Autism - Always Unique

Autism acceptance because different is beautiful.

Autism - Unique is awesome.

Autism Strong - I won't be bullied. I won't be judged. I won't be silent. I am not ashamed. I am strong. I am proud to be me.

Autism - always unique totally interesting sometimes mysterious

I am beautiful (not broken), different (not defective), challenged (not challenging), I am autism - watch me fly

Autism is about having a pure heart and being very sensitive... It is about finding a way to survive in an overwhelming, confusing world... It is about developing differently, in a different pace and with different leaps.

What is, by the sole purpose of allowing people to be who they are, without judgement for their differences, a new paradigm is created and with that, the knowledge that something greater is lying beneath? Imagine the possibilities.

Autism is unconditional love and unexpected laughs! - Katie, a proud sibling of ASD

Autistic Rights

Charter of Rights of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Persons with autism spectum disorder have the same rights and privileges: civic, economic, and political as enjoyed by all citizens of their country. They have a right to be treated as equal with full human rights and fundamental freedoms and without discrimination.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes that people with disabilities have certain rights which include the right to full inclusion, equality of opportunity, and access. It is the responsibility of countries that are signatories to the convention to ensure that people with disabilities within their borders are able to enjoy these rights.

However, for this to happen it is imperative that people with disabilities themselves and their representatives be aware of the rights that are guaranteed to them. In many countries, the human rights of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are yet to be recognized. It is therefore important that these rights be specifically stated so that persons with ASD and their representatives know and understand their rights. Only then will they be able to ensure that persons with ASD are able to access lives of dignity and respect.

THE RIGHT of individuals with ASD

While it would be unheard of to exclude direct representatives of a given minority in an organization for racial or ethnic minorities or indeed for people with a physical or sensory disability many autism related organizations do not include individuals with an autism spectrum diagnosis in their administration or policy. Some common arguments against inclusion are that autistic people wouldn't be mentally capable of representing their own interests, that any autistic person who would be capable must not be "really" autistic, or that its not possible to find an autistic person who has the "right" ideology for the organization. Other organizations will include autistic people in token ways, such as allowing them to design fund raising material, but never in ways that have real power. Still other organizations simply continue to exclude autistic representatives without any explanation at all. Much of public policy made concerning autism issues is done without any input at all from autistic individuals.

While the contribution of parents and service workers is indeed relevant and valuable, the fact is that autistic people are currently in the position of "taxation without representation," "something about us without us," and systemic exclusion from having power in their own lives.

"Autism advocate" is a tricky term, as people who label themselves as such may have diametrically opposing perspectives on disability, autistic rights, and which issues are critical to address. Those autism advocates who support the medical model of disability advocate for a "cure" for autism. These people often advocate for biomedical research on causes, treatments, and cures.

Autism advocates who support the socio-ecological model of disability advocate for access, acceptance, and support, and may see autistic individuals as a minority group with its own culture within the disability community. These people may also see autism and disability in general as an important part of biodiversity, often termed neurodiversity. These people often advocate for disability services, accessibility and community inclusion, education and therapy aimed at self improvement, and public education leading to greater autism acceptance.

There is a misconception that any autistic person who advocates for support and acceptance instead of cure must be "high functioning" and not actually be disabled by their autism. This is definitely not the case.