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, September 27, 2012

Some Do's and Don'ts of Dealing With Autistic People

  • Listen when autistic people tell you something is or is not helpful.
  • Assume people understand what is said in front of them, regardless of ability to speak.
  • Raise money for organizations that help autistic people who are already here if you are going to fundraise at all. (ASAN is awesome, Doug Flutie seems fine.)
  • Change societal attitudes about autism so that other people listen to what we want too.
  • Change societal attitudes so that people don’t pity/fear/ignore/discriminate against us.
  • Call out people who use functioning labels to describe other people.
  • Change societal attitudes so that a cure would actually be voluntary should one ever come about.
  • Research charities yourself before donating to them.
  • Call us what we want to be called. Usually, that’s autistic person, though there are some people who prefer person with autism. Pretty much none of us want to be called "affected by autism" or "living with autism," though if someone does want to be called that (not if their parents call them that, if THEY want to be called that,) it's what you should call them.
  • Respect us.
  • Respect our opinions.
  • Respect our communication choices.
  • Let us leave situations when we want/need to.
  • Write things down for us when we ask you to.
  • Answer honestly when we ask if you were being sarcastic.
  • Compare autism to things that actually kill people.
  • Get your facts wrong while comparing autism to things that kill people. (Hi, Autism Speaks!)
  • Use functioning labels to silence people (pointing out the "low functioning" when someone "high functioning" says something, saying someone is too "low functioning" to understand the situation.)
  • Use functioning labels. Just in general. They suck.
  • Tell us we're identifying ourselves the wrong way. We call ourselves what we want to.
  • Support Autism Speaks.
  • Tell us not to judge caretakers/parents who killed their autistic kids.
  • Treat us like children.
  • Tell us "it's just your autism talking."
  • Insist we talk when we would rather type/sign.
  • Insist we leave because you think we'll get overwhelmed- we can decide that for ourselves, thanks.
  • Refuse to let us leave because you think it's fine- again, we can decide that for ourselves.

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