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

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Whole Foods and Autism. Not Going Well.

Trigger Warning: Mistreatment/demonization of people with disabilities. (Specifically autism.)

If you haven't signed the petition about Whole Foods needing to not treat autistic adults like animals, go sign it now. It's not over, not by a long shot. There has been a media crisis, but the media crisis isn't really picking up on the fact that it's not actually over.
So, here's what happened:
We know that a woman went to Whole Foods with her autistic brother, who does not speak. He apparently took some food from the hot bar (there are often free samples, and it seems like there weren't that day, and either that confused him or he mixed up something with shopping etiquette?)
Security guards escorted him to the exit, and she talked to them. She says they had never spoken to their parents before, and that this was their first response. Whole Foods claims that this has been an issue before.
Whole Foods also claims that the security guard did not say her brother had to be on a leash, as she has said they had told her (That he needed to get out of the store and could not come back unless he was on a leash, to be exact.) Considering that the word leash was definitely mentioned (no one is arguing with that one,) I'm guessing that Whole Foods is just trying to get out of a tight spot. No one says, "He doesn't need to be on a leash, but you need to keep an eye on him." If you don't need a leash, they don't bring one up. There is no reason to bring one up.
An assistant manager was contacted, who disagreed with the use of the word leash, but seems not to have wanted the autistic brother to be in the store.
Training about autism was suggested, and eventually agreed to, but then canceled. Most news organizations only know about or are only reporting about the part where it was agreed to on the local level, and that there was apparently some in-house training done without an autism specialist.
Oh, and the comments are even worse!
No, really. Lets's just say that a comment in which a parent brings up the mental age argument is one of the better comments on the Fox article, and that there was a commenter who said that this person could be dangerous because of what other "messed up" people do. Think about that. We're talking about a disabled person making a mistake, a security guard reacting poorly, and this somehow turning into a discussion of how dangerous we can be instead of how to fix this so that he can go to the store without being treated like an animal.

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