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

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Presuming Competence

Presuming competence means working under the assumption that Person X can make decisions about his own life. It means working under the assumption that he does, in fact, know what is and is not in his own best interest. It means accepting his statements on what he can do for himself and what he needs help with. It means that if he says he can do B unaided, but not A, you believe him, even if A is supposed to be significantly easier than B. It does NOT mean erasing our difficulties by saying that ``Well, if you're so competent, you don't need my help. You can do it yourself." We're not talking about that kind of competence, which is being competent at any specific task. We're talking about competence in the sense of being competent to make our own decisions and to know what is and is not in our best interest. Presuming that being able to do B means we can also do A, even as we tell you otherwise, is the exact opposite of presuming competence. It is presuming that you know our abilities better than we do, presuming that we are incompetent to know what we can and can not do. If you truly are presuming the most basic form of competence, you will never do that. And that most basic form of competence is the one we need presumed the most, for all people, of all abilities and disabilities.

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