The past couple days I have been talking about the Orycon having an autism panel utterly devoid of Autistics panel situation. And I will likely be talking about it the next couple days as well.
This situation is proof that we need Autistics Speaking Day-that our work is not yet done.
It should be a given that when people talk about us, they should instead stand beside us and talk with us. It should not be a novel idea that Autistic people have things to say on autism. The idea of Autistic advocates, or Autistic adults, or Autistic people who are not directly related to the neurotypical who decided that they're an autism expert, that shouldn't be a novel idea.
They should never have planned a panel without Autistic representation. If for some reason they had made the oversight, they should have been apologetic and done their best to fix it.
They would not have doubled down, derailed, and tried to tell me why non autistic parents of autistic children are better representatives of autism, the Autistic experience, than actual Autistic people are.
That is the sort of behavior that, in a world that doesn't need Autistics Speaking Day, would be socially disadvantageous in the extreme.
Maybe one day we won't need Autistics Speaking Day.
That'll be the day that not a single presentation on autism is given without an Autistic point of view strongly represented.
That'll be the day that not a single book or article on autism gets past editors without notable Autistic input.
That'll be the day that everyone understands that knowing an Autistic person doesn't mean you know what it is to be an Autistic person.
That'll be the day that everyone-and I do mean everyone-knows that not all autistic people are exactly alike.
It'll be the day that general society knows that Autistics grow up-the day that not every piece of media is about autistic children.
It'll be the day when we are finally acknowledged on the experts of our own reality, as the primary stakeholders in autism discourse, and as the people who have the ultimate perspective on the Autistic experience.
We won't need Autistics Speaking Day when our voices are heard every day.
Orycon just showed me how far we have to go.