Being the Class Project: Reflections upon False Inclusion

Andrea's Buzzing About:

Helping the awkward new student seemed like a good idea, so why did it make everything worse?

In fourth grade I changed schools between the third and fourth quarters. I not only changed schools, but also entirely different states, as my mother took my sister and I with her to live with Grandma for a few months. (I do not know the circumstances behind this; adults did not feel the need to explain things to children.) Undoubtedly it was to be to my benefit, because my initial fourth-grade teacher was a poor example of the profession, and I did not mind leaving her classroom. Another benefit to me was leaving the cohort of students I had been with for the past few years; I hoped the new students would be “nicer”. Unfortunately, I was an odd little girl and apparently went through life with a sign on my back that…

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#autismspeaks10 and #actuallyautistic #autismchampions – part one

a diary of a mom

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{image is a screen shot of a tweet: @autismspeaks On 2/25 Autism Speaks turns 10-years-old! Tell us how AS has touched your life at AS10Years@gmail.com #AutismSpeaks10}

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{image is a screenshot of a tweet: @stevesilberman Autistic people have taken over the hashtag #AutismSpeaks10 to oppose negative messaging. It’s quite a thing.}

The past couple of weeks have been nothing if not colorful in the world of autism advocacy. It all began when, ahead of its 10th anniversary last Wednesday, Autism Speaks asked its 168,000 Twitter followers and 1.5 million Facebook fans to use the hashtag #AutismSpeaks10 to share “how AS has touched your life.” The response was, I would imagine, not quite what they were hoping it would be.

In an article detailing what happened next, Virginia Hughes, BuzzFeed Science Editor, wrote:

Instead of heartwarming stories of gratitude, the hashtag has sparked hundreds of angry missives from autistic people and…

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