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Rather than therapies to ‘reduce autistic behaviours’, Autistic children need to be supported in the full development of their unique Autistic potential, and need to be encouraged to follow their intrinsic motivations to explore the world.
The most valuable step that non-autistic parents of Autistic children can undertake is to connect with and learn from the adult Autistic community. For an Autistic person the pathway towards good company is distinctly different from the life trajectory mapped out by the expectations of mainstream culture. It’s ‘autism’ and not OUGHTism.
Autists depend on assistance from others in ways that differ from the cultural norm – and that is pathologised in hypernormative societies. However, the many ways in which non-autistic people depend on others is considered “normal”. The endless chains of trauma must be broken.
In mainstream society people don’t understand how Autistic people support each other, love each other, and care for each other in ways that go far beyond the culturally impaired neuronormative imagination.
There is the saying that “It takes a village to raise a child.” The Autistic translation of this saying is “For an Autistic person it takes an extended Autistic family to feel loved and alive.”
Most Autists are not born into healthy Autistic families. We have to co-create our families in our own space and time. In a healthy culture Autistic children are assisted in co-creating their unique Autistic families, but in our “civilisation” this cultural knowledge has been lost and is suppressed.
In many indigenous cultures children with unique qualities are recognised, are given adult mentors with similarly unique qualities, and grow up to fulfil unique roles in their local community, connected to others with unique knowledge and insights, perhaps even in other communities. If we are embedded in an ecology of care, we can thrive and share the pain and the joy of life.
Te Hapori Whai Takiwātanga o Aotearoa is an Autistic community initiative coordinated by the Autistic Collaboration Trust. Te Hapori Whai Takiwātanga o Aotearoa offers education about Autistic culture from a first hand perspective and it provides a safe environment where parents and educators can connect with Autistic parents and the wider Autistic community.
- Communal definition of Autistic ways of being
- Introduction to Autistic ways of being
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Support for parents, connect with Autistic parents
- Education in the ND paradigm, the ND movement, and Autistic culture
Campaigns / projects
- Ban of conversion therapies
- A mosaic of Autistic lenses
- Autistic communities in public libraries
- Appreciation of neurodiversity in the education sector
- #TakeTheMaskOff, an international campaign dedicated to masking
- Strengthening the local neurodiversity movement, Auckland, Aotearoa