A Neurodiversity Organization for Non-Autistics?
My deepest apologies for the lack of updates. A lot of what I’ve wanted to talk about is part of my Autreat presentation (separate links for those looking at the pages). As I’m unsure who is reading my blog and going to Autreat, I didn’t want to ruin the presentation by presenting all the information here. And believe me, there is a LOT of HORRIBLE details that I’ve researched while coming up with my presentation material. (I will post a copy of my outline and resource page once Autreat is over.) So I greatly apologize for my lack of posts.
Last month, while meeting with some other Autistics, the subject was brought up that it would be nice to have a Neurodiversity Parent Organization. I’ve entertained the thought in the past, prior to my employment with ASAN and prior to starting ASAN-DFW. Since then, and becoming active at the boys’ school, and become more active in general, the thought was pushed to the side. I know I’ve spoken to some within ASAN about the need to reach out to allied parents, but we are spread so thin right now that it’s just not feasible.
Yet, being semi-active on Twitter, Facebook and now Google+, I’ve noticed more and more what I would consider Neurodiversity centered non-Autistics. People like Stuart Duncan, the ladies and gentlemen at The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Liz Ditz), and others like Steve Silberman (well known for his Wired article). Some of these ladies and gentlemen are parents, others professionals and so forth. The one thing these people have in common is that Autism is not a burden to them. Yes, it is difficult sometimes, all lives are difficult sometimes; some moreso than others, albeit.
So is there a need for a ND Organization for Non-Autistics? I think there is. I think as much as these people have found communities online, there needs to be some place they can gather offline. None of this chelation, diets and “woo” as some like to call it. Just a group where their kids can be who they are with no pressure. Where they can meet with no pressure. No one trying to sell cures or treatments. Just parents, professionals and whoever else to come say, “Yes. Autism can be disabling, but it can also be beautiful.” “Yes. Autism has a lot of downs, but it also has a lot of ups.”
I will be going to Autreat in just over 2 wks. A place to be myself. I was planning on taking Daniel and his iPad until travel plans got delayed and ticket prices went up. Because it is a place where he can be himself, and no one would stare or try to push him to respond quickly. I would love a place for him like that here, in his own community. And one where I wouldn’t have to keep saying, “No. I don’t believe in that.”