Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Taking to the Streets

People who don't understand that autism prevalence has remained stable often ask how there can't be an epidemic when they have seen large numbers of autistic children only in recent years. Where were all the autistic people before now?

Of course, before the diagnostic criteria were broadened, most were not identified as autistic and were looked upon as part of the general population. Others were rarely or never seen in public because they were kept hidden away at home by their families or were sent to institutions.

As reported by Hard Won Wisdom, it appears that at least one older autistic person is taking part in the ADAPT protests in Atlanta, Georgia, which began on Sunday, challenging the state's failure to close down institutions and to provide community services and supports instead. A protester who calls herself "Spitfire" and who was thought to be autistic as a girl in the 1950s talked about how ADAPT had saved her from a nursing home. She described her participation in numerous protest actions since then.

In Columbus, Ohio, members of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network also held a protest this past Sunday, holding signs and handing out leaflets at an Autism Speaks walk to inform the participants about Autism Speaks' hateful advertising, exclusion of self-advocates from leadership positions, eugenic aims, and minimal services for families. You can find articles about the protest on the ASAN Central Ohio blog and also on the ASAN Southwest Ohio blog. And here's a video of the protest:

I expect that in the near future, as we see more autistic people coming out of the closet and onto the streets to demand equal rights, there won't be so many questions about where the older autistics are.

Labels: , , ,


  • In some ways, I think AS has actually done autistics a favor. In coming out and showing how brutally insensitive (at the least) and totally dismissive they are, they are finally rallying organized protest against them and what they represent.


    By Blogger Club 166, at 3:40 PM  

  • I noticed that the current issue of the International Journal of Epidemiology has a special theme about diagnostic change and the prevalence of autism, with a number of papers and an editorial titled "Hidden in plain sight".


    The local media are reporting that the Australian paper found that the apparent increase in the autism rate is probably due to changing diagnostic practices. There are lots of most unusual adults here in Australia who were even more unusual as children, I can assure you of that.

    By Blogger Lili Marlene, at 11:33 AM  

  • *from the Columbus ASAN chapter* Unfortunately I couldn't participate this one because of risking my job with Helping Hands. It was incredibly frustrating and I have debated about throwing caution to the win, but I really really love my new job working with all the autistic kids that the school educates. So I was kinda pouty that Sunday however it wasn't so bad as I was at a wildlife park that day.

    However I am going to interview one of the protesters a friend of mind about the protest. I did see for a second one of the signs I made. I made four but I don't think a lot of people used them. But I did see Autism Rights = Human Rights one.

    By Blogger Bard, at 10:09 PM  

  • Here's a great video for the cause

    By Anonymous Aspie Activist, at 12:37 PM  

  • I've created a new blog if anyone wants to come to it.


    By Blogger A better future for all, at 1:26 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home