Autistic people are speaking - and it is indeed time to listen.
Autistic people, by defintition, utilises language in a non-standard way, ranging from non-verbal to hyperverbal. Hyperlexia is a symptom of autism, as is echolalia, palalia and extensive scripting.
But autistic people are communicating.
My personal language is highly scripted, and very echolalic. It is also, contrary to popular assumptions about autistic language usage, heavily reliant on extended metaphors. My language is a meta-language, if you will.
Earlier today I wrote a piece about the younger me, and the current me, being a dancer. Autistic people, being dancers. This is of course true in the literal sense. I am a dancer. I dance. And I would say that there are other autistics out there who dance.
But this is also one of my extended metaphors. It concerns movement and knowledge and bodies and thought and interpretation and being in tune with the rythm of your life. About the music of emotion. About communication.
Autistic people are dancers, because autistic people communicate.
Autistic people are dancers, because we move with the rythm of our lives. We might not move like you do. But we are dancers.
Last week we were writing-talking-speaking-communicating about the hatespeech generated by the google search auto-complete algorithm by flashblogging. The community moving as one to make things better. Talking about positive things. How Autistic people should be loved, and should be heard.
Well. We were heard. Google has said they shall fix this.
But we were then erased from the effort by the largest USian charity claiming to be on our side, whilst they tried to take credit. Erased from our own advocacy by people claiming to advocate for us. Autism Speaks tips their hat to Google, and doesn't at all mention the effort of the autistics out there who did the work to make it happen. No mention of Alyssa of YesThatToo, no mention of the flashblog. No mention of the dance of words, the music of emotions, the coordinated movement of people routinely assumed to be silent. We are dancers. We are speaking.
Autistic people are speaking and it is time to listen.
This does not mean allistic family members are speaking about and above their autistic family members and you should listen to them. It means autistic people are speaking and you should listen to them.
Autism Speaks does not speak for me.
I am speaking all on my own.