As we continue to celebrate Autism Acceptance Month, Charles from Atlanta has something to add to the conversation. I refer to Charles as “The Cool” because he is one of the most laid back guys I know! Don’t let Charles’ quiet demeanor fool you. He is always listening and reflecting and has formed very definite opinions which he is always willing to share! Here are Charles’ thoughts on the Autism Self Advocacy Network from an article on Ari Ne’eman.
Who are we talking about? ARI
Who appointed him to a council on autism? OBAMA
What was his experience of learning he was autistic?
HE WAS DIAGNOSED AT 12. HIS MOTHER TOLD HIM.
How about your experience?
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WAS WHEN I KNEW I WAS DIFFERENT.
How did Ari experience the opinions of others about autism?
HE FOUND STINGING COMMENTS AT FIRST. HE STARTED STAYING AWAY FROM NEGATIVE PEOPLE AND HANGING OUT WITH AUTISTICS. HE LONGED FOR COMMUNITY. I HAVE FELT THE SAME WAY.
What do you think about ASAN?
ASAN IS GREAT AS AN ORGANIZATION KIND OF LIKE ATLANTA RPM. MY ATLANTA COMMUNITY HAS GROWN SO MUCH. TEACHING OTHERS ABOUT AUTISM IS THE JOB OF AUTISTICS NOT NON AUTISTICS.
Ari discusses the need for community as well as assimilation in the world. What are your thoughts on this?
FITTING IN THE NORMAL WORLD HARD TO DO. I DO NOT LIKE CHALLENGING MY AUTISM FOR ANYONE ELSE’S COMFORT BUT I ENJOY DISPLAYING HOW SMART I AM. I AGREE I SEE INCLUSION AS A REAL PRIORITY AND ALSO THINK AUTISTICS NEED TO BE ABLE TO COME TOGETHER TO RELATE TO EACH OTHER. I ENJOY SPENDING TIME WITH OTHER AUTISTICS WHO RPM LIKE ME.
Charles is a leader and advocate! His voice (along with his mother’s) has attracted many new RPMers to the Atlanta community. Keep up your fantastic advocacy Charles, the world is listening!
~Elizabeth and Charles