All opinions and views stated on this site belong solely to Corina Lynn Becker, and do not represent or reflects the views and opinions of any organizations, unless otherwise specified.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Autistics Speaking Day

As I've previously stated, November 1st is Communication Shutdown, and from the responses, it seems that more and more people are questioning the method of this Autism awareness event. As has been pointed out by bbsmom, it spreads the myth that autistic people don't communicate, when in truth, we communicate in many different ways.  While the attempt to understand our difficulties is admirable, I don't think that a non-autistic person can fully understand an autistic reality, even with some intense simulations. 

Not that I'm against letting them try to understand us, as much as we try to understand non-autistics.  However, from a community perspective, we should be listening to the different ways that Autistic people communicate. 

At the end of my last post, I stated that on November 1st, Autistic people should speak up and be heard.   That in the absence of NT voices, Autistics should reclaim the Autism community by communicating in our own ways on our life experiences.  

Yet, I must also add caution, to be mindful of the subject matters, as some subjects are triggers for people.  I would hate to hear that a person had a panic attack, flashback or meltdown and suffered due to something in the information shared. 

I would like the day to acknowledge our difficulties, yes, but also share our strengths, our passions, our interests, our "obsessions". 

And so, for the intent of raising Autism awareness and battling negative stereotypes about Autism, I call that November 1st be Autistics Speaking Day. 

Who will join me?


  1. I appreciate this. November 1st is my birthday and I already share it with Jenny McCarthy. *shudders* I don't take any of that personally, but I would certainly appreciate some more positive action on that day.

  2. Oooh, yeah. Well, I'm going to do my best to do something positive on that day :D And hope you have a happy birthday!

  3. I really like this idea, as I mentioned over on the last post about this. Now, how to get the word out? I'll post something about this on my blog as well.


  4. I'm with ya, Corina. I mean, I guess something like this is supposed to make a splash, but, geez, it just isn't anywhere close to being accurate. And it's not just SOCIAL I hate getting on anyone's case about raising awareness about autism, but ... something about this one just seems ... superficial.

  5. I propose a kind of open up day to counteract the "shut down" day.

  6. This sounds really great, Corina. I don't use FB or Twitter--they depress the living hell out of me--but I will encourage others to speak out on November 1!

  7. Just curious: why is there not a Neurodiversity Awareness Day?

    While I appreciate the counterpoints to traditional autism awareness efforts (which don't resonate with me), I would think that setting a new message would be more effective than countering the old messages. Just a thought.

  8. @Corina:
    I don't know if I will succeed to post something for this day, but I'll try
    I think you're right, a Neurodiversity Awareness Day would be great!

  9. @Laura, you're right, there should be. especially given all the misinformation about Neurodiversity.

    Lemme check, I think there might already BE a day, but I'm not too sure. If there isn't, we should totally make one!

  10. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=140107279369668 I created this event on Facebook. Please join if you have an account.

    By the way, love your blog. :)

  11. Some one should lobby ASAN to start a neurodiversity awareness day. Garner some publicity for ASAN. And give us something positive to blog about...

  12. Hi Corina,

    I've blogged about Autistics Speaking Day with a link back to this post. I'm suggesting that those of us not on Facebook or Twitter ask others to post links to our best blog pieces.


  13. http://www.examiner.com/special-needs-kids-in-nashville/communication-shutdown-day-is-answered-with-autistics-speaking-day

    We're in the news! I was quoted, and so were Corina and Rachel.

    Corina, would it be okay if I included your blog in the list of participants? It is your idea and I would like to direct people to your blog on the 1st.

  14. Corina,

    I replied to the lady who advertised this and I plan on posting a blog on Nov. 1 at my autisable site.

    http://heatherbabes.autisable.com I'm not sure what I'll be writing about.. but just wanted you to know that I think this is a GREAT answer to the conundrum of Communication Shut Down!

  15. hi there, sorry for not responding earlier; there was a bit of a family emergency and I was out of contact.

    Awesome, I've joined the FB event!! It's so cool that so many people have responded and are excited about this!! and who have advertised it!! Wow!!!

    K Bjornstad, I don't mind being mentioned, linked or included at all!! Thank you so much!!

    Laura, I'll try to see whether I can get a hold of Ari and mention it to him directly :D

    Rachel, Awesome!!!

    Thanks all!!

  16. Awesome; I'll be linking your account to the page as well. Good luck to you, and thank you so much for coming up with this idea. It's actually been really helpful for me because I got motivated to do something instead of watching you all have the fun. :)

  17. http://www.jonathannguyen.net/column-j/people-unkind/

    I would encourage all to read this article. You do a disservice to those on the spectrum that need advocacy by those who are not.

  18. @ajt320
    it's interesting how you seem to have not read any of this and the last post to understand exactly why we are disagreeing with Communication Shutdown, that it does not actually raise accurate autism awareness, and that the money it raises goes to autism organizations that we do not find to be in the best interests of autistic people. The link you post in support of Communication Shutdown seems to imply this, or at least that you do not value the opinion of autistic persons and have not considered our point of view.

    It's also interesting how you imply that we are 1) not on the spectrum and/or 2) not in need of advocacy.

    Everyone needs advocacy. Advocacy is the act of speaking out for yourself, to ask for things on your own or on another's behalf. It covers everything from asking for a glass of water to help in finding a job.

    But I have a feeling that you mean it in a way that implies that we are "not as autistic" or "not as disabled" as others, and thus should not be speaking.

    I find it interesting that you appear to be so knowledgeable about my personal, real life situation through my online posts. Or from the posts of anyone here. Why yes, some of us have disclosed some of our personal lives, I'm sure that we have not poured out every little detail of our lives, and nor are we required to do so.

    So I find it interesting that you seemingly make such broad generalizations for people whom you have never, to my knowledge, ever met.

    I highly suggest that you rethink your position considering this.

  19. Corina: I have had similar folks come up on my blog and attack from a completely emotion view, without any logic or understanding of why we disagree. Kudos for you to taking time to answer them in a calm, logical manner. I am not so patient.

    Looking forward to 11/1.


  20. I plan to take part in Autistics Speaking Day, but I think we can still support those who choose to shut down. We can disagree with them, but if they're charitably supporting worthwhile organizations, I don't see that as a bad thing. If we don't agree with the choices of charities, we should suggest our own. I plan to do this along with the speaking up and the link sharing.

    Please also see this post over at Osocio where I've commented and promoted our alternative event. http://osocio.org/message/find_out_what_its_like_to_live_without_communication/

  21. @Dude, a valid opinion. If there is a worthwhile organization involved with Communication ShutDown, or any fundraising event, I do agree that we should help them out, maybe comment that we don't like the way they're doing things. Maybe skip the event and donate directly to the organization.

    But I think it also depends. See, I don't see the organization for my country in this as being a supportive organization that truly supports autistic people in the long run.

    But your idea is excellent, to provide alternative organizations to support.

  22. You can count on me to join you in speaking out on November 1st! I will also be tweeting with the hashtag #AutismShoutOut!

  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  24. I deleted the comment from Marianne, since she copies and pastes the same comment to the next post. I don't like repeating myself, and I figure that the comments here are getting long enough without having to scroll down so much. So I will be addressing her comment in the comments of the next post.

  25. Rachel said:

    "I'm suggesting that those of us not on Facebook or Twitter ask others to post links to our best blog pieces."

    I'm on Twitter, and I'll be doing that, though I have a Doctor's appointment mid-afternoon. Twitter handle is mooncatadams.

  26. I'm a journalist with 4ZZZ-FM community radio in Brisbane, Australia. This is a story I'll be reading on air tomorrow morning (Australian time) about the criticism of the shutdown.

    I found out about this after people on Twitter independently suggested the use of a #TalkAboutAutism hashtag to oppose the shutdown; I started digging around and found out about this through Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg's blog.

  27. @clay, however you can participant is awesome! I'll be looking out for you :D

    @David, I saw that you posted on the FB page as well. Thanks for covering both sides of the story. I wish that I could tune in, but I'm sort of in Canada. Thanks again!

  28. I really like this idea and want to share this day with you.

    Greeting from Germany

  29. I'm so glad to find this post! I am not autistic, but am the mom of a very special little one. The communication shut down bothered me for reasons I couldn't quite figure out, and finally, late last night, I wrote this post. http://asdmommy.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/i-will-not-be-silent/

    I look forward to reading more of your blog.

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