Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

DriveWise and DriveAdvise and Autism $peaks

Trigger Warning: Assumptions of incompetence for people with disabilities, Autism $peaks

So, I saw a program called DriveWise and a part of it called DriveAdvise. Since Autism $peaks was one of the funders for making their video, I was just a wee bit suspicious that this wasn't going to go well. It wasn't as bad as I thought, but still not great. Of the 10 minutes of video, less than one was actual autistic people talking about issues they either did or did not have with driving. There were only three actual autistic people who spoke. There was a decent bit of assuming that there was a safety issue with autistics driving, when a study found that those of us who do drive as teens get into far fewer accidents and get fewer citations. (Maybe it's that stickler for rules tendency we have, or maybe it's us not showing off for our friends.) Also, you don't BALANCE safety with independence when safety is an actual issue, nor do you balance them when safety isn't an actual issue. (Yes, they were talking about balancing safety and independence.) If it's not safe to drive, don't drive. Period. If it is safe for you to learn to drive, it's safe. Nothing to balance.
As far as the ``not as bad as I thought" goes- wait, they actually had someone autistic speak at all?! What? And they included Aspergers in their picture of what autism is?! Again, what? This is Autism $peaks we're talking about here. It's still not good, but I'm going to be way more optimistic than I probably should be and say that there is some hope that they can learn to at least stop HURTING us. I mean, it's not as if they said we can't drive under any circumstances, and two of the three autistic teens they used do drive. (All three had the Aspergers designation, so it looks like they are still assuming people who are autistic, not in the rather arbitrary Aspergers subset, aren't going to drive? Because I'm pretty sure that speaking and driving take two different sets of skills, considering that the Deaf and the mute both can and do drive...)
More I think about it, worse it gets. Still an overall ``ew." But it could be worse. (That is NOT to be taken as a challenge, by the way.) And that's my take.

In the interest of full disclosure: I know autistics who drive. I assume that I know autistics who don't, considering that not all of us were ever allowed to try, but it's not a big topic of conversation. I know I read the blogs of autistics who don't drive. As far as I go, I had a learners permit. I started learning to drive. I even did highway driving. I HATE driving. My permit expired. I got a new one. Hopefully on this permit or the next, I will actually learn how to drive well enough to feel comfortable taking a road test, pass it, and then proceed to drive as little as possible. I like my bike, thank you very much. But I am aware of the practical importance of being able to drive in this country, being autistic isn't my issue with driving, and I am going to learn so that I can when I need to.

1 comment:

  1. And I don't drive because frankly...I bump into people at 4mph...I don't think putting me in charge of a two-ton hunk of metal is a smart idea somehow.


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