The author of this blog is an Autistic African American woman from South Dakota. She was adopted when 3 days old by a Caucasian family that already had 1 child through adoption, and 7 from previous marriages. A year later, her family acquired another black baby girl, bringing the sibling total to 10. In addition to this, her parents provided foster care to over 100 children during the span of her childhood. Most of the foster siblings were severely developmentally disabled. Many were from Native American reservations in South Dakota.
Growing up in this atmosphere helped the author develop a strong sense of empathy. Having a large family also helped her develop social skills that seemed convincing at first. However, a lot of holes quickly became apparent when she served in the US Army. All the quirks and behaviors overlooked by her family led eventually to a full evaluation and the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. This is a form of autism sometimes referred to as high-functioning autism. (Calling anyone high-functioning is an insult. Don’t do it. Just say autistic, because I have a feeling the sub-monikers are about to get overhauled by someone who understands ableism.)
This author is boycotting Autism Speaks because the organization spends most of their donations on salaries, grants to their friends, and advertising. Think about that. Plus, they don’t listen to actually autistic people. They sympathize with child murdering parents, implying that killing their autistic child was an understandable action since autistic people are such a burden. /sarcasm The author’s stance on all that: Oh Hell no. Autism is here to stay. It’s a human variety. Those who waste time locating its origin and cause are trying to kill us off. The world would be unrecognizable if all the people in history who were autistic were eliminated before birth. It’s a step toward genocide of a human genotype. Therefore, Boycott Autism Speaks.
Not all autistic people are the same. The saying goes, if you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person. It’s something the author continues to struggle with regularly, although she’s come a long way since her diagnosis. She lives with a 4-year-old tuxedo cat named Amelia Bedelia. She was awarded her Ph.D. in Software Engineering and is currently working on AI development, as well as volunteer work in her community. Her focus has shifted from personal professional development to a mentoring role for youths pursuing computer science and violin. This blog details her progress as she continues learning how to navigate life. Feel free to share your comments, tips, advice, or encouragement in the comments section at the bottom of each post. Comments will show up only after the author has had a chance to approve them. Spam will be deleted by a filter, so don’t bother. Thanks for reading.