|Image from ThAutcast|
Image description: Three cartoon people, one autistic, two not. The two non-autistic are standing together, and one is saying, "We're going to tell Congress what do do about you." The one autistic person replies with, "I'm going to write my representative and fax my testinomy to (202)225-3974."
That said, I'm not actually asking that they make a committee of just autistic people or that they only have autistic witnesses. I'm asking that they not exclude autistic witnesses as they have been and are doing. I'm saying that excluding autistic people from conversations about autism is not acceptable and never will be. I'm saying that if you're actually a decent person, you won't take this as my saying that parents need to be excluded or that parents can't ever talk about autism or decide that having parents talk is an acceptable substitute for having autistic people talk. It's a different demographic and needs to be treated as such.
And yes, there is something that we can do. That fax number from the image description really is a way to send a testimony is. There is no rule that says they have to listen or include it, but you can still send it. It's
(202)225-3974 in case you don't want to scroll up and look for it. There is also a petition on Change.org asking the committee to include autistic people, which you can sign here. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network will be having a rally as well on the day of.