Sunday, August 16, 2015

Stop Proving me RIGHT. (more on "A Year in the Life of Autism" & their devotion to being screwups)

I was actually gentler than I wanted to be yesterday. So. Now punches don't get pulled.

"A Year in the Life of Autism", which is the completely inaccessible and boring as hell v-log of some whiny autism parents who think it's ok to say they "live with autism" but that their son "has autism" but is not Autistic (they decided this) decided to hit rock bottom and start digging. Able people: you may not call yourselves this. Okay? You do not "live with autism", you cannot write about anything in the life "of autism". You are not autistic. You do not have special insight into being Autistic because you've got an autistic kid. Stop. 

They promoted a campaign called "silent selfie", where whiny autism parents posted selfies of themselves with hands over their mouths. Never mind that this symbol, as I said yesterday, was used to raise awareness of things like sexual violence and human trafficking. They want it too! This is to 'support autism'. You can tell because of how they treat autistic people.

Namely, by silencing. Irony much?

Not once but twice.

Okay, Dean & Amy, here's the deal: you posted about wanting to make a name for yourselves in the autism communities. You did. Congrats. You have made a name for yourselves as just another bigoted entitled mommy & daddy blog. You're special in that you manage to be both a sensory nightmare and dreadfully boring v-loggers. That's your claim to being different. Other than that, you're entirely like every other Woe Unto Me!! parent blog out there. 

Here's the rest of that deal: if you want a name for yourselves, you're going to get criticized. If you seek fame, people who disagree with you will also know who you are. They will tell you that you're wrong. If you can't cope with people saying you're being ableist & wrong, don't do it so damn publicly. Anything you put in the public sphere is...public. And if you're going to talk about autism, expect autistic people to notice. If you're going to be wrong about autistic people, expect us to tell you.

Moving on: stop fucking lying. You say you want to help Autistic people. But your actions indicate you could not give a whiff of a shit about Autistic people. When Autistic people say "This harms us" and you say "we're sorry you feel that way", you are saying "I do not give a single fuck what you think, because me me me me me!!!!!!". We tried being nice, much nicer than you deserved. Everyone who posted about why awareness is harmful? Banned. Twice. And I know you didn't read a single thing. Everyone who tried to talk to your followers (who are a malignant band of shitheads)? Banned. After hours of abuse.

There's more indication that you don't care about autistic people: your followers are malignantly ableist and abusive. You banned people for criticizing awareness. You did not ban, or even verbally say "hey not cool" to your Real People friends calling us "mindless idiots". To those who wrote inaccessible screeds telling us how we're the actual worst people in the world. To those telling us to shut up because the Real People are talking. If you cared about autistic people, you'd not sit there while we were abused. That's what you're telling people it's ok to do to your son. Great job. A+ parenting.

Yet more proof? "It's on our Vlog." Look, Dean, Amy, even if you weren't frankly really boring videographers? Vlog is not accessible to many many autistic people. We have language processing problems. That is, in fact, an extremely common feature of autism. If you were knowledgeable enough to be the saviors of autism you claim to want to be, if you gave even the tiniest inkling of a care about actually autistic people, you'd know this and act on it. If you don't know this, that's because you were too busy deleting things to engage with them. Several of us told you this. You should have known it already. Vlog is inaccessible. Moving the discussion over to a platform we can't use? Yep you're really sorry & you really care. That's totally the message that gives. Wait, no it isn't. It gives the impression that you're doing everything possible to avoid Autistic people in the name of getting all cuddled by allistic autism parents who won't criticize you. This is disgusting behavior.

Let's go back to your pathetic nonpology. "I'm sorry if you were offended, let's move on" is levels of no. First, "if"? Nope. You know that we were not happy because we told you in explicit terms. There is no if. Second, "offended" is downplaying things & you know it. Offended makes it sound like a matter of opinion. The word you're looking for is harmed. Your campaign perpetuates harm. I know you could not give less of a shit about adult autistics. You claim to care about your son. You're promoting a world that sees him as less than. Great job! Here, let me appeal to your selfish parent-ness: You all claim to want your child to make it without you. You are promoting the idea that your son will never speak except through you. This is forced dependence. You're the one insisting on making yourself indispensable forever, by promoting your stereotypes. Is your desire for it to be all about you really that deep, so deep you'll sabotage your son's adulthood?

That's a ridiculous question isn't it? Except it isn't, because you're posting your child's very personal business all over the internet. I wish I could believe you're ignorant of the ramifications but I know you aren't because multiple people told you.

Harm. You mean harm. And you aren't sorry or you'd stop doing it instead of letting your followers be just as ableist and bigoted as you are & then vanishing the page.

And "let's move on"? You don't get to make that call. You're the one who fucked up. The people you harmed are the ones who get to decide when or if to move on. There is no moving on with people who are insisting on continuing to harm people (see, "you are showing no indication of actually being sorry", above, & yesterday). We can't move on. We're still on "can you pretend you think we're people?" (answer clearly being "nope, I don't want to!! I'm too busy nailing myself to the cross!") You're trying to say "let us continue hurting you but shut up about it this time".

And this was all predictable. You aren't the first people to do this. You are not clever. You are not unique snowflakes. People the first night you came to our attention said this was exactly what you'd do. They've seen the pattern before.

In my very first comment on the restored page, I said the same thing: that you'd prove me right, that you weren't sorry, remorseful, or willing to learn. Anyone who deletes as many trying to educate you links as you did & shuts down the page because of mild criticism is going to do the same thing you did: deflect, make it all our fault for thinking we're people, & double down on being self centered bigots. I wanted to be wrong.

I wasn't wrong.

Maybe I'd trust autism parents more to pretend to think about our interests if more of you managed to convince me you're listening. But you, Dean & Amy, didn't even pretend to listen. You pretended to care, but not convincingly. 

We're the ones who will put your son back together. You had the opportunity to learn now, while he was little & you hadn't irrevocably fucked up. You choose, however, to continue being fuckups because it makes you feel good rather than actually listening to your son's peers. That is the choice you are knowingly, intentionally making. The choice to perpetuate a hostile world for your son.

Prove me wrong. Do better. Be better. Go and offer sincere apologies, all 5 components, to every autistic person you silenced (Twice!!) and then act on them. Be better.

Or you can continue down the path to proving me right. Your choice.


Unknown said...

Not holding my breath.

ratherunique said...

Curiosity got the better got me and I found the blogs twitter account unfortunately. It's been locked too but the header picture is absolutely creepy. These folks disturb me.

Jane said...

Yup. Absolutely. I got really tired of the whiny. and the "I was monitored but i am not autistic and big meanie you made me depressed because you questioned the entire thing."

oscah said...

Vlogs often trigger sensory overload for me.

Unknown said...

Scorpio wims. *sigh*

Though, as I was looking through the screenshots, which I didn't see initially, as they were deleted, I saw a few parents who immediately concurred with autistic voices and some who fervently advocated WITH and not FOR us.

I have hope, but less and less for parent advocates who will rise to the top of the martyr mommy pile and stand as a conduit for, and not a voice above actually autistic people.

Morénike said...


Becky Gaines said...

As an allistic parent of an Autistic child, I want to say THANK YOU. You must feel like none of us are listening sometimes but there are some of us out here desperate for your input and guidance as the best possible sources of information about our children. I am thankful every single day that there is a communication path between Austistic adults and me. Without it I would be screwing things up. I cannot tell you how deeply I appreciate you.

Heather Rhone said...

As the mother to an Autistic child, and sister to an Autistic adult...

Remember this.

For every pitiful Autism warrior mom, there are parents who are listening. We are listening. We take your words, and your advice, and your upsets, and we use them to understand our own children, and how to best advocate not only for them, but for all Autistic individuals. You all matter, big or small. You're all people. No more or less than anyone else. You've taught me that this "journey" we're on? It's not mine. It's my daughter's. And while while it's sometimes hard for me, my place is next to her - not in front of her.

Thank you.

Unknown said...

Exactly what Becky Gaines said!
Thank you, and I am listening.

Sparrow Rose said...

Another reason why vlogs are often inaccessible to Autistic adults and other disabled people: bandwidth. So many of us live in poverty -- often abject poverty. Unlimited streaming internet is often far, far out of our financial reach. In addition to the other problems with vlogs (spoken language can be difficult or impossible to understand, closed captions are often absent or a not-very-funny joke, flashing and flickering light and unpredictable sounds can be seizure triggers) they are very bandwith-expensive. I can only view vlogs at a library, coffee shop, or friend's home -- none of which are reliable and regular sources of bandwidth for me.

If you want your ideas to have the widest possible circulation, *including* being read by people living in poverty, you *must* write those ideas in words that are displayed as clear text without distracting and obscuring background images or locked away in images or frames where text readers can't go. Images should always have descriptions included. And if videos are required or helpful, they must always have a text transcript that is accessible to both eyes and screen readers.

This is basic internet access 101 shit. The Year in the Life folks are seriously in need of being schooled on access issues. Seriously.