Reprinted from Autism Women's Network
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
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
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 Say: Blog Postroll links all posts.