Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Autism Experts: Breaking News about Autism!

#AutismExperts. The real experts about autism are Autistics. What could be more simple? Autistics are the ones “on the ground” when it comes to knowing what Autistic experience is. This blog will feature original posts and re-posts by Autistic researchers, Autistic thinkers, and some posts by allies. All pro-neurodiversity and all geared toward embracing and accepting autism. Follow our tweets on Twitter and our blog. This is a multi-Autistic effort just getting underway.Sign up to follow us anywhere and get the REAL INFORMATION about autism.

(Note: Blogs are up but some content has not been loaded.)




Autistic experts will be tagging our posts on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and other social media with the #AutismExperts tag. 

#AutismExperts goes far beyond the idea of "reclaiming" expertise, although that is sorely needed. What we are doing is re-directing expertise about autism-related things to the people who actually know. 

Many people have theories about autism. Some of them are interesting;some of them are laughable; some of them are dangerous or potentially dangerous for us. Some non-autistic "autism experts" showcase their pet theories, including "theory of mind," "lack of empathy,"an almost pathological focus on eye contact, and other questionable ideas. 

For non-Autistics: We at #Autism Experts would like to go beyond merely pointing a well-directed finger at some of these theories and the "experts" behind them; we'd like to engage in serious dialogue with some of the people and organizations involved. All too often, though, our outreach attempts are ignored or dismissed as the product of "our disorder." 

If you are a non-autistic researcher or parent reading this, consider dialoging with the real Autism Experts in your life, online, and in the growing body of research and other writings by Autistic adults, teens, and children.

It's not all about "sharing our success stories" with you. We will be talking about issues of importance to us, first and foremost. Please realize that topics of importance to Autistic adults are more than likely to be topics of interest and importance, in some way, to the Autistic person in your life, whether or not that person is a child, does not speak, or has disabilities that you assume (often in error) that we who are writing these articles do not have.  

Posts will feature topics that are of interest and importance to Autistics at every stage of life.


  1. Bravo! This is an excellent idea and I hope it gets as much traction as it should.

    1. Thank you! We are just getting started and have a lot of hits alread (for the first 24 hours of a new blog!) New posts and activities are in the works, so we should have more material soon.

    2. Even though this is on another post here, I want to point people to Emily Willingham's excellent article on how to write about autism science. http://www.emilywillinghamphd.com/2012/08/writing-about-autism-science-10-things.html Emily's background "includes a bachelor's degree in English and a PhD in biological sciences, both from The University of Texas at Austin, with a completed postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric urology at the University of California, San Francisco." (Bio from http://www.emilywillinghamphd.com/p/about.html )

    3. I've got to say, I hope it does too. Occupy autism expertise, much?

    4. I second that thought! This is a terrific and much-needed idea and I hope it is very successful in its mission!

    5. As an allistic parent, I am very happy to see encouragement given to consulting with real experts. Thank you for your hard work on this important project.

  2. Neurodiversity is an ideology, not a science. It is impossible to provide a comprehensive representation of the knowledge and viewpoints that people on the spectrum have gained in their lives and can share with others, by limiting a series of autistic expert opinions to an ideology that has no inherent relationship to Autism.

    What one could miss is autistic opinions like those of Sue Rubin, who is a non-verbal individual on the spectrum with a co-morbid condition of Noonan's syndrome, who understands the complexity of the spectrum from a viewpoint that many could not possibly understand, that do not experience life like her.

    Her life experience brings a personal ideology that does not dismiss the value of research and potential cures for associated clinical features of Autism that severely limit the ability to function in life for some people on the spectrum.

    That personal ideology that is counter to the personal neurodiversity ideology does not impact the validity of her opinions of what it is like to live on the spectrum, so providing an exclusion for those like her per differences in personal ideology, is a type of discrimination based on personal ideology.

    The personal ideology of neurodiversity does not speak for all autistics, and those voices with different personal ideologies should not be dismissed or silenced in representing what it is like to be on the spectrum.

    This is a logical argument not an emotional one. If someone can point out the flaws in this logical argument I welcome that.

    I support a personal ideology for the support and acceptance of all individuals with diverse neurology, but it excludes no one based on their personal ideologies, per the value of their experiences in life and their own expert opinions of what it is like to live on the spectrum.

    1. Neurodiversity is neither an ideology or a science. It is a fact of life. People have a diversity of neurologies. I don't think you can speak for Sue Rubin. What you are doing is using your interpretation of Sue Rubin to speak for yourself. If Sue Rubin wishes to contribute something to this blog, she may do so. Autistics who wish to create or promote anti-neurodiversity articles may find that another blog is more suitable for them. This will not be a cure-oriented blog.

    2. It may also be possible that we will publish things that I personally don't agree with. They will have to be credible in order to do so. This will not be a platform for disseminating mainstream, non-Autistic generated autism "research," unless it is deemed important to most Autistics. The point of view of this blog (and every blog has a point of view, and research studies have "points of view" and researcher bias and all the rest) is that Autistics are the best experts on our own lives. Some posts will have to do with research and some will not. If you re-read the post above you will see that the focus is on Autistics as experts, not on research per se.

  3. Because so many other sites, media, research studies (including quack ones) showcase non-autistic "experts," this one will features Autistics as Experts. If Autistics who have points of view that are divergent than mine want to post something, I w
    ill consider it , but generally speaking, pro-cure and biomedical and "vaccines cause autism" -type stuff will have a better chance elsewhere. Non-autistic researchers have the funding and platforms to disseminate their work elsewhere, so won't need to come here to do it.