Thursday, March 28, 2013

Amy Sequenzia: Autism Speaks, I Want To Say

Reprinted from Autism Women's Network

Written by Amy Sequenzia
I want to say that I speak for myself concerning my neurology and how I communicate. 
I want to say that if you want to show the benefits of AAC, you should ask AAC users and not their parents or self-important “experts”. 
I want to say that you might have chosen to forget that AAC gives me a voice you cannot ignore but I will not be silenced. 
I want to say that, once again, you are wrong. AAC does not make me look more “normal”. I am not your definition of normal. I don’t want to be what you call normal. I am, and will always be, a proud Autistic, very distinguishable from my peers.

I want to say that I will use AAC to debunk all the myths you and your allies spread about me and my community. You can hide behind your money and the misguided celebrities you lie to in order to get money and attention but my voice is legitimate, my community’s voices are the ones with true expertise on autism and we are the ones who can choose our allies. 
I want to say that you might have fooled some parents into believing that just because you make a video about AAC, you are on our side. But you still cause damage with the same old message that we are “tragedies”. 
I want to say, to the supporters of your video, that they cannot support inclusion of Autistics, participation of Autistics and understanding of autism when the video does not allow us to actually say anything. And to the parents who still believe they only have a “lesser person” as their child, how about asking the Autistic AAC user how they feel about what they hear? 
Because if my father or a friend were telling the world about the “pain I once caused them”, and how “almost good enough” I am now that I have a voice, I would feel betrayed. I expect my right to speak for myself to be honored. Ask them! Let them express themselves! 
Autism Speaks, I want to say that your message is still wrong, even if you try to change how you deliver it. 
Time to stop speaking for us, Autism Speaks. That’s what I want to say.

*Flashblog happening today! Autism Speaks, I Want To SayBlog Postroll links all posts.

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