So today was the Communication Shutdown for Autism— a fundraiser in which people voluntarily chose to log off of Twitter and Facebook for a day to raise funds for autism charity and promote autism awareness.
The thing is, to me, this seemed rather counterintuitive. The whole thing was supposed to be a simulation of the communication challenges faced by autistics— but they didn’t very well mimic the issues that I had. In fact, textual communication via online social networks is easiest for me— when I first logged onto the internet in 1996 (wow, I feel old), it was so freeing that I could communicate with people halfway around the world without having to deal with any of that pesky deciphering of spoken language! A much better simulation, in my opinion, would’ve been to only socialize online, and not use speech for the entire day instead.
So instead of that event, I decided to join a counter-event proposed by autistic blogger Corina Becker: Autistics Speaking Day, in which autistics and allies were to flood social networks rather than abstaining from them.
Thus, I’ve been tweeting all day on my Twitter feed (which I’ll still continue to post autism-related stuff, incidentally). And I decided I’d post something here as well.
I decided, given that this is all about autism awareness, why not provide some counterexamples to prevalent stereotypes and myths about autism? I already did a bit of this last April on DailyKos, but since then, I’ve thought of five more myths that needed debunking.
So here we go…