Here is a list of what I do and what I don't do on the Today's Autistic Moment podcast.
I am putting this list here to be very upfront and clear so as to avoid as many misunderstandings as I possibly can.
I do talk slowly on the show.
There are autistic adults for whom it can take 5-20 seconds to comprehend what is said.
I talk slowly to accommodate the autistic adults with those challenges.
I also have ADHD and like to take a few moments to refocus on what I am saying and to stay on track.
I do support all adults on the autistic spectrum
I do talk about autistic adults and the autistic culture in a positive way.
I do use identity first language (such as autistic adults, autistic individuals, etc).
I do respect the preference of autistic individuals to use person first (ie. a person with autism) or identity first (ie. autistic adult) language that works best for them.
There will be guests who may use one, the other or both.
I do support the right of every autistic adult to fidget or stim (in private and/or in public), use noise cancelling headphones, wear clothing textures, eat food textures, find calming spaces and exercise behaviors that do not harm themselves or others; which best supports their sensory processing needs so that autistic adults can live comfortably and with pride in who we are.
I do support the right of every autistic individual to be free from the fear of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and financial exploitation from any person, including law enforcement, family members, the medical community, the mental health community and the general public.
I do support better health care opportunities, community products and services to support autistic adults at every stage of their life.
I do work for a more inclusive society for autistic adults of all ages regardless of race, language, sexual orientation, gender, non-binary, transgender, physical and mental disabilities, religion or no religion at all, as well as our caregivers and supporters.
I do interviews that talk about public policy developments to help autistic individuals to be better accepted and accommodated.
I don't support the long held notion that autistic people are a deficit.
I don't accept the myth that autism is caused by immunizations.
I don't use the words Asperger's Syndrome or Pervasive Developmental Disorder
per the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5) approved by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013.
I don't accept the use of high functioning or low funcitoning labels for autistic people.
When someone refers to an autistic person as "high functioning" the expectations on them are too high and their challenges get set aside or completely ignored. Comments such as "You don't look autistic enough" have been heard way too many times by autistic adults who have been labled as "high functioning."
When an autistic person is labled as "low functioning" there is a very damaging affect of presumed incompetence. This presumption is very cruel and devastating for the autistic person and their caregivers.
We also know that autistic individuals with higher support needs are not incompetent at all.
I don't recommend, support, encourage nor promote the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy
It is my position that ABA therapy is abusive and harmful to Autistic Individuals of all ages. The devastation of the abuses of ABA therapy last a lifetime and cause unnecessary suffering for Autistic Individuals and their caregivers.
I don't accept interviews or sponsorships from people and/or organizations that claim that autism can be treated and/or "fixed." This includes medical and medication trial studies to "cure autism."
I don't accept the discrimination of any autistic person for any reason.
I don't accept the use of language on my shows that can be considered vulgar or profane.
I don't discuss (on the show or in email communications) politics, political parties, politicians or participate in political debates.
I don't have all the answers or solutions.
I am hosting this podcast to try to create some conversations to help pave a better future for autistic adults.