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 18, 2014

Acceptance Vs. Recovery

So this was actually a bit back, but I've been thinking on and off about my exact intended wording. I've also just been really busy. Taking five classes, teaching one, assisting three others, playing sports, and working on a paper for INSPIRe Student Symposium has that effect.


Think Inclusive wrote an article. This is a thing they do pretty often. This particular one started off by showcasing a poet, which is cool, and then mentioned that he had also been interviewed by a site called Autism Live, which includes language about "recovery." That struck an uncomfortable note with the author over at Think Inclusive, so they asked: "Can Autism Acceptance and Autism Recovery Coexist?" as I believe both title and Twitter text. Definitely Twitter text. 

I responded, as I am wont to do.
.@think_inclusive Re autism acceptance and autism recovery coexisting: LOL NOPE. Recovery=pass for NT, lose recognition of passing effort. 
I mean, the problems are more numerous than that. But the idea that if you act "less autistic" in public, no matter how much effort that takes, you therefore are "less autistic," potentially even "not autistic anymore," is kind of at the root of some icky stuff. Including the idea of recovery from autism, really. Because how else has recovery from autism ever been defined? Seriously, when has recovery from autism as a concept ever been defined in a way other than "this person is no longer acting in ways that person X finds to be obviously autistic," with no regard given to the amount of effort required to do so?

I'm gonna go with never.

Sure, there might have been times when people interpreted that "evidence" to mean that things more core were changed too, but even that isn't consistently happening. It's an idea of autism as some set of external stuff in how we act, rather than a more internal thing of how our minds work.

And I have plenty of criticism for the goals and concepts of passing for neurotypical, beyond what I'm putting here. But.

Autism acceptance involves teaching autistic people as we are, accepting that our minds work... however they happen to work (that's not even necessarily consistent over time and between energy levels within a single autistic person, many of us have multiple modes of thought, but there are some patterns in how autistic people's minds tend to work.) It involves saying, "This person is always going to be autistic, and we're going to work on skills that are compatible with their autistic self, in ways that are compatible with their autistic self, with goals matching their goals." It views growth into an Autistic adult as the goal.

Autism recovery views growth into a non-Autistic adult as the goal.

I think that's a pretty core difference: autism acceptance says that an autistic child will grow into an autistic adult, and that that's great. Autism recovery says that an autistic child should grow into a non-autistic adult, and that an autistic person being able to "pass" for non-autistic, even if only by the cluelessness of those around them, is the same as being not autistic anymore. These are pretty incompatible ideas.

1 comment:

  1. This is eloquently and perfectly expressed. You break down the unfeasible, contradicting co-existence of these two concepts. How can you accept someone, or a population- while harboring a goal of changing them into NT- who's role it would then therefore be... To accept and hold the same goal? I'm disappointed in this notion and opposing paradigms. But I'm happy to read someone justify the incompatibility of them with such simplicity and a smart, no nonsense argument. Keep up the good work- and thanks for the great read.


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