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.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Success of Speaking

[Nov 24, 2010 Update: updated the list of participant blogs]

Yesterday, November 1, was Autistics Speaking Day, and it was a resounding success!! I am completely speechless trying to describe it; I keep using the words "incredible" and "awesome", but truly these are weak words to accurately express it. The responses and contributions from everyone greatly exceeded my expectations.

I will be honest, when I proposed Autistics Speaking Day, I thought that at best it would be myself and a few others, tweeting on Twitter and maybe putting up a few blog posts. And when the criticisms came in, with people saying that much wouldn't happen, so why bother, I thought of two things. The two things that leads me to be active in the Autism and Disability communities.

I thought "Well, it might not reach too many people, but it's worth it if I can make even a little difference in someone's life."

And then I thought, "Well, you don't know that for sure, so what's the harm in me trying?"

Hope for the best, expect the worst, and be pleasantly surprised. And I was totally surprised. I don't think I have ever been so pleased to be so wrong before. It was great to see and hear everyone online. I want to thank everyone for their hard work.

I've gotten messages of people thanking me for putting ASDay together, but I don't think that's right. I don't deserve all of the credit. Yes, I thought of holding a counter to Communication ShutDown, and I thought of the name, and I nearly spammed Twitter getting the word out and explaining it. But on the day itself, what did I do? I did what everyone else participating did, I posted a blog entry, and shared my experiences with others.

I did not do it all; I do not deserve all the praise for the success of ASDay.

It was Kathryn Bjørnstad who started both Facebook groups, the event page, and the more permanent page. It was Melody Latimer that, when we were looking for a shorter Twitter hashtag, suggested #ASDay. It was Kim and Kathleen on the Autism Blogs Directory, Rachel Cohen-Rottenburg at Shift Journal and others getting the word out. It's LizDitz for following all the responses, posts and media attention. It's all sorts of people covering it in the news. It's the Coffee Klatch for hosting such an amazing conversation on Twitter. It was all the parents and professionals who took the time to listen, and supported us.

And most of all, it was every single Autistic person who joined in and participated. It couldn't have happened without any of you.

I am only one person, but together, we are a community of voices. I hope that ASDay was informative for many, and that the day inspired not only parents and professionals, but Autistics to be involved in processes and decisions that ultimately affect us. We should not be silent when we have something to say. And certainly, we weren't on November 1st.

Right now, I want to acknowledge all the participants and contributers who wrote blogs, all their hard work that made ASDay a success. November 1st was your day.

(The following list was made possible by Kathryn)

The participants:

1. Action for Autism’s Mike Stanton explains why Communication Shutdown is offensive, and what it is like when autistic people shut down in real life. http://actionforautism.co.uk/2010/11/01/today-is-autistics-speaking-day/

2. Alexander Cheezem writes an awesome open letter to Buzz Aldrin. http://aspieperspective.blogspot.com/2010/11/open-letter-to-buzz-aldrin.html

3. Allecto on dispelling myths about autism. http://allecto.tumblr.com/post/1456668266/autisticsspeaking

4. Alysia Krasnow Butler on her own son’s autism diagnosis and her friend’s son’s recent unexpected diagnosis. A beautiful post. http://trydefyinggravity.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/voices-carry/

5. Amanda Forest Vivian on problems with the kinds of things non-autistics are trying to “fix” in autistic people. This is really awesome and you should read it if you’re not familiar with the concepts of “ableism” and why it’s not necessary or even beneficial to “pass” for non-autistic. http://adeepercountry.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistics-speaking-day-post.html

6. Ari Ne’eman from the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network on Communication Shutdown and Autistics Speaking Day. http://www.autisticadvocacy.org/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=122

7. AS Parenting has an awesome article on autism (including nonverbal autism) and advocacy. http://www.asparenting.com/2010/11/01/asd-autistics-speaking-day/

8. ASD Mommy-I don’t know this blogger’s name, but it is a good post. http://asdmommy.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/i-will-not-be-silent/

9. A.S.S.G.O. (AS Support Group Online)’s post for Autistics Speaking Day. http://www.assupportgrouponline.org/apps/blog/show/5212238-supporting-autistics-speaking-day

11. Brigy Staples on the double standards people use with autistic people. http://speakingon.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/autistics-speaking-day/

12. Britt Kravets on social interaction and acceptance for the whole spectrum. http://blackbird3398.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/autistics-speaking/

13. Clay on Autistics Speaking Day; also contains Ari Ne’eman’s post. http://cometscorner-clay.blogspot.com/2010/11/ari-neeman-on-autistics-speaking-day.html

14. Codeman busting myths about autism. http://aut.zone38.net/2010/11/01/speaking-up-for-autism/

15. The Coffee Klatch on their Twitter event, which you should totally check out if you have Twitter. http://thecoffeeklatchblog.blogspot.com/

16. Corabelle Li Crol on the power of the Internet and autistic people. http://aspiegirlworld.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistics-speaking-day-post.html

17. Corina Becker’s guest blog on things she knows as an autistic person, and her post on her own blog for Autistics Speaking Day. http://blogs.plos.org/neurotribes/2010/10/31/corina-becker-communication-shutdown-for-autism-awareness-no-thanks/ http://nostereotypeshere.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistic-speaking-out-loud.html

18. Craig Thompson posted a video about autism and communication. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wEO2oJ-qKc

19. Cripchick (Stacy Milbern) on the dangers of donating to non-profit autism organizations that are all about profit and do nothing for autistic people. http://blog.cripchick.com/archives/8612

21. Darcy Reed is an autistic writer who writes beautiful poetry. http://spectrumhouseart.com/5Darcy1.html

26. Estee Klar on the dangers of trying to normalize autistic people with medication. http://www.esteeklar.com/2010/11/01/what-are-the-lies-we-believe/

27. Gavin Bollard on why a day of silence doesn’t work. http://life-with-aspergers.blogspot.com/2010/11/day-of-silence.html

28. Gaynell on the harm that society has allowed to be done to autistic people, particularly on physical abuse and restraint. This is an important issue in the community right now. http://wildflowersforjade.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistics-speaking-day-autism-mom.html

30. Heather Sedlock on her autistic son’s life. http://heatherbabes.autisable.com/734878474/thom-part-2/

31. Ian on his experiences with autism. http://youhaventmetyourselfyet.blogspot.com/
32. Jennefer explains what she would like people to know about her three-year-old autistic son, referred to here as HRH. http://www.thekingandeye.com/2010/11/communications-shutdown-day-for-autism.html

33. Jill with some general info on autism and ASDay. http://bookish-nerd.livejournal.com/13273.html

34. John Elder Robinson posts his support here. http://www.facebook.com/JohnElderRobison

35. John Scot Thorburn on how autistic voices should be heard. http://colorvalues.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistics-speaking-day.html

38. Julian Edward Frost posts on his own experience with autism. http://autismjungle.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/autistics-spoke-and-you-listened/

39. Karen Baum writes her first blog post on Autistics Speaking Day, for which I am honored. http://theautisticstepmom.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistics-speaking-day.html

40. Karin has written several posts for today, which can be viewed here: http://bewaretheaspie.blogspot.com/

41. Kassiane on what she can tell you and explain about living with autism, and being on your autistic kid’s side. http://timetolisten.blogspot.com/2010/11/inaugural-post-autistics-speak-day.html and http://timetolisten.blogspot.com/2010/11/im-on-your-kid.html
42. Kathleen on autistic people and communication. http://autismherd.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistic-people-communicate.html

43. Kathryn Bjornstad writes about Autistics Speaking Day and shares a list of participants. http://autistickat.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistics-speaking-day-is-today.html

44. Kerry Cohen on her autistic son, who she has written a memoir about. http://www.kerry-cohen.com/musings.html

45. Kevin Healey shares the voices of autistic people. http://www.kevinhealey.net/?p=1056

46. Kim Wombles on supporting autistic people instead of shutting down. http://kwomblescountering.blogspot.com/2010/10/supporting-autistics-whoever-they-are.html

47. Leah Jane on how the Internet made it possible for her autism club to pull off a successful event. http://quixoticautistic.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistics-speaking-day.html and on the aftermath of ASDay http://quixoticautistic.blogspot.com/2010/11/aftermath.html

49. Luna Lightning on her own experiences with autism and life in general. http://spin-infinity.blogspot.com/2010/11/introduction.html

50. Maddy Keene on her experience with autism/Asperger’s. http://mmkeene.deviantart.com/journal/35987525/

51. Matt Friedman explains how social media has helped him and why autistics must speak for themselves. http://dudeimanaspie.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistics-speaking-day-path-to.html

52. Maya Brown-Zimmerman on battles with the early intervention system. http://marfmom.com/archives/2656

53. Melissa Fields on not feeling welcome in the non-autistic world. http://iamautistic---thisismylife.blogspot.com/2010/10/autistic-i-am.html

54. Nicole Nicholson shares an awesome poem with us for Autistics Speaking Day. She is also sharing other poems, so check them out. http://ravenswingpoetry.com/2010/11/01/wwp-poem-26-back-door-blues/#more-2517

55. Ole Ferme L'Oeil on the wide range of people in the autism spectrum; also includes some awesome links to other important blog posts that you should check out. http://humainsvolants.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistics-speaking-day-jour-de-parole.html

57. Paula C. Durbin-Westby shares her e-mail to Buzz Aldrin about Communication Shutdown and Autistics Speaking Day. http://paulacdurbinwestbyautisticblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/facebook-message-to-buzz-aldrin.html

58. Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg on empathy and communication. http://www.journeyswithautism.com/2010/11/01/speaking-my-mind-and-heart/

59. Sandy challenges the idea that verbal communication is the best form of communication. http://www.aspieteacher.com/2010/11/press-pound-for-more-options/

61. Savannah posts poems about her experiences with autism. http://crackedmirrorinshalott.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/poem-articulate/

62. Scottish Mum on why Communication Shutdown is not for her. http://scottishmum.com/?p=85

63. Shanti writes about her life, selective mutism, and her obsessions. http://latedx.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/celebrating-autism/

64. Shelly Valladolid on autistic special interests and their validity. I don’t know a better way to put it; it’s a short but good post. http://stillfabulous.blogspot.com/2010/11/fab-speaks.html

65. Socrates from the New Republic on Autistics Speaking Day. http://the-newrepublic.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistics-speaking-day.html

67. Sunday Stillwell writes an informative post on Autistics Speaking Day. http://www.extremeparenthood.com/2010/11/autism-shoutout-loud-and-proud.html

and here http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2010/11/autistics-spoke-and-you-listened/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LeftBrain%2FrightBrain+%28Left+Brain%2FRight+Brain%29
69. TMBMT on the pain of growing up undiagnosed. http://tmbmt.livejournal.com/26305.html

70. Tony Belcastro writes about what autism is like for him and how it has affected his life. http://elsmystery.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=3&Itemid=43

71. Toxicology Doc on communication. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idszVltvc3Y

72. Unstrange Mind on what you would have to do to really understand how her autism affects her. Hint: it’s not turning off your computer. http://unstrangemind.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/will-turning-off-your-computer-for-one-day-teach-you-what-its-like-to-be-autistic/

75. Zachary Lassiter on why many autistic people won’t be participating in Communication Shutdown. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HwgbMTmR3I

76. I missed Nick Walker's post before, but here it is now. http://nickykaa.com/2010/11/an-autistic-speaking/

77. Also missed Jo's blog post here about the difficulties she has encountered raising a son with Asperger's. http://mumtoj.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/an-explanation/

78. Wendy on alt med, food allergies, and other things. http://raisingbutterfly.blogspot.com/

79. Spectrummy Mummy on her experiences with Autistics Speaking Day. http://spectrummymummy.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/an-ongoing-dialogue/

80. Elesia Ashkenazy's ASDay post. http://aspitude.blogspot.com/2010/11/autistics-speaking-day-2010.html

The Media:

There are some other lists here.

Please, if we've missed a post, let us know! We want to acknowledge and thank each person who contributed. You all are awesome!


  1. It was a wonderful event and great to read so many people posting. :-)

  2. @ Corina - I'm glad it was so successful. Sorry I didn't get to participate much, had a major case of "executive dysfunction", and almost completely blew it. I'll be busy for the rest of the week reading entries on this list.

  3. It was incredible- thank you for coming up with the concept! My take on the day: http://spectrummymummy.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/an-ongoing-dialogue/

  4. I updated the list to add about four more names and a link to FARS's video.

    Thank you for coming up with this idea. It was a great idea, plus it really helped get me motivated to do things and I feel like I'm even more a part of the community now because of it.

  5. I posted on my blog for ASDay too. :-)


  6. Corina,

    Thanks for providing that list of participating bloggers. It nearly brought tears to my eyes to think of people, near and far, coming together to participate.


  7. Corina - you are amazing. I had no idea who started all of this, and I am so touched at how many people participated and all of the incredible posts that came out of it. Thanks to each of you for putting this together.

    Thank you for doing what you do.

    Darcy (asdmommy - you said you didn't know my name; now you do!)

  8. Hi Corina,

    I am writing to you on behalf of Tony Lyons, author of 1,001 Tips for the Parents of Autistic Girls: Everything You Need to Know About Diagnosis, Doctors, Schools, Taxes, Vacation, Treatment, Food, and More. 1,001 Tips guides parents through what to do from when they first suspect their daughter may have autism, to coping with the first diagnosis, to following up with comprehensive evaluation, continuing education, and treatment. And Lyons wrote 1,001 Tips with the help of bloggers like you!

    Over the past few weeks, I have spent a great deal of time getting to know the blog landscape of the autism community and I absolutely love “No Stereotypes Here” because I think you give a smart, honest look at what it's like to be an autistic adult while also providing insightful commentary on happenings in the autistic community and beyond. Your post about adult iPod apps was really eye opening!

    I would like to invite you to be part of our upcoming blog tour about the book. It would incredible to have a woman on the Spectrum sound off on the tips, especially because there are so fewer females on the Spectrum and, therefore, less female voices speaking up! The sky's the limit as to the content of your post, although it would be amazing to get your feedback on some of the 1,001 tips and perhaps even a favorite or two! I can send you a free electronic copy of the book right away as well as a hard copy to thank you for being part of the tour. Some bloggers choose to offer the book as a giveaway to their readers and I think that's a great idea!

    I would be thrilled if “No Stereotypes Here” were included in our upcoming blog tour and I'm here to answer any questions you may have. Hope to hear from you soon!

    Thank you,

    Kay Albers


  9. here is my contribution:


    Thanks for Autistics Speaking Day!

  10. @skyhorse, Hi!
    Please excuse the late reply; I was out of town for the weekend.
    It sounds very interesting. Let me look it over and think about it.

    @born2bme, awesome!!! I'll make sure it gets onto the list

  11. hi Kay Albers, after looking over things and thinking about it, i think that I would like to be a part of this. Is there some way for me to contact you?


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