On last week’s blog, I mentioned an offensive “awareness” video about autism, which portrayed “autism” as a creepy voice threatening to break up families, take all their money, and destroy their children. While that video may be exceptional, information about disabilities on the Internet is often depressing, sometimes inaccurate, and rarely vetted by disabled people. Autism, in particular, has been subjected to many misunderstandings as part of its quick ascent into the public eye.
So, I was glad to find this fact sheet describing the features of autism, published by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network(ASAN). ASAN is run by and for autistic people, and aims to “empower autistic people across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of our common community.”ASAN treats autism as a “neurological variation” and describes common features using unbiased language, emphasizing that no two autistic people are identical. Consult this fact sheet if you want to learn about autism or educate others, and while you’re there, check out ASAN’s public policy work, much of it directed at issues affecting people across the disability spectrum.