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, November 20, 2012

Double Standards

Trigger Warning: Discussion of abuse, murder of disabled people, silencing

There is this double standard I keep seeing. Autism Speaks is allowed to threaten to sue a minor who makes a parody site. They're allowed to use the work of an autistic person without getting her permission (and apparently without getting the publisher's permission, since I am more willing to believe the publisher than Autism Speaks, honestly. I don't have evidence of the publisher being a liar.) They are allowed mess up the attribution when they do so, calling her an Aspie who found the autism spectrum at eighteen instead of an Autistic diagnosed at age three, several years before Asperger's was even a thing. They're allowed to lie. They're apparently allowed to pretend that I am Autism and Autism Every Day never happened, and that a parent can say they have fantasized about a murder-suicide, killing their autistic kid and themselves without needing to apologize for this. They get to bully autistic adults into silence any way they can. They get give a person money for a personal project and have us expect that his self-advocacy organization isn't going to kowtow to them or silence autistics. (I have specific instances of saying silencing things, and no, intent isn't magical.  Alex, you don't hear the end of it unless you stop doing silencing stuff and apologize for the silencing you've already done, even if you can prove that there is absolutely no link whatsoever between you and Autism Speaks, which I doubt since there is.)
And what do we get? We get told not to even look at a walker's dog when we go protest their walk. We get all the "this fighting between autism organization is sickening" on our articles, our pages, our groups, and none on theirs. We get told that we need to be nicer to parents and maybe they'll see us as human (doesn't work.) We get to answer all kinds of invasive questions about "our individual experiences as people with autism" from people who don't listen to our requests that we be called Autistic people or Autistics instead of people with autism, and we had better well consider it an honor, we ungrateful lot. We get to be oh so thankful to the parents who simultaneously say they would not kill their child and that they understand the other parent who did because an autistic child is just so hard to deal with, that we shouldn't judge. (I will judge anyone who thinks murder is not judging-worthy almost as harshly as I will judge someone who actually murdered, thanks, so don't go telling me not to judge the killer unless you want to be judged next.)
They can do whatever they want and still be saints, near enough. Having to deal with raising one of us gets you that title as far as most of the world is concerned. And you know what? It just isn't so. A parent who abuses their child isn't somehow a saint just because the child they abuse is autistic. A parent who killed their autistic kid may well have been overwhelmed, but killing your kid kind of disqualifies you from sainthood, last I checked. Telling autistic adults that "the parents are important too!" every time we remind them that listening to autistic people isn't saint-like; it's silencing. But they still get the title. If we even explain nicely why that's a problem or why something they did isn't OK, we have a tone to be policed, and it's totally not OK because we couldn't possibly understand.
This double standard needs to stop, yesterday. Or maybe before it even started?


  1. There's a lot more to apologize for than that. People don't get banned from Autreat for no reason, either.

    1. Wait, who got banned from Autreat and where can I find out about this? This is news to me.

  2. Not to compare oppressions or play Oppression Olympics - but, the sad fact is, replace all instances of "autism" with "gay" or "female". While we are far from achieving gender equality, and we still have a long ways to go with fighting for gay rights - there would be more of an outcry towards parents who murder their children for being female or gay (or even fat), than for being autistic.

    Neurotypicalism (a specific type of ableism) does not have the same mainstream recognition in progressive circles as sexism, racism, and homophobia do. Even discrimination based on *physical* disabilities receive more backlash than discrimination based on autism or other mental conditions.

    I'm not gonna say that autism is the "last acceptable prejudice", because it's not - but it's groups like Autism $peaks that really hinder the fight against autism (and other neuroatypical) prejudice. I get the feeling that Autism Rights Watch is to autism/neurodiversity advocacy as "equalist"/"egalitarians" are to feminism. They claim to maintain a neutral grounds, but they spend more time attacking the neurodiversity/feminist groups, than they do attacking curebies/MRAs.

    So, there's my take on this.

  3. What happened with them using the poem without permission? Do you have a link?

    1. Wasn't a poem, but the incident was covered fairly well in this piece, with links.


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