What makes a good ally

Hello, allies! There are a few things I’d like to bring up before we all continue to raise awareness acceptance for autism. I’ve already written a somewhat nicer post on this topic in Swedish, but the ableism I’ve come across since then has been exhausting.

First things first. I’m not very fond of ally-culture. I try to avoid it as much as I can. In my experience allyship usually leads to ”allies” speaking over the groups they claim to be allied with, which then often leads to accusing us of being too extreme, or too mean when we complain. Speaking up seems to break the sacred allyship-contract, and the allyship is withdrawn. So, dear allies. Here’s the chance to prove me wrong. Are you willing to demand that autisic voices are to be heard? Are you willing to stay quiet and listen to us? Are you willing to engage and correct friends and strangers alike when you hear ableist talk? If so, thank you. I might rethink my stance on allyship.

So, you’ve decided to still celebrate this month with us after reading the above? That brings me to my second complaint, I don’t care much for awareness. It doesn’t improve my life, in fact, awareness often makes it worse.

I ask you to do more than to just be aware. I am asking you to make sure to avoid ableist language. I ask you to listen to autistics, we are the real autism experts. Learn from us, but do not demand that we teach you. Please do not not remove us from our autism by using person first language. We are often proud to be autistic, so many of us would appreciate the use of identity first language. Because of this, do not say that we suffer from our autism. I like myself, but I suffer from an ableist society. Don’t use functioning labels. Don’t talk about treating our autism, or curing us. Don’t light it up blue, and please be sure to boycott autism $peaks.

Autism awareness week and autism acceptance month occur once a year. Don’t be that person who spends April making autistic lives worse.

To learn more about autism from actual autism experts, check out these links:
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Autism Women’s Network

For personal accounts, check out these awesome blogs in the links section