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I am Divergent

I have been in a reading rut lately. I just haven’t wanted to read. It’s too tedious, too tiring, too much work. For the first time in a really, really long time I have been able to read and enjoy it. I’ve been fully immersed in the book to the point where I can see the beauty of the words, visualize the characters, feel their pain with them. Feel my heart skip a beat in my chest when I get to intense parts. And I’ve missed it. God, how I’ve missed it.

The book is Divergent by Victoria Roth. I won’t go into too many details, because you really need to read the book. But I came across this quote and it struck a chord with me.

 

“Every faction conditions its members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it’s not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way.” She touches my uninjured shoulder and smiles. “But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.”” 

Is this why you’re scared of autistic adults?

Is this why you try to silence us?

You can’t confine us. We speak out against injustice. We cry over the blood of those who have been murdered in the name of mercy. We don’t let you control us.

We kick ass and take names.

We let the bridges we burn light the way.

We do no harm and take no shit.

Does this scare you?

You cannot control us and we will cause trouble for you.

We’ll tell you that we don’t want a cure.

We’ll tell you that you are gas lighting and abusing us.

We’ll tell you that you’re being an ableist dungmuffin.

Are you scared?

In some ways, the “factions” that some autistics grew up in took place in the form of ABA, or autistic compliance training. They tried to make them compliment. They tried to make them fit the mold their parents wanted. Instead, they escaped with PTSD and wanting to raise hell. But because of their noncompliance, they are now speaking out.

Our minds are like having dozens upon dozens of Chrome tabs open. We think in different ways. We don’t always think the way we were brought up and the way we were trained to.

We are Divergent. We are social justice warriors (or clerics, or mages, or rangers, or bards, take your pick).

And we will not be silent.

 

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(Part of) the problem with Autism Speaks

This may come as a shock to you, but I don’t like Autism Speaks. Okay , it really isn’t that shocking. I don’t like Autism Speaks. That’s pretty well known and well documented if you know me. And if you don’t, surprise! Now you do.

Why do I have such strong hatred for Autism Speaks?

Autism Speaks doesn’t just want to “cure” autism. They want to eradicate it. They want to eradicate US. They think the world would be better off without us. That we are merely burdens.

They support ABA therapy, which is problematic. Many people think ABA is a good thing, but it is not. 

They think stimming is a bad thing, and use words like ‘quiet hands’.

Above all, Autism Speaks refuses to see the beauty in autism. They refuse to see that we are more than puzzle pieces.

Autism Speaks tells us that we are not worthy. That we would be better off dead. They applaud and lament parents who murder their children because they couldn’t handle the burden… but not a word is spoken of the suffering those children go through.

They think that people who are non verbal have nothing to say. They refuse to learn to communicate in other ways, be it sign language, assisted devices, etc. Not able to speak does not mean nothing to say. Far and far away, no.

They use tactics like Bleach Enemas. Yes, this is true. No, this is not an urban legend.

Autism Speaks hurts. They do not have a single autistic person on their board. They do not speak for us, no, no they do not. They speak in PLACE of us. They speak for what THEY want, not what WE want.

We are not burdens.

And we will not be silent.

You are hurting us, Autism Speaks. We are not voiceless like you think we are. Just because we sometimes get our senses overloaded, just because we sometimes don’t understand social cues, doesn’t mean there is anything WRONG with us. We are the way we are. Don’t change us.

My name is Nora, and I will loudly and vocally oppose Autism Speaks.

Image is one of my favorite pictures of myself, from fall of 2006. I am a female-presenting super pale person. I have long, wavy reddish-brown hair. I am wearing layered shirts in various shades of green, a denim headband, and a pink backpack. I am holding a cup of coffee in front of a display of Playstation 2 Games.

Image is one of my favorite pictures of myself, from fall of 2006. I am a female-presenting super pale person. I have long, wavy reddish-brown hair. I am wearing layered shirts in various shades of green, a denim headband, and a pink backpack. I am holding a cup of coffee in front of a display of Playstation 2 Games.