Autism is a wide spectrum that encompasses many different traits, situations and issues, not all of which are reflected in lists of diagnosis criteria. There is much more to the spectrum than what’s briefly addressed on this shrine, and there is much more to be said in response to common perceptions of autism, especially as those unfamiliar with it tend to have an oversimplified idea of it.
I enjoy reading about autism, even if it’s basic overviews of the spectrum that I’m already well-acquainted with; it’s fun to see familiar things from someone else’s perspective and in different words. But more than that, I highly enjoy reading what autistic people have to say as part of autistic self-advocacy. What I offer in the following is a collection of links to texts, videos and graphics (mostly the first) that I think are both interesting and important, some of which I have already linked elsewhere on Waterbound. Rather than being strictly about information as to what autism is, the contents of these links are dominantly of critical and defensive nature: autistic people speaking up for their own identity, calling out specific views or misconceptions regarding the spectrum, questioning existing norms and structures, and so on.
If you’re interested in learning more about the autism spectrum and the social and structural challenges that come with it, especially from the viewpoint of autistic people, I invite you to browse the list. Keep in mind that many of the articles expect you to already be familiar with the spectrum. If it’s a basics that you want to know more about, I recommend the UK’s National Autistic Society website: I find it to be extensive, inclusive and open-minded; throughout the site, autistic people, autistic adults as well as other perspectives are consulted and included.
I also regularly reblog things I consider interesting regarding the spectrum on my Tumblr under the #actuallyautistic tag, including short posts and rants as well as exchanges between autistic people. Feel free to shoot any great articles, videos, etc. my way — I’d love it!
Links marked with a * are not specifically about autism, but feature content relevant to autism discourse nonetheless; they are mostly about disabilities in general. Related links are grouped together.
Autistic Identity, Labels and Perceptions Thereof
- Mental Disorder or Neurodiversity?
- Don’t Mourn for Us
- Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism, But That’s Not the Point
- The Significance of Semantics: Person-First Language: Why It Matters
- Autism language politics and history
- How “Differently Abled” Marginalizes Disabled People
- 15 Things You Should Never Say to an Autistic
- Please Stop Saying “Don’t Let Your Disabilities Define You!”: An Open Letter to Almost Everyone
- Understanding the “Spectrum” in Autistic Spectrum
- “The Problem With “Asperger’s”
- High-Functioning Autism is the worst thing you can say
- The Problem With Functioning Labels
- Low Functioning? High Functioning? What Are We Really Saying?
- So High-Functioning
- The Pitfalls of Passing and Not Passing
- Dismissing Autistic Viewpoints
- The true experts of disability
- The Power of Autistic Identity
- The Celebration of Autism
- You should tell your kids that they are autistic (includes a very lovely poem!)
- Ableism is to blame
Autistic Traits, Challenges and Understanding Thereof
- Rethinking Autism: Autism Support Group (video)
- Interacting with Autism Project: Sensory Issues (video)
- Too Much Information Campaign (video)
- The Spoon Theory*
- Shit allistic people say to autistic people
- Autism and Communication Chart
- When coffee doesn’t really mean coffee
- On Being Articulate
- Loud Hands, or — Why Can’t My Adulthood Be Valid to You Because I’m Autistic?
- Quiet Hands
- Privilege and the Myth of Independence
- Doctors are “failing to spot Asperger's in girls”
- The lost girls
Image and Representation
- Autism Speaks Masterpost
- Infantilizing Autism
- Inspiration Porn and the Objectification of Disability* (video) / We’re not here for your inspiration*
- How Autism Awareness Goes Wrong
- The Dangers of Misrepresentation
- Autistic Representation and Real-Life Consequences: An In-Depth Look
- A Headcanon Named Autism: In defence of finding our own representation
- Writing Autistic Characters
- scriptAutistic: a writing advice blog for writing autistic characters
Something that is mostly absent from Waterbound is how I experience autism in relation to the traits presented. I had debated on including my personal experiences on the Haru-specific pages of the shrine, to offer another example in order to facilitate understanding of autism to visitors unfamiliar with it. I decided against it because I still want Waterbound to be a character fansite first and foremost, and for it to fit in with my other shrines.
Very rarely, when I can’t handle things anymore, I write about some of my own experience with autism. While I’d generally prefer a blog for this rather than Tumblr, I don’t have a real blog at the moment, and it’s nice to receive support from friends on Tumblr as well as from fellow autistic people in the #actuallyautistic tag. Here are some of those experiences, in case you’re curious what specific challenges might pop up in everyday life — limited to a link section rather than taking up a substantial part of this shrine.