For me, I felt like I didn’t get to do enough celebrating yesterday at Halloween. I could have gone trick-or-treating, could have carved a pumpkin, or toured my schools old Yeater hall and learn the legends of how the third floor of what used to be the sorority house is haunted. But instead I got caught up in homework, environmental work, and trying to start and autistics student and peer organization at UCM. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy these things, but because of them I didn’t get to celebrate much Halloween. Luckily, November 1 of every year is Autistics Speaking Day. Autistics Speaking Day is a holiday started by autistic activist Corina Becker and promoted by her friend Kathryn Bjornstead in response to an event called Communication Shutdown, where people are asked to go a day without social media, which to its creators is supposed to show non-autistic people the sense of isolation they think we experience in our daily lives. While Communication Shutdown may have been started with the best intentions, it shows a real lack of understanding of how many real autistics feel. In response to this projection by non-autistic people, Autistics Speaking Day was created on November 1 through a website started by Corina called autisticsspeakingday.blogspot.com. Each year it collects writings from autistic people all around the world to tell their stories in their own words and grew to over several thousands of contributors since it has started. Note: it is not connected to Autism Speaks or any other major organization that is devoid of autistic representation or uses analogies of autistics to car wrecks to raise money for genetic research into autism without helping families bear the financial costs of paying for autism services out of their pockets. Some contributors do support AS, but they do not represent all autistics contributing. I wish I’d mentioned this sooner, but if you are autistic, or an ally (which they'll ask you in the form), you can find the submission form next year on their website at autisticsspeakingday.blogspot.com. Be sure to submit before November 1 of next year.
This year I wrote a post for The Autist Dharma Ten Examples that Show Violence Against Autistics is Alive and Well in American Culture, for which I also submitted a link, my name, and the title to the Autistics Speaking Day website submission form for 2014. Note: this post contains graphic depictions of horrible acts committed by society to autistic people, for which I mentioned on the submission form, as I was asked if my post needed any content/trigger warnings. If you are triggered by acts of violence, including rape, torture, and electroshock therapy, do not keep reading any further. f you are interested in reading it, and you know you can handle it, you can find it on Autistics Speaking Day’s website at http://autisticsspeakingday.blogspot.com/2014/10/ten-examples-that-show-violence-against.html with the rest of this year’s Autistic Speaking Day Posts. Or you can find it on my blog at http://autistdharma.blogspot.ca/2014/10/ten-examples-that-show-violence-against.html with the rest of my posts (and there’s a link on ASDay’s website with a link to my blog anyway, so…). So if you want, sit back and enjoy the Halloween season.