#BILLYMANNRECEIPTS | @BILLYMANN: The puzzle piece is incredibly ableist in its history.


Philp BGrann-Ives: Thank you.

Whilst from a literary perspective, “I Am Autism” is an amazing poem, it has also alienated many Autistics who disagree with the notion of Severe and Mild Autism – not to mention us Autistics who can articulate, express, love independently, etc.

I for one do not believe there is a measurable scale. The functioning labels, which Autism Speaks so dearly cling to, do not speak about how Autism on its own affects us Autistics – but how Autism with confounding co-morbidities affects other people. Autism not the same as it’s co-morbidities.

In many cases if you were able to take the Autism away from someone and leave their co-morbid conditions, very little would change. I know there are many Autistic who would agree with me, too.

We are not all the same, and for Autism Speaks to use your poem out of context to further their agenda of cure rhetoric was immoral and unethical.

The puzzle piece is incredibly ableist in its history. It was used to describe a “puzzling condition” where the ‘sufferers don’t fit in’, and that Autistics need to be ‘solved’. I am not a puzzling condition anymore; and I fit in just fine. Most Autistics do fit in, especially when people accept and take into account their differences from the norm.

Please reconsider your support of Autism Speaks. Whilst I appreciate you, your wife, and your family may feel supported by them, they are not the advocacy group they claim to be. They tell us Autistics what we need, and have never listened to us. They haven’t yet, to my knowledge, apologised for the video they created using your poem.

Again. Thank you for your apology. It means a lot.


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