Just Stimming…

A land we can share (a place I can map)

Autistics Speaking Day, 2011

with 14 comments

Today is Autistics Speaking Day. It’s an annual holiday of the Autistic community that started last year in response to some ill-advised advocacy attempts, and I hope it continues until someday every day is Autistics speaking day. It’s one day of the year where social media and the blogosphere are reserved for the Autistic community to speak out in a concentrated effort.

Today is Autistics Speaking Day.

Today I am silent.

Part of being autistic is that things do not always go according to plan. Part of being autistic is that I can’t always synch up with everyone else. Part of being autistic is that I can’t, in fact, deliver meaningful content and communication whenever I’d like–or, really, whenever other people want me to. Part of being autistic is that I can go months without anything much to say at all, really.

Part of being Autistic is knowing that that’s okay.

Most of my writing and thinking this past month has centered on the things I’m interested in–Glee, Phineas and Ferb, Community. Mostly Glee. I’ve been doing other stuff, sure, but much of the thinking is still pre-verbal. I have thoughts I can feel stitching themselves together and lining up about college and developmental disabilities, about quite hands, about the power and terror of words like “stop” and “I need help” and “no,” about abuse, about when autistic people are listened to, and about autistic vs Autistic….but they aren’t ready yet. They aren’t even words. Most of my posts here have taken months of patience, of silence, of frustration and catharsis and self-injury and all kinds of “behaviors” and meltdowns and unpleasantness, before I could sit down and everything came together. I’m in that transitional period again now, and it’s quite uncomfortable much of the time.

I’ll wait. I’ll be silent. I’m Autistic–I’m allowed.

Today is Autistics Speaking Day. Some of us can’t speak today.

I hope you’ll still listen, when we can.

Written by Julia

November 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm

14 Responses

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  1. Thank you, because of the similarities with my own difficulties to write I understand and appreciate every post of this blog.
    I’ll wait.
    Thank you again.

    Alicia Lile

    November 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm

  2. Hey I’m Bard and I found your blog via Shift Journal. I’ll probably lurk around and comment on various essays you have written. I’m on blogspot as Prism*Song (www.prismsong.blogspot.com)

    Anyway back to the topic on hand….

    I don’t know how to respond to Autistics Speaking day. Personally I think it’s gimmicky and honestly the fact that we have “day” bugs me for some reason. Everyday should be Autistics Speaking day. Our voices shouldn’t be drown out in the rest of the year. Yet they are and we have to reserve a day to get our point across.

    Wow thanks Corina for ironically pointing out the biggest issue we have in the community. The fact that we have to have DAY to talk.

    It’s probably why I don’t post anything cute or quirky or ranty on Nov 1 because I do it all year round. And I am not big fan of memes (not the fun kind at least). (I will say I did repost something for the blog because it’s well….a repost)

    The Bard

    November 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    • My hope is that Autistics Speaking Day can be a tool towards a world where all autistic people’s communication is listened to. I enjoy the sense of respite, community, and energy a focused community event like this gives me. I find it restorative. Sometimes we need things like that.

      Julia

      November 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      • The community (well the Autistic community at least) is pretty fluid with communication. Though you do have some in-fighting (ok a lot) and politics. Maybe it’s restorative to you. But for me it’s honestly tasking. The community itself is pretty exhausting. But then again I do I lot of work for ASAN in Columbus and I am still burnt out.

        The Bard

        November 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

        • I think the point of days like this is to give a community something to celebrate, some respite, some energy to gain back. If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for you, but I don’t think the practice is problematic.

          Julia

          November 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm

  3. Julia, I will always have patience and await your thoughts with bated breath. No schedule or special day is necessary. They are always worth waiting for.

    bolthead0070

    November 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm

  4. I look forward to you speaking about these things whenever and however you can.

    sanabituranima

    November 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

  5. “Some of us can’t speak today.

    I hope you’ll still listen, when we can.”

    Always!

    chavisory

    November 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm

  6. Yes! This ^47.

    Melanie

    November 3, 2011 at 9:11 am

  7. […] anything much to say at all, really.  Part of being Autistic is knowing that that’s okay. –Julia Bascom Please, please wait for me to find the words to say what’s on my mind! I can’t […]

  8. I find your words so powerful. They reach out from the screen and burn deep into my chest. The sensation spreads from the centre and fingers out, some reaching towards my throat. You touch me so profoundly. And though I have no idea if you are in anyway similar to my son, I feel I hear him through what you say or what you don’t say.
    Thank you for your insight and bravery to share.

    aefountain

    November 23, 2011 at 10:18 pm

  9. Thank you for helping others to know – it’s okay.

    Lori Petro

    December 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

  10. Part of sharing our world, and living with people with Autism, is knowing how to wait for you to be ready. Your words are okay. Your silence is okay, too. You watching T.V. and your loud hands are okay. Thanks for writing. Your words give a voice to the children I work with, the people who we live with and know, who can’t or aren’t ready to speak for themselves. Thank you for helping me understand them.

    M S (@mimicoyote)

    March 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm


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