Pro-neurodiversity, pro-vaccines, pro-disability rights, anti-cure.

Now Katy doesn't want to live in Smithton anymore.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Autistics Speaking Day is today

This has been one of the most stressful, most exciting, and most rewarding weeks of my life.

I made my blog this summer when I was home alone all day and off school, and I thought I had something to say.  I didn't touch it for a few months, but when I decided to start getting involved, things just sort of fell into place.

It started with making a few friends on Blogspot.  I was happy to have a few people listening to what I had to say, and I didn't expect for many people to notice anything I had to say.

Then I was inspired to create a Facebook event for an event Corina had suggested.  Yesterday 365 people were participating.  Today I found there are over 450, plus people who don't have Facebook accounts who have e-mailed me their blog posts.

The support has been overwhelming, and I've made a lot of friends and a couple of enemies along the way.  I was obsessed with this event, staying up sleeplessly to moderate posts and disputes, trying to respond to each participant individually, getting together lists of participants and blog posts, keeping up with news posts on the subject...and it all paid off.  Today is already a success, and by my clock it's only 2:00 PM.

I'll spend today glued to my computer, trying to share as many stories with as many people as I can.  A lot of people have thanked me for what I'm doing, but I'm just a person who put a Facebook page up.  You have all made this possible, and you have helped bring Autistics Speaking Day to more people.  Thank you for helping me do this.  You are all amazing.  And this is really evidence of how important the Internet is to autistic people, and how foolish it would be to think that turning off Facebook would help non-autistic people understand what it's like to be us.  We're here today to use the Internet to tell non-autistic people who we are and what autism is.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy Autistics Speaking Day.  I'll be glued to my computer all day.  I'm sending out lists of blogs and participants.  If you want to write a post, send me a link and the name you want to use (your own or a pen name) so I can share it.  I'll update the list periodically through the day and I'll try to get to them all.

The participants:

1.  Action for Autism’s Mike Stanton explains why Communication Shutdown is offensive, and what it is like when autistic people shut down in real life.

2.  Alexander Cheezem writes an awesome open letter to Buzz Aldrin.

3.  Allecto on dispelling myths about autism.

4.  Alysia Krasnow Butler on her own son’s autism diagnosis and her friend’s son’s recent unexpected diagnosis.  A beautiful post.

5.  Amanda Forest Vivian on problems with the kinds of things non-autistics are trying to “fix” in autistic people.  This is really awesome and you should read it if you’re not familiar with the concepts of “ableism” and why it’s not necessary or even beneficial to “pass” for non-autistic.

6.  Ari Ne’eman from the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network on Communication Shutdown and Autistics Speaking Day.

7.  AS Parenting has an awesome article on autism (including nonverbal autism) and advocacy. 

8.  ASD Mommy-I don’t know this blogger’s name, but it is a good post.

9.  A.S.S.G.O. (AS Support Group Online)’s post for Autistics Speaking Day.

11.  Brigy Staples on the double standards people use with autistic people.

12.  Britt Kravets on social interaction and acceptance for the whole spectrum.

13.  Clay on Autistics Speaking Day; also contains Ari Ne’eman’s post.

14.  Codeman busting myths about autism.

15.  The Coffee Klatch on their Twitter event, which you should totally check out if you have Twitter. 

16.  Corabelle Li Crol on the power of the Internet and autistic people.

17.  Corina Becker’s guest blog on things she knows as an autistic person, and her post on her own blog for Autistics Speaking Day.

18.  Craig Thompson posted a video about autism and communication.

19.  Cripchick (Stacy Milbern) on the dangers of donating to non-profit autism organizations that are all about profit and do nothing for autistic people.

21.  Darcy Reed is an autistic writer who writes beautiful poetry.

26.  Estee Klar on the dangers of trying to normalize autistic people with medication.

27.  Gavin Bollard on why a day of silence doesn’t work.

28.  Gaynell on the harm that society has allowed to be done to autistic people, particularly on physical abuse and restraint.  This is an important issue in the community right now.

30.  Heather Sedlock on her autistic son’s life.

31.  Ian on his experiences with autism.
32.  Jennefer explains what she would like people to know about her three-year-old autistic son, referred to here as HRH.

33.  Jill with some general info on autism and ASDay.

34.  John Elder Robinson posts his support here.

35.  John Scot Thorburn on how autistic voices should be heard.

38.  Julian Edward Frost posts on his own experience with autism.

39.  Karen Baum writes her first blog post on Autistics Speaking Day, for which I am honored.

40.  Karin has written several posts for today, which can be viewed here:

41.  Kassiane on what she can tell you and explain about living with autism, and being on your autistic kid’s side. and
42.  Kathleen on autistic people and communication.

43.  Kathryn Bjornstad writes about Autistics Speaking Day and shares a list of participants.

44.  Kerry Cohen on her autistic son, who she has written a memoir about.

45.  Kevin Healey shares the voices of autistic people.

46.  Kim Wombles on supporting autistic people instead of shutting down.

47.  Leah Jane on how the Internet made it possible for her autism club to pull off a successful event. and on the aftermath of ASDay

49.  Luna Lightning on her own experiences with autism and life in general.

50.  Maddy Keene on her experience with autism/Asperger’s. 

51.  Matt Friedman explains how social media has helped him and why autistics must speak for themselves.

52.  Maya Brown-Zimmerman on battles with the early intervention system.

53.  Melissa Fields on not feeling welcome in the non-autistic world.

54.  Nicole Nicholson shares an awesome poem with us for Autistics Speaking Day.  She is also sharing other poems, so check them out.

55.  Ole Ferme L'Oeil on the wide range of people in the autism spectrum; also includes some awesome links to other important blog posts that you should check out.

56.  Pamela Harvey on the use of silence.

57.  Paula C. Durbin-Westby shares her e-mail to Buzz Aldrin about Communication Shutdown and Autistics Speaking Day. 

58.  Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg on empathy and communication.

59.  Sandy challenges the idea that verbal communication is the best form of communication.

61.  Savannah posts poems about her experiences with autism.

62.  Scottish Mum on why Communication Shutdown is not for her.

63.  Shanti writes about her life, selective mutism, and her obsessions.

64.  Shelly Valladolid on autistic special interests and their validity.  I don’t know a better way to put it; it’s a short but good post.

65. Socrates from the New Republic on Autistics Speaking Day.

66.  Stuart Duncan on breakdowns in communication.

67.  Sunday Stillwell writes an informative post on Autistics Speaking Day.

and here 
69.  TMBMT on the pain of growing up undiagnosed.

70.  Tony Belcastro writes about what autism is like for him and how it has affected his life.

71.  Toxicology Doc on communication.

72.  Unstrange Mind on what you would have to do to really understand how her autism affects her.  Hint: it’s not turning off your computer.

73.  The Untoward Lady on autism and love.

75.  Zachary Lassiter on why many autistic people won’t be participating in Communication Shutdown.

76. I missed Nick Walker's post before, but here it is now.

77.  Also missed Jo's blog post here about the difficulties she has encountered raising a son with Asperger's.

78.  Wendy on alt med, food allergies, and other things.

79.  Spectrummy Mummy on her experiences with Autistics Speaking Day. 

80.  Elesia Ashkenazy's ASDay post.

The Media:

There are some other lists here.


If you are participating, I’ve receieved a message from Joel Manzer that participants can submit their posts to Autisable and they’ll be happy to highlight them on the first page.  Autisable is here.

And although they didn’t write a post for Autistics Speaking Day, I think it’s really important that everyone check out Families Aginst Restraint and Seclusion.  Check out the video here.

Again, the event page on Facebook is here.!/event.php?eid=140107279369668  And in case you didn’t get the message, we now have a permanent page for Autistics Speaking Day.  Like here if you would like to participate again next year.  Thank you all so much for participating, and I wish you all an awesome Autistics Speaking Day.


  1. Thank you Kathryn for all you've done to make today happen!

  2. Thanks. I'm trying really, really hard to stay focused for everyone, but I'm happy that so many people have been enthusiastic about participating.

  3. Congrats on a successful Autistics Speaking Day. Even us in the research community support your efforts (The Gateway Project - is committed to including autistic adults in research about autistic adults).

  4. Thank YOU. I was glued to my computer all day yesterday and I genuinely think we were successful:) Jen

  5. I hope so. I have heard from a lot of people who say they've made new friends and discovered new blogs because so many people participated, and I know that happened to me too.

  6. thank you so much for all that you did on Monday. I was glued to my computer too, and I read some amazing stories and met people that I would have never met otherwise. Thanks for listing my post and congratulations on an amazing day.