I have just discovered the latest Disability Studies Quarterly and I’m overjoyed! I feel like ‘autism’ is coming of age within disability. It is fitting that there are articles by both Jim Sinclair and Ari Ne’eman. Dare I say Father of the movement and one of its most prominent sons. I have a feeling that a lot of care an attention has gone into the all of the sections, the peer reviewed, the cultural commentary, the roundtables and the smaller offerings – creative works and book and film reviews. Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay and his exquisite metaphor and highly appreciable humor resonate with me. I am yet to read all of the work and I remain excited at the possibility of doing so and savoring the offerings as some are clearly such a departure from the medicalised research literature I am required to read as part of my profession. As an an Autistic person who is a Disability Studies graduate I feel this long overdue treatment of autism will finally allow further focus on discourse that is not routed in the medical paradigm or the battle seat of the behavioural science, pharmaco science or quackery realms.
Posts Tagged ‘Jim Sinclair’
I began to get tired toward the end of this year and was wondering how I would keep going under the pressure of everyday life. My mind is such that I am driven to do and to achieve not only for myself but on behalf of others. I have had time to rest and reflect and realise that it will always be my lot to be the way I am!!
2009 has seen many changes and machinations in the autism self-advocacy world and what I am seeing is a third-wave of advocates who a striving for a more rights based recognition of autism and autistic people. I am tired and as much as I’ll keep soldiering on, I am grateful for the new blood even if there is a bull at a gate mentality at times.
I remember being a younger activist – not just taking a stand on autism and disability but on refugee issues, global economics, war, unemployment, youth issues, gay rights and more. I approached every issue with fervour and could be found at the front of picket lines and travelling from state to state to set up camp on a new issue. I was an arts student with time to spend on developing concepts, campaigns and time to dream about a better world. I was not only dreaming I was taking action and I believed wholeheartedly that every little bit counted. I think that some of the more seasoned activists around me would have looked at me and my fellow newbies with a mixture of amusement and knowing because they had been there done that – so to speak.
Sometimes now when I read about the actions of the new wave of self-advocates and activists in autism I have a mixture of the feelings that I suppose those elders had when I was younger!
There are some of us who have been there and done that in a lot of ways and yet there is still so much to be done. We do have a legacy which is a luxury and not a luxury to be taken for granted.
Now is a good time to reflect on some of that legacy and the things that inspire me!! (some links are to old sites)
Oops… Wrong Planet Syndrome (1995 – 2005) Archives here
Aspergia.com (no content available – you had to be there!)
These are a snipet of my introduction to the autism world many years ago when resources seemed sparse. Today there is a veritible flood of information, options, opinions, resources, forums, chat rooms and the like. There are many activists and advocates awakening to the cause and looking toward the horizon with a sense of importance, boundless energy to give and rights to fight for.
I am a little bit tired but not nearly as tired as some who went before me – all that I wish for is that we honour the legacy of a movement. Spend some time looking back before you run foward.