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

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

Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Do you still live with your parents?"

I hate to admit it. I like this better than assuming that because someone has some sort of disability, they must live with their parents for their entire lives. Still, it's not a good question to ask. Would you ask someone who didn't have any sort of disability if they still lived with their parents, assuming they were old enough that society says they shouldn't be? I hope not. It would be kind of embarrassing for the person if the answer was yes and they didn't want to be still living with their parents. But people ask people with disabilities that kind of question on a regular basis. Guess what? Some people with disabilities DON'T live with their parents. Sometimes it's because their parents were abusive, sometimes it's because they grew up and moved out in the same progression society expects of people without disabilities, sometimes it's because they can get whatever services they need somewhere other than living with their parents and that's what they prefer. I happen to know three non-speaking autistic adults, all of whom need a good bit of services, none of whom live in a group home or with their parents. One has her own apartment. One is engaged. At least two have presented at conferences. Because I am not them and have never been there when they were asked, I do not know what their reactions to being asked if they still live with their parents would be, but I'm fairly sure from what I've read on her blog that the one with her own apartment would not be pleased. I know I would not be particularly pleased, and I am young enough that it would be considered OK for me to be living with my parents at least some of the time even if I weren't on the autism spectrum. (I'm in college, traditional student, age what you would expect for that.)
Good rule of thumb: If you wouldn't ask a person without disabilities a given question, then unless you have asked for and gotten permission to ask specific questions about the persons disability, you probably shouldn't ask a person with a disability either.

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