1. Make sure that we have the time and space to speak for ourselves.
Support us, while respecting us. We can speak for ourselves, but if you are at coffee with your friends and they start spreading misinformation, correct them.
When it comes to conversations about Autistics and our experiences, it is essential that we feel included and heard.
2. Use your privilege to make places more accessible.
To make places more accessible, it will take more than Autistic people to make that happen. One way to look at this is to make environments comfortable for us.
- Allot more time for Autistics to orient and gather themselves in new environments or transitions
- Give them a heads-up if plans are going to change
- Speaking out loud can help us understand what, why, and how you’re doing what you’re doing and what to expect next
- Keep language clear, concise, and straightforward. That does not mean speak to us like we don’t understand or that we are “dumb” or “slow”. Be specific with instructions by explaining what to do, how to do it, why we’re doing it, and when to do it
- Be prepared for questions- we are just trying to understand!
3. If the topic is brought up in your presence by others, point them in our direction—Autistic people are the best resource.
It is important to share and amplify Autistic voices. Again, nobody knows us better than us!
4. Keep listening to diverse autistic stories.
Every Autistic person is different. Autism is a spectrum and there are lots of wrong information out there. Be wary of googling. Most information about autism is from the perspective of allistic people. Your information should come from the autistic community.
Seek out information from a wide variety of autistic people. Intersectionality is crucial in all types of activism. People of different races, genders, sexualities, other disabilities, etc. all exist within the autistic community and their voices matter. Here at AU, we work to educate and support us best as we can.
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Next post: Autism & Employment: Unfortunately, money is required for living.