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

Saturday, November 24, 2012

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Hearing On Autism

Image from ThAutcast     
Image description: Three cartoon people, one autistic, two not. The two non-autistic are standing together, and one is saying, "We're going to tell Congress what do do about you." The one autistic person replies with, "I'm going to write my representative and fax my testinomy to (202)225-3974."

Guess what? There's another case of people talking about autism without autistic people! Guess what else? It's still not OK, and parents/grandparents are still not a substitute for actual autistic people. They are one of the demographics it makes sense to represent, but they are not a substitute for autistic people/people with autism. It goes along with that being important but not being most important- parents need to be represented, but that is not a reason to exclude actual autistic people. And of course, there are autistic parents of autistic people all over the place, so we should get one of them too, at the least. Any kind of expertise you want represented, you could find an autistic person who has it. There is no reason that autistic people would need to be excluded in order to keep the group as one that all has expertise in the area of autism, and frankly? We could have made a group with more scientific and therapeutic and everything else autism experience using only autistic people, I guarantee it. Yes, including advocating for autistic children in school environments and getting whatever therapies are actually needed. Really. There is such a thing as an autistic parent of an autistic child. It happens.
That said, I'm not actually asking that they make a committee of just autistic people or that they only have autistic witnesses. I'm asking that they not exclude autistic witnesses as they have been and are doing. I'm saying that excluding autistic people from conversations about autism is not acceptable and never will be. I'm saying that if you're actually a decent person, you won't take this as my saying that parents need to be excluded or that parents can't ever talk about autism or decide that having parents talk is an acceptable substitute for having autistic people talk. It's a different demographic and needs to be treated as such.
And yes, there is something that we can do. That fax number from the image description really is a way to send a testimony is. There is no rule that says they have to listen or include it, but you can still send it. It's
(202)225-3974 in case you don't want to scroll up and look for it. There is also a petition on asking the committee to include autistic people, which you can sign here. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network will be having a rally as well on the day of.

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