Haimonia, “Person-first Language”

Do we live in a word-cage? Are we bounded

by conceptual maps that tell us where we

belong? Could the thesaurus change our world or

will old concepts accept new terms and the same

laundered attitudes hide in fresh polite clothes?

You think synonyms never bite like slurs do.

Do you know what it’s like to be a walking

talking symbol for everything that’s broken?

(can i keep my defective brain a secret)

Our community built on things we can’t do

Our invisible flawed humanity shakes

with our hands as we stand or sit or something

and remember the things you say about us.

Adelaide Dupont: Crip Video Productions

Since February 2017 Margot Cole of Crip Video Productions has been working on A stroke of endurance – a film about how students deal with their professor developing a stroke in the middle of the semester at their university.

We meet various students and we see the film through the eyes of Ava. Ava has many friends with and without disabilities. She studies biology as one of her classes and that is how she and Professor Ben meet.

The film was released by Rich Brotman, an authorised Crip Video Productions distributor, on the 22nd November 2017. A great film for Thanksgiving / the late-November study rush.

The opening music really put me into the picture as did the credits.

There were some great scenes of a busy and accessible campus.

Seeing Professor Ben gradually develop a disabled identity was very powerful, with Ava’s help and the rest of the students.

And, yes, professors do get accommodations. Being dizzy does affect the material conditions and major life activity of teaching and learning, so I hope it would not be denied on that basis.

Loved the way that Ava and Ben show that this life is all about learning.

The students reminded me of well-known people like Emily Ladau and Vilissa Thompson, who when they were students themselves, were activists in various capacities.

Halfway through the film was very satisfying. We see Ben at work.

The students’ initial reactions were very real especially the pigtailed student.

Hoping to see a more accessible version of the film. The current version had auto-generated Spanish captions. Maybe for International Persons with a Disability Day on the 3rd December 2017?

The “faith” part of the film came across when Ben asked for prayers – “if you pray”.

And the “friendships” and “endurance” ran together beautifully.

One thing – Jorgiana Cole is a very good choreographer and cinematographer.

I think the one swear I heard was “frack”. Fracking is a very dirty word for a dirty thing – unconventional shoal gas.

[I’d wondered if there were any environmentalists in A stroke of endurance…]

Walei Sabry: what music went with what characters? Was there an “Ava’s theme” and a “Professor Ben theme”? What about when the students were together?

The film used 21st century technology for post-production like iPhones from the cast.

Hillary Krzywkoski: Different, Not Less

I am an emerging writer and artist with a story to tell about my autistic family’s past struggles. My husband and I have faced adversity when in the formative years of building our family, beginning with our marriage and the conception and birth of our first child, marking a years long struggle for parental autonomy, free from bullying and abuse. I have sought healing through my art and writing this last decade, and have entered my narrative into public discourse via the arts. I have been fortunate to have my work circulated recently at the 2017 Ruderman Foundation Inclusion Summit. I am speaking out against abuse of autistic mothers and fathers. Much of the abuse begins on the home front– through our extended familial relationships, to be recognized and respected as a competent and worthy parent, to be allowed to be fertile and strong, to be allowed a legacy. I am speaking out against the abuse of autistic mothers by midwives, OB/GYNs, and other birth workers. Below is the work that was on display at the Inclusion Summit through The Mighty:

These ancestral totem-inspired paintings process my traumatic initiation into parenthood as a disabled Israeli immigrant and abuses during pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and the formative years of parenting autistic children in a culture which assesses autism to be a scourge. I’m visually articulating the chronic, systemic abuses that the majority of Autistic mothers and fathers live with– in the United States, Israel, and elsewhere. I’m seeking a safe space for my family’s unique identities, abilities and neurotype within society where we can also find respect as autistic Jews.

The phrase, “Different, not less” must be applied intersectionally to Autistic gender, sexuality and courtship, fertility, family structure and dynamic, where autistic parents and their autistic children have every right to self-determination, self-exploration, and the fulfillment of a loving and nurturing family life in the pursuit of health and happiness with autonomy and dignity.

“The Burden” :

Utilizing the tarot card format and lyrics from The Carter Family, this text-heavy painting depicts the abuse, bullying, and slander of my young family in our immigrant community following the conception and birth of our first born, and the crisis of having to escape in a short period of time.
The Burden

“Our Spilled Blood Sprouts Flowers”

Near death, hospitalization, and continued attempts to separate us have not broken my bond with my child. In spite of harsh circumstances, flowers bloom from our suffering. Now in safety, the trauma transforms into strength and meaning— a blessing.

Our Spilled Blood Sprouts Flowers

“This Too Shall Pass”

A trauma process piece and a search for inner strength. I paint myself a mother wolf, a protector, stronger than the assassin who pecks and tears at my hide, who’s not able to reach my children who hide beneath my underbelly. The surrounding lunar cycle teaches that there is balance to life and these terrible circumstances cannot endure.

This Too Shall Pass

I hope this can reach other autistic parents and mothers, and make a contribution to what I am learning is a rich history. I hope to contribute to the public understanding that we too are worthy of good lives, full of meaning and purpose.

Autistic History Month 2017: Link Compilation

Compiled by Kit Mead

This is a link compilation of posts about autistic history, whether general autism history or personal autism history, and foundational/influential pieces. Some of these links may contain information that is “dated” or they may have occasional iffy content.



Update: Submissions should be scheduled this week and next

Hi folks,

I know it’s been quiet over here since the call for submissions (which are still open). I’m the only site admin/mod and have been dealing with stuff that life decided to make happen. I hope to start responding to and scheduling submissions this week and next. Sorry to keep everyone waiting!


Submit for Autistic History Month 2017!

Celebrating a rich Autistic culture and history that deserves to be told

Submissions for Autistic History Month are open until Nov. 29!

[Begin image description: The entire image has a faded, sepia overlay. On a papery-looking background, there is an opened book, the text “Autistic History Month 2017,” and a painting depicting neurodiversity. At the bottom of the image, there are three circle shapes, connected by dots, with the text “history, community, culture” in them.  End image description.]
Aspects of Autistic history can include the history of autistic culture, community, activism, and self-advocacy. They can be family or personal autism histories. We also are looking for oral histories and interviews with long-time activists.

Submissions can be of a variety of types, including:

  • art,
  • photography,
  • poetry,
  • oral histories,
  • interviews,
  • prose,
  • or a combination of the above.

For examples of submissions, please see previous years’ events:

Submit and contribute to recording and sharing Autistic History! 

Have something that doesn’t fit into our guidelines or just want to take part in another really cool event? Check out the long-running event Autistics Speaking Day, which is November 1 – their submissions are open now! 

2016 Participants List

Autistic History Month was pleased to publish the following people and posts in November 2016. In alphabetical order: