This is our contribution to the “Autistic People Should” flashblog. Thank you Alyssa for all the work you’ve done in putting this together!
In our grassroots way, with our civil rights movement mindset, we will continue to change the way autistic people are viewed in society. It’s simply appalling, what google autocompletes when one types “autistic people should.” Just trust us, it leans toward heinous, actually. (For a record of what the original autocomplete was on google, you can see a screen capture on this post from our friend, Ariane.)
Because of our collaborate efforts, it is our hope that google and other search engine autocompletes will start looking more like:
Autistic people should be loved.
Autistic people should be respected.
Autistic people should be accommodated within society.
Autistic people should have a right to gainful employment.
Autistic people should be presumed competent.
Autistic people should be accepted in society.
We will keep working to change the fallacy that autism is sub-human, and the misconception that autism is a disease which needs curing.
There are so many fantastic posts on this topic, we highly suggest going to the postroll at autisticpeopleshould.blogspot.com and doing some reading. About half of our own blog readers are credentialed music therapists, and we have the extraordinaire honor of being a voice to our forward-thinking colleagues, in matters of autism acceptance and the Neurodiversity Movement.
We are working diligently to bring Sensory Friendly Concerts around the country. These are events that provide equal access to the fine arts. These are not an “oh-what-a-nice-thing-to-do-for-people-with-autism-don’t-forget-to-play-you-are-my-sunshine-for-them.”
These concerts bring legit jazz, classical and fine arts musicians to perform in a venue that is accommodating. We bring in artists that are accustomed to performing in venues that require extreme social skills, like sitting *perfectly* still and silent, or knowing when or when-not to clap (like after a jazz solo, or between movements in a symphony). And we train our performing artists to respect autism.
Not only do Sensory Friendly Concerts promote equal rights to the fine arts, acceptance and accommodation of autistic behaviors in a public music venue, but we also create opportunities for self-advocacy. Musical autists are invited to perform in these events. Some perform with the purpose of seeking gainful employment with their musical skills, others perform while being accompanied by their music therapists.
The point is, we are doing something that helps autistic people to be accepted in society. Because autistic people SHOULD be accepted in society. The motto in our Sensory Friendly Concerts describes this well… “hand flapping allowed!”