Our unique mission:
Why bother with Autism-Doctor™ – there are tons of autism blogs already?!
We are not “just another blog”…
We have two practical aims:
To raise funds for a unique project – a hospital for Autistic People.
Designed and developed by autistic people.
Treating autistic patients.
Training autistic professionals.
Allowing autistic employees shine in a supportive environment.
The hospital training external professionals: i.e., internships, secondments, etc.
Autism-Doctor™ Ltd is bilingual in language of autism and language of medicine
THE UNIQUE PLACE TO OFFER AN EDUCATED OPINION FROM DUAL PERSPECTIVE
Autistic people yearn to be recognised as such. You and I want people recognise that we ARE on autism spectrum. That, while advantageous in some respects, in others it leads to disability. We want people to know that we are not rude and selfish a**holes. Want them to know that there’s a wide range of personalities, gifts and disabilities found among people on spectrum. That we have incredibly smart and the most empathic people among us, as well as those who are intellectually disabled and require round-the clock care.
We know, too, that medical professionals especially tend to ignore and disregard us and whatever we have to say.
That many of these professionals know little about autism and are superarrogant in their mistaken belief of having “Specialist knowledge” of the condition.
The world needs to hear more from Temple Grandins and Tony Attwoods, from Wenn Lawsons and Olga Bogdashinas.
Unfortunately, substantial numbers of healthcare professionals will ignore even these titans of autism advocacy and education. Some will do so out of conscious medical arrogance. Others are thinking so literally that they genuinely don’t appear to understand allegories, similes and metaphors we frequently use to describe our experiences – I had on occasion to “translate” autistic expressions to some of my colleagues & trainers alike. Every party would end up perplexed & confused: other docs were surprised that I “got it”, I would be perplexed how did they NOT get it, and the autistic patient would “get confused” into addressing me (the trainee) primarily from that moment onwards.
And we commit to reflecting the realities of the entire Spectrum of Autism.
This principle is behind everything we do & everything we stand for.
Naturally, many organisations make such claims. But when you look closer, you will see that they don’t quite live up to it. They end up being hijacked by supporters of one extreme viewpoint & slowly but surely take over the message & the function of that organisation. (Naming names later, in a different post).
We make our message very clear and we’re not embarrassed to broadcast it openly & repeatedly: the social media, our home page, all the written materials we have been working on producing. Just look at tweets by the founder (@BakiyevaLiliya).
We are working for YOU: whether you are a University Professor or a parent of a severely disabled autistic person.
What is Neurodiversity? What is Autistic Dark Web? Where is Autism-Doctor standing on that matter?
Today, the autism community is splintered in many ways, many layers, many directions. One of the most important - and most fundamental - divisions is concerned with the perception of autism: both within the autistic community AND without.
There are two factions, with each faction containing a section of moderates and a section promoting extreme views: one takes a very positive (or, at the very least, neutral) view of autism. They emphasise their view that Autism is a difference - not a disorder, disease or dysfunction.
They insist that Autism is NOT a disability in its own right - yet demand to be afforded legal protections under disability discrimination law and call those who disagree with this confusing approach"ableists".
They defend this curious position by an unusual argument that, while ASC per se is not and cannot be disabling, they end up feeling, functioning and being treated AS IF they were disabled. Not due to the impact of Autism, but because Autism diagnosis makes the society view them through a different lense, from a different angle. It is this perception of Autism that makes the society impose limitations on the autistic people, consciously or not.
This group insists that social graces are "stupid and unnecessary", that we must be allowed to be themselves and should not have to "mask" and "camouflage" when around others.
They believe autism should and will be removed from psychiatric diagnostic manuals, comparing it to homosexuality (which was, indeed, miraculously transformed from a diagnosable psychiatric condition in to a mere symptom of "ego-dystonic homosexuality" in 1973 between DSM-II and DSM-III, until the idea of abnormality of homosexuality was rightly thrown out of the window entirely in DSM-III-R). By bringing up the homosexuality example, which is painfully, shamefully valid, they invoke a degree of legitimacy in this argument.
They believe you should be able to self-diagnose as autistic, at least while it is still a diagnosis. They argue that, ultimately, the term "autistic" should become an identity label, like the term "gay" has become.
Consequently, doctors - and anyone who reminds them there is any link between autism and medicine - are not particularly welcome. More on this, and other aspects of ND later.
The particularly fiery ones with the particularly extreme views on the subject became self-appointed judges (and executioners!) of anyone who dares to say anything other than songs of rapture and exaltation about autism in general, or - this is seen as an example of extreme immoral parenting, betrayal and lack of moral rectitude - your child's autism.
This group self-identifies as Neurodiversity movement - online they are defined by the hashtag #ND, #ActuallyAutistic, etc Those on extreme right of that group I identify as Neurodiversity extremists.
Anti-Neurodiversity - aka the Autistic Dark Web
The other group has declared that autism is nothing if not disability, that only clinically insane, painfully naive or not too bright people can assert autism is all rainbow and pink unicorns - this group does not appear to have a universal name on and offline. Their most active and most cohesive presence exists on Twitter. Online, they are loosely grouping themselves under the #ADW (Autistic Dark Web).
In this series of posts, I will be recording my stream of consciousness on Neurodiversity and Autistic Dark Web-type thinking. I will explain my arguments pro and against each one.
I will explain, too, why I choose to claim the middle ground, not following either of the two groups.
In this post, I would like to consider why it is extremely difficult to change minds of the most ardent supporters on Neurodiversity side.
Do YOU want to keep this site ads-free?
a) joining the AD™ community
b) pledging financial support on Patreon.
The decision is YOURS.
So, what's up with Autism-Doctor? Who is behind it?
Autism-Doctor™ Ltd is a brainchild of one person who is supported and encouraged by a couple of volunteers.
Sadly, I haven’t been employed/working for 2.5 years. I am not counting an occasional speaking engagement, attending professional seminars, reading professional literature/research, helping run autism training days and engaging in autism discussions as work. First, these mostly have required money going out, rather than in to my bank account. Second, I need to work on changing my mindset; for years I have derived great enjoyment from seeing patients and much satisfaction of knowing my expertise makes a real difference in people’s lives. Those pleasures were separated from the pleasure of receiving my paycheque at the end of the month.
And it is very difficult to combine these pleasures in my mind. In a way, I feel I have already been rewarded, with the “peaceful easy feeling” of making a difference, so asking for a financial reward is kind of being greedy .
Maybe, it’s just me. Maybe, it’s the way I grew up/my upbringing.
The point is, state disability and welfare benefits cannot lift this project off the ground – or sustain the forward momentum once we get it going.
Read on to discover what we do need for that.
Support Autism-Doctor to Build TAHCS
- Apart from the financial aspect of the pledge, there is the fact that every pledge, however small, means another voice of support. And if I am to go to big investors, I ABSOLUTELY NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
- There are about 700, 000 people on autism spectrum in the UK alone. IMAGINE IF EVERY AUTISTIC PERSON IN THE UKPLEDGED JUST £1.00 EACH?!
- We would have been able to hire at least four full-time staffers: an administrator, an architect and a lawyer.
- I would have been able to concentrate fully on content for this page and fundraising, without the need to engage in individual services to earn my daily bread.
So we would have the TAHCS™ built much faster
meanwhile I could provide you with much more quality content here, on YouTube and on social media, posting here the information that I would otherwise have only been able to cover in 1-2-1 sessions.
2). You could subscribe to Autism-Doctor YouTube channel, which I am launching within days.
3). Become our sponsor and/or offer us affiliate marketing opportunities. One caveat: as this is a site FOR autistics BY autistics, I am very mindful of the potential for sensory overload.
4). Get in touch if you have any ideas to make Autism-Doctor better still.
5). Drop a line if you would like to offer us your talents.
For example, I am toying with idea of publishing cartoons illustrating social rules and unfamiliar situations for autistic people of different ages and different levels of development (intellectual AND social)*.
Sadly, drawing is not among my talents: in any way, shape or form, digital or analogue. But it might be yours.
Or, you might have a creativity masterpiece sitting in a closet. On your bookshelf. In your journal. Maybe, this is the time and place to share it with others.
Perhaps, you would like to offer a guest post: whether to disseminate results of your research or express your opinion on an issue important to you.
6) Like and share Autism-Doctor on social media, tell your friends about it – if we deserve it, of course, in your opinion.