I don’t usually do this, but I want to reflect on all of the amazing stuff and people that I have seen and met since May.
I look around at the Autistic Community and I have to say, I feel absolutely humbled. The stuff that I have seen and read from Autistic Activists brings me to absolute awe. That’s right, I am using the biblical definition of “Fear:” absolute awe that kindles an ardent desire to be as awesome and badass as all those I read.
I am in awe of Dani Alexis‘ work and the perspective she brings when I read her stuff. Things like her blogisphere discussion with Emma from Lemon Peel regarding dating guides. How all of the dating guides do 2 things: 1) autistic men must pass as neurotypical to get a woman and 2) autistic men deserve a woman. It was an eye opening experience for me that I am very grateful for (Yet kicking myself slightly because I should have realized that because I used to look at that advice all the time). She also had a rockingly awesome presentation at C&W 2015 where she challenged the demand by dominant discourse for spoken language.
I am in awe of Radical Neurodivergence Speaking who has posted some incredibly awesome thought-producing stuff. Stuff revolving around gaslighting (the act of minimizing how you are experiencing something) which I had never heard before, but makes so much sense…and I love that the term most likely comes from the theatrical play “Gas Light.” The plot revolves around a husband trying to drive his wife crazy by turning down the gas on the gas lamps, but treats her like she’s crazy ever time she brings it up.
I am in awe of Melanie Yergeau who’s articles have been a constant source of inspiration for my thesis. “Clinically Significant Disturbance” led me on a 6 month research binge into the rhetoric behind Theory of Mind (Something I may use in a later project or article). Her writing style equal parts awesome and badass due to its sheer academic and personal honesty has driven me to write my thesis as an autistethnography (how has my research for this thesis affected me?).
I am in awe of all of those who work at autonomous press and their imprint “NeuroQueer Books” because of their decision to accept a submission I had written at the end of summer recounting my experience with the Autism Certificate classes in juxtaposition with my journey towards my diagnosis. They also have published some amazing books: Defiance, Fading Scars, Typed Words, Loud Voices, and, most recently, The Real Experts. I look forward to see what else they have to offer in the near future.
I am in awe of Alyssa Hillary who brings an unflinching perspective on ableism and ableist statements that made me terrified when I first met sier. But now that I have gotten to know sier, I now know sie is one badass autistic. Sier presentation at C&W was spot-on when sie talked about how often conference Call for Proposals are inaccessible. My favorite quote was, “You are asking the very people you just excluded to fix the very problem you just created by excluding them.” Sier background in engineering and math brings with it an even more unique perspective to disability studies and the Autistic Community.
I am forgetting so many people in this post, but I want to leave it off with one thing about the Autistic Community: We come from all aspects of life. Some of us are academic scholars: engineering, rhetoric, literature, creative writing, publishing, law. others are educators (or former educators), educator educators, educator educator educators (educating educators who educate educators).
I am in awe of these people and this Autistic Community because of what we all bring to the table. To one table that we share where we try to support each other through thick and thin.
I am just in awe!