a symbol of hate 
  2. Autism, or being Autistic IS a disability however–there’s nothing wrong with that.

I even linked an article and mentioned how I create content on the subject. Two friends of this father chimed in and essentially told me that just because I create content and cite sources, doesn’t mean that it’s true and that I should allow this father to be happy. I explained how I want their child to be set up for success in the future and that I am only trying to be an ally. I wanted to provide information as to how these things were harmful and that speaking over an Autistic person when they are trying to HELP truly doesn’t help anyone at all. I also mentioned that, at it’s core, it is incredibly ableist and problematic. 

No one defended me. None of my Autistic friends were able to even come and assist. Although the facebook post was public, the comments were not open to everyone. Eventually I gave up and I deleted this father from my friends list. He had ample opportunities to take this as a learning opportunity and chose not to. He also did not hold me in any kind of regard because if he did, he would not have allowed me to get attacked the way I did. I can only hope that his child gets the kind of support that he needs because if how I was treated was any kind of indication, I have a reason to be worried. 

If you are a parent of an Autistic child and you are looking for help, here’s what I can suggest:

Do not take content creator Daniel Jones of The Aspie World as fact. He creates sensationalized content that is, at the source, his income. He very rarely (if ever) cites sources for the material he creates and is not an ally to the rest of the Autistic community. I have even been sworn at by his content manager before and I have created 2 react videos. Please DO NOT utilize his advice to assist your child.

Reach out to Autistic adults – the ones that have your child’s best interest at heart. We can be the best resources available as we have lived this. Also, I do not create content for money. I do this from my heart because this truly gives me purpose in my life. 

Do not negate Autistic voices. Allow yourself the opportunity to learn from us. We are the best allies for your children and, for the most part, we want to impart our wisdom and create change. If anything, we want to help. Obviously i’m not speaking for everyone.

I hope this shed a little bit of insight on some of the struggles we face on a daily basis. It’s truly not easy but by listening to Autistic people and truly taking in the things we say is a great step to unity, change and acceptance for all.

My experience at Langley Arts Alive as an Autistic Artist

Arts Alive 3rd Graphic

I want to start out this post by thanking Langley’s own Randy Caine, founder of Hempyz for sponsoring me by giving me the opportunity to have a booth to showcase my art and my even bigger message about being Autistic.

I got dropped off at around 8:05 and got some great help setting up the tent, table and chairs (thanks to Randy again) and then I began setting my art up . Truth be told, I have little experience (other then those two times I set up outside Arts off Main) but I focused and got myself motivated.

Nothing was priced yet. I grabbed some spiky-oval type fluorescent paper cut outs I had got from Dollarama and used some washi (rice paper tape) that was fairly low tack and folded little circles that I affixed to the corner of some of my pieces. Depending on how the art was set up, my placement varied. I had purchased them ages ago and was pleased to actually use something I bought! (Artists and crafters know this can be a rare occurrence!!)

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I honestly don’t know why i’m holding my wrist in this shot, I think it was my nerves getting the best of me.

I reorganized my table several times. I did sell a few small items, magnets being the most popular. I’m not sure if i’ll want to do this kind of thing again for a few reasons but if I do I would focus more on small 5.00 items like the magnets–a proven seller. They seem to be a way to get people to display my art in the easiest way possible, displayed on their fridge!

I felt lucky to have started the conversation about Autism by having my banner up and my information signs.

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If anything my sign on the left would stop people as they were walking by. I feel like I met some incredible individuals by really putting myself out there. Some of the connections I made were absolutely invaluable. Of course, with all that positivity I did hear some ones’ negative comments to their spouse while walking by, but I had to try to breathe and relax.

Another highlight was meeting my Autistic inspiration Amythest Schaber. They are responsible for making informative and insightful videos and blog posts that help educate those who are neurotypical and even those on the spectrum. I believe everyone would benefit from spending time watching the videos.

Cats were the most popular, I SHOULD HAVE FIGURED! I’m not the only Cat-obsessed weird individual out there, I suppose.

Nothing will stop me from making Art. I will NEVER stop being Autistic.

-Margaux