October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The Art of Autism is resurrecting this blog post from Samantha Craft.
By Samantha Craft
If you are a voice for a marginalized minority of autistic people, who has faced continual discrimination, bullying, and isolation, spread kindness, acceptance, and tolerance. Be patient. Don’t hide behind the self-created title of “activist” to spread division and hatred amongst our people; don’t shame someone because they choose to self-identify in a way that is comfortable to them. Don’t tell someone what they should call themselves. Don’t think your opinion is the opinion of everyone.
Many on the autism spectrum are just coming into their diagnosis and need time to figure out what autism means in their life, others are faced with the constant flux in social norms that determine the right and wrong way to identify; don’t call out a fellow autistic leader, supporter, or parent in the public spotlight.
That says more about you than the person. Your anger. Your bottled-up resentment. Your intolerance. Your inability to speak maturely. Firmness and strength does not mean finger pointing and name calling. It does not mean so-and-so said this! Please boycott autism agencies, group pages, and organizations that support contributing members that single out other autisitcs publicly on blogs and in online forums.
As a people we need to join together and maturely discuss difficult topics. We need to not demonize a person, a word, or a voice. We are all in this together.
Samantha Craft, autism author and educator
This was originally posted on Samantha’s Everyday Aspergers FB page. Samantha has given the Art of Autism permission to repost on our website.