The most powerful voices for me in my quest to help my son are the voices of those who have personal experience with autism.
While I can work as hard as possible to understand my son, my understanding will invariably be through the lens of my own neuro-typicality.
Autism First Voices are the voices of autistics. After the voice of my son, they are the first voices I want to consult for guidance and suggestions to best support my son.
Autistic voices can be heard in a variety of places, from blogs and books, to video and art, offering valuable perspectives on autism, and perspectives on everything else in the world.
As we observe World Autism Awareness Day, I encourage you to seek out the voices of those who know autism best.
Learn from them, and celebrate the marvelous diversity of autistic perspectives, talents, and insights.
Take the next steps from autism awareness, to autism understanding, acceptance, and respect by listening to the voices of autistics.
Blogs by Autistic Bloggers
The Actually Autistic Blogs List is a wonderfully comprehensive list of blogs written by autistic people, which includes both blogs that are no longer active (but may still be of value to readers) as well as current and active blogs on a variety of topics, autism-related and non-autism related.
It is well-organized, making it easy to find blogs covering specific areas such as:
- Autism-focused personal autistic blogs
- Non-autism-focused personal autistic blogs
- Group autistic blogs
- Autistic blogs with other focuses (news, advice, etc.)
The list also includes information about whether the blogs are still being updated and specific areas of interest for readers.
YouTube Channels by Autistic Creators
Below is a selection of YouTube channels that I have found helpful. Their creators have shared what stims can look like, to advising waiting eight seconds to give autistics an opportunity to respond to questions, to busting autism sterotypes.
Adults With Autism – “Welcome to my Adults with Autism channel. I created this channel because I could never find videos that related to how I felt about having High Functioning Autism as an adult. Most videos were about children with Autism or Aspergers Syndrome. There are many Adults being diagnosed now with an Autistic spectrum disorder and I felt the need to spread some awareness on this issue.”
Agony Autie – “The ramblings of a 30 year old Autistic woman, reaching out to others on the spectrum and their parents, Carers & society in general.”
Autistic Genius – “Hello there me hearties and welcome to my channel. I am here to help the world be enlightened about Autism, I would like people who are affected by Autism to unite and help each other to raise awareness. My videos are generally about current issues surrounding Autism. Any video suggestion will be taken great fully and with an open heart and mind.”
Autistic Not Weird – “Autistic Not Weird is an autism awareness site run by Chris Bonnello, a former primary school teacher with Asperger Syndrome.”
Books Written and Reviewed by Autistics
The list is almost 100 titles long and includes fiction and non-fiction works.
The blog Books on Autism shares reviews of books about autism, written by both autistics and non-autistics, from an autistic reviewer with the following purpose:
I am an autistic adult and I read a lot of books about autism or other developmental disorders or special educational needs. I read them to get a better understanding of the children and teenagers I work with, the field of special educational needs, my own world, and the world at large.
There’s a lot of books out there on autism. Some of them are brilliant, some of them are okay and some are awful. Some of them contain terrible advice that at best is ignorant and misinformed and at worst potentially dangerous if people were to follow the author’s advice. What I found especially horrifying was how many of these potentially dangerous books had positive ratings on places like Amazon and Goodreads.
I decided I would review every single book I had or borrowed on autism and review them.
Art by Autistic Artists
The Art of Autism showcases autistic art, not only visual, but also music, film, and writing. You can explore animation, architecture, landscapes, musical art, and even cake decorating, along with poetry, book and movie reviews, and informative blog articles.
There is also a shop from which you can purchase books and DVDs by autistic artists.
This compilation is not all inclusive, as great content is being produced every day, and it is sometimes hard to keep up with all the new and wonderful voices. Please comment below to add your favorites.
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