Comparing White House Proclamations for World Autism “Awareness” Day
In the Loop About Neurodiversity
by Cassandra Crosman
2y ago
Image description: The White House in 2020 with a red x over it. The text surrounding it reads, “Please do NOT “Light it up Blue.” For the first time since 2017, the White House did not “Light it Up Blue” this year or endorse Autism Speaks. Every April, the White House will usually come up with a statement or proclamation for World Autism “Awareness” Day or Month. The White House may even decide to “Light it Up Blue” for autism and call other Americans to do the same, despite many autistic people rejecting Autism Speaks for its long ableist history, and how the color blue for “autism awareness ..read more
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Strict Compliance Does Not Belong in the Virtual Classroom, Either.
In the Loop About Neurodiversity
by Cassandra Crosman
2y ago
Image description: Common classroom rules that are enforced in virtual classrooms that may be discriminatory towards neurodivergent and disabled students. These include “make sure you are following the school dress code before signing on,” “pay attention to your teacher or other students who are speaking. Look directly into the camera,” “No eating during class,” “Turn on your video,” and, “Sit in one spot during class.” As COVID-19 vaccines are gradually rolling out, teachers in some states are already returning to in person learning or hybrid models of teaching both in person and online. Whil ..read more
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Sia’s New Movie, “Music” is a Missed Opportunity for Authentic Disability Representation.
In the Loop About Neurodiversity
by Cassandra Crosman
2y ago
Image description: 18-year-old dancer and actress, Maddie Ziegler portraying an autistic nonspeaking teenage girl named, Music in Sia’s upcoming film of the same name. She is smiling, wearing noise cancelling headphones, and using an AAC device. While the majority of fans have praised Sia and Maddie, there has been controversy surrounding Maddie’s portrayal of Music as a nondisabled actress playing an autistic character. On November 19th 2020, Australian singer-songwriter, Sia Furler released the trailer for her upcoming new movie, Music which will debut in limited release to theaters in Febru ..read more
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Rosa’s Law Ten Years Later: The Road to End the R-Word
In the Loop About Neurodiversity
by Cassandra Crosman
2y ago
Image description: Black bold text that says, “R-WORD” with a red no sign crossing it out with a white background. October 5th, 2020 is the ten year anniversary of the passage of Rosa’s Law, which ended the medical usage of the r-word from U.S. legislation. Content warning for ableism, discussion of eugenics and forced sterilization, and uncensored use of the r-word. On October 5th 2010, President Barack Obama signed Rosa’s Law, which changed the medical usage of the r-word (“medical retardation”) to “intellectual disability” in U.S. legislation. The use of the r-word was removed from federal ..read more
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Who Should We “Bridge the Gap” With in Our Advocacy?
In the Loop About Neurodiversity
by Cassandra Crosman
2y ago
Image description: A picture with three stick figures on each side reaching out to each other on cliffs on opposite sides, one side on the left labeled, “Allies,” with the other right side labeled, “Autistic community.” The top black text reads, “Bridging the gap,” the bottom black text reads, “for disability justice,” with the neurodiversity symbol inside the gap between the two cliffs. Over the last few months, I have seen attempts from autistic people, including prominent advocates who reach out and “bridge the gap” with people who may not otherwise have found out about or been involved in ..read more
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Exploiting Autistic Children Online is Not “Cute” or “Family Friendly.”
In the Loop About Neurodiversity
by Cassandra Crosman
2y ago
Image description: Logos and pictures of family vloggers including “Fathering Autism,” “Finding Cooper’s Voice,” and “The Stauffer Life” who have profited off of documenting the lives of their autistic children online. These channels have hundreds of thousands of subscribers and millions of views on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Content warning: This article discusses themes such as child abuse and exploitation, as well as damage from Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). Autistic children are too regularly exploited, and are victims of abuse and neglect. To ma ..read more
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Is Autism Speaks Capable of Change?
In the Loop About Neurodiversity
by Cassandra Crosman
3y ago
Image description: A side by side comparison of Autism Speaks old logo, a blue puzzle piece, by their new logo, which is still a puzzle piece but with a sunset gradient at the bottom. The puzzle piece icon is slightly smaller, and their name is now in lowercase letters. For their fifteenth anniversary on February 11th, Autism Speaks unveiled its new logo and campaign, declaring 2020 to be the “year of kindness.” But aside from slightly changing their logo, has Autism Speaks really changed much at all? Or are they capable of changing in the future? It is no secret that Autism Speaks has an ext ..read more
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A New Decade of Autism Acceptance
In the Loop About Neurodiversity
by Cassandra Crosman
3y ago
Image description: A neurodiversity flag that Autistics 4 Autistics Ontario (A4A) raised at Toronto City Hall in April, 2019 with the white bold text in capital letters, “AUTISM APPRECIATION.” Photo credit: Anne L from London Autistics Standing Together (LAST). As 2020 approaches, it is almost the start of not only a new year, but a new decade. It has been over twenty years since the term, “neurodiversity” was coined in 1998. How has the neurodiversity movement progressed throughout the decades, and what should the next decade look like for autistic advocacy? In the 1990’s to 2000’s, the ..read more
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A New Decade of Autism Appreciation
In the Loop About Neurodiversity
by Cassandra Crosman
3y ago
Image description: A neurodiversity flag that Autistics 4 Autistics Ontario (A4A) raised at Toronto City Hall in April, 2019 with the white bold text in capital letters, “AUTISM APPRECIATION.” Photo credit: Anne L from London Autistics Standing Together (LAST). As 2020 approaches, it is almost the start of not only a new year, but a new decade. It has been over twenty years since the term, “neurodiversity” was coined in 1998. How has the neurodiversity movement progressed throughout the decades, and what should the next decade look like for autistic advocacy? In the 1990’s to 2000’s, t ..read more
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Good Autistic Advocacy Organizations vs. Bad Autism “Charities”
In the Loop About Neurodiversity
by Cassandra Crosman
3y ago
Image description: Examples of good autism advocacy organizations at the top, such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autistic Inclusive Meets, the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network, and Autistics for Autistics, compared to examples of bad autism “charity” organizations, such as Autism Speaks, TACA, Autism One, the Autism Society, the National Autistic Society, and Generation Rescue. Unfortunately, the bad autism organizations significantly outnumber the good autism advocacy organizations.There are a lot of autism organizations out there, and it can sometimes be difficult to tell which ..read more
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