Over the years I have meet and contacted some amazing people who have certainly given me and other a lot to reflect about be it by ethos, emotive words, creativity and other positive contributions.
DONNA & FRIENDS – PERSONHOOD FIRST
Donna Williams has always advocate and empowered the diversity of Autism for each person with her Fruit Salad analogy she has also pointed out the importance of the person recognising their personhood and the importance of not defining them by “their condition/disability” – I have me others along the way such as Sydney Edmond, Carly Fleischmann, Peyton Goddard who give amazing insights into how someone experiences Autism (their own unique profile) but also in their own unique ways advocate their personhood as being something they want to be recognised by – this is so important I think from my own personal experience this has helped me with my mental health.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
My personhood is important – My parents saw me as “Paul” and that is something even after my diagnosis of Autism 2010 told me and reminded me this was so helpful. If I disliked someone for have a different “brain-wiring” that would be terrible I don’t like that at all – To like or dislike someone on the basis of someone being on the spectrum or not? How about seeing someone’s personhood something we as people all share – I connect with people on that basis.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSONHOOD & INCLUSION
Donna Williams –
“I AM autistic but I HAVE immune deficiencies, I HAD cancer (apparently I can’t actually un-have it, its called remission) , I HAVE Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome… I also HAVE visual perceptual disorders, I HAVE language processing disorder, I HAVE mild learning disabilities.
“I do not feel I AM these things, they are not ME, they walk alongside of me, often as parts of my autism, and whilst I AM autistic, just as I AM immune deficient, and I AM mildly learning disabled, Autism is not the sum total of who I am, it does not define my entire being or personhood, even if my personality traits are archetypally relatively ‘autistic’, I remain a person WITH autism… someone who HAS autism and, ok, IS autistic. The rest is war mongering militant separatist fascist crudola”
Sydney Edmond –
“I think with a brain that is impacted by autism. But my personhood, my spirit, my identity is free. It peers at the world through eyes that are loaded with sensitivities and quirks , but it is free.”
“I am autistic. I am a poet. I am learning piano. I practice ballet and yoga. I love history. I collect dolls. I present speeches I have written lacking a voice using a device that speaks my words. I want you and people everywhere to know I am not defined by autism as long as I am allowed to express my words in my own way. Please do not look at us and see autism. Look at us and take the time to get to know us as individuals. Please lack snap judgment. I am Sydney long before I am autistic.“
Carly Fleischmann –
“In the last four years of my life I have found, and I am proud to say, started using my inner voice to type and to share the truths, secrets and myths about autism. I was asked, a while ago, if I get sick and tired answering questions to my over 15 thousand fans and followers on Twitter Facebook and my blog The way I see it, how is anyone really going to know the truth about living with autism unless someone with autism talks about it?
“They say autism is one of those things that even doctors and experts donʼt really understand yet. So, like I tell my readers, why go to a duck to find out whatʼs wrong with the horse when you can go right to the horseʼs mouth?”
Peyton Goddard –
“early jolts and tragedies of our lives we hopefully persevere. Through love and understanding people advance forward, opposition not, toward personal realizations of peace in the human experience. Plot we each are part of the human equation. The top representation of the equation is ONE-ness.”
“People don’t “see” that I’m on the Autism Spectrum and “see” even less that I have a Learning Disability however I wish for these aspects to be acknowledged but not to be definitive, I’m Paul, not just a set of traits and symptoms and that is something that people on the spectrum should remember that they have a personhood which will always shine first”
Paul Isaacs 2014