Autism Acceptance: Hate Breeds Hate

I’ve been having an emotional and trying couple of days. Before April even began, many autistics felt the heavy weight of responsibility on their shoulders. And while we often enjoy pressure(in the physical sense), this one came with a sense of foreboding. The calm before the storm. The quiet before all hell breaks loose. The end of March.

The end of March brings about three types of people: Autism Parents, autistics who are sick of “awareness,” and trolls. Autism Parents regularly dig down with autistics who are trying to get them to see that acceptance is the path to go, not awareness. However, while we don’t see them(usually) as lost causes(which is why we engage them in the first place) sometimes we fail to see trolls for what they are.

A famous line, for basically anyone trying to silence a marginalized group who is venting, is the phrase “Hate breeds hate.” The sentiment that comes along with that is “If you hate your oppressors, we will hate you more.”

Now, since when did “hate breeds hate” mean that? Ever since humans discovered that there aren’t many responses to it, because it’s true. If you engage in hateful behavior, you will cause others to dislike you.

However.

“Hate breeds hate” came from Martin Luther King Jr. in a sermon he published in his book “Strength to Love,” a final book of sermons before his assassination. Here is the entirety of that sermon.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction….
The chain reaction of evil —
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars —
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

Though King’s sermons focused primarily on racial segregation and peaceful protest, this message is universal across any struggle. Hate does breed hate, but not in the way people tell us. If you treat someone like they are not a person, they will hate you. If you punch down, you are an oppressor. Full stop.

Do not attempt to tear us down. If you don’t care about us, then leave us alone. Suicidal thoughts among autistic adults are ten times more likely than allistic adults. 7 out of 10 disabled people have been or are being abused. 83% of women with developmental disabilities are raped, and only 3% of cases are reported for the 30% of men.

image

We have ENOUGH to deal with. We do NOT need your convoluted rhetoric staining our movement. This is what awareness looks like. We need acceptance.

Advertisements

Autism Acceptance: Artist Showcase

For today’s artist showcase I’ll be giving you a peek into Space Robot Studio’s Etsy page.

They’ve got stuff from pronoun necklaces

image

to knit hats(which look super soft)

image

And even less colorful item versions for those who aren’t fond of bright colors.

There’s also my personal favorite, the communication necklaces, which give the wearer the option of using a battery to tell people their energy levels.(there’s also cats and smiley faces. I want them all!)

image

If you have questions, you can visit their etsy page, or head to their tumblr and send them a message!

10% of their profits are also going towards ASAN, just like Ashley and I’s. So go check out their page, it’s full of stimmy goodness!

Autism Acceptance: Stimming

“Stimming is a repetitive body movement that self-stimulates one or more senses in a regulated manner.Stimming is known in psychiatry as a “stereotypy”, a continuous movement. Stimming is one of the symptoms listed by the DSM IV for autism, although it is observed in about 10 percent of non-autistic children.”

That’s the wiki definition of stimming. However, stimming is also described as a coping technique for sensory overloads and being underwhelmed sensory-wise. Stimming is often repetitive and is categorized as noticeable movement.

However, autistics have different ways to stim. It’s not just rocking and flapping.

-Visual stimming can be watching a colorful gif over and over, shining light in our eyes, or pressing the tops of our eyes to do that weird static thing eyeballs do.

-Verbal stimming (not to be confused with echolalia. More on that in another article) includes humming, vocalizing the same sound repeatedly(on purpose) and others.

-Auditory stimming includes listening to the same song or sound over and over. This can include podcasts, music videos, soundtracks, even sound effects.

-Phsyical stimming, which is the most common stim associated with autism, can include rocking and flapping of the hands, head shaking, knee bouncing, chewing, and fidgeting.

Before you mention it, yes, there are harmful stims, such as biting, scratching, and picking skin or scabs. I have found that redirecting is the best course of action to keep an autistic not only happy, but healthy as possible. When I get the urge to pick my skin, my chew my nails, I grab a chewie stim toy from Stimtastic and start crocheting.

It’s important to remember that stims exist to help us cope with our surroundings, to ease stress, and to keep us grounded. Something in that particular movement is soothing, or meets a sensory need we aren’t getting.

It’s also important to remember that not all stimming is happy stimming. But stimming IS important to our health and well-being. Stopping us from stimming is ignoring the cause to treat a symptom, so to speak. If you see an autistic person stimming and they aren’t hurting themselves or another person, leave them be.

Remember, be kind to autistic people.

As a reminder, my friend Ashley and I are Jamberry consultant and are donating 10% of our sales to ASAN at the end of the month.

Visit Ashley’s page to order from her, or mine to order from me.

You can also view Ashley’s Autism Acceptance wraps here on Ashley’s site or view mine here. Instructions on how to order are on each form.

If you would like to join our facebook group, visit the Autism Acceptance Month Fundraiser on Facebook.

Seeing Red: The Color of Revolution is Not Blue

There’s a new hashtag trending in the autistic community. #REDinstead. It’s a direct response to Autism $peaks’ “Light it Up Blue” campaign, which had continuously used autistics as inspiration porn and dehumanized us to the point where we can’t even be trusted to have a say in passing our own legislation in regards to services. And we are fighting back, using what little ammunition we have.

Despite there being so much information against Autism $peaks and what it stands for, most people defer to them as an authority on autism. But much like the Susan G. Komen foundation, Autism $peaks does not take care of its charges. Which is why the autistics that are online have sworn to take away its power by backing such organizations like ASAN and the Autistic Women’s Network.

We autistics are here to tell you about ourselves. We want you to know that we are not broken. We simply run on a different operating system. We are creative, empathic, studious, goofy, sarcastic, and very misunderstood. We don’t need awareness. Everyone is aware that autism exists. We need acceptance. We need understanding, and accommodation, and for you to know that we are people too.

My friend and I have partnered with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and pledged to donate 10% of our earnings through the nail wraps we make through the Jamberry Nail Art Studio in order to promote acceptance. Other autistic artists are writing think pieces and designing bags, t-shirts, bracelets and jewelry as well in order to promote acceptance.

This blog, for the month of April, will be lifting up other autistic artists, musicians, bloggers, writers, etc. in order to give our allies and potential allies all the resources they need to see that we aren’t broken. We’re whole people.

We’re not a jigsaw puzzle, and we will not be blue. We are the Color Red. The color of change, of anarchy. We are Passion, Anger, and Change.