Liz Ditz

The first-ever Autistics Speaking Day was in 2010, and was organized by Corina Lynn Becker, assisted by Kathryn Bjørnstad. The stimulus was a fundraising proposal by an Australian public-relations organization asking neurotypicals to refrain from using social media for one day, which they called “Communication Shutdown”, and which they claimed would “encourage empathy for people with autism who find social communication a challenge.

Corina was appalled. As she wrote on her blog, in the post Real Communication Shutdown

….this is supposed to help simulate the communication difficulties that Autistic people face.

I’m sorry, but no. Just no.

Through October 2010, Corina continued to write and tweet about her opposition to “Communication Shutdown”, and Autistics Speaking Day was born — and went viral, with over a hundred posts from autistics and autistic allies, and uncounted tweets with the hashtag #ASDay.

In September 2011, Corina published The Beginnings of Autistic Speaking Day on this blog, which gives the full story of how Corina’s ideas developed. In the post, she wrote:

Until Kathryn Bjørnstad commented on my blog with the Facebook link, I had no idea how big my idea had gotten. After clicking on the link, I think I just sat there for at least half an hour, stunned at how many people had already joined up to participate. I don’t think I can accurately describe the feelings of jubilance I felt, and success. In a way, just by having so many people say “yes, I will not be quiet, I will speak up” made ASDay a smashing success before it even began.

Goals for Autistics Speaking Day

  • To raise not only autism awareness, but also acceptance
  • To battle negative stereotypes about autism
  • To by advocate for the inclusion of autistic people in the community
  • To offer a forum to broadcast the messages of autistic people and non-autistic allies to as many people as possible.

Who is invited to participate?

  • The organizers of Autistics Speaking Day welcome autistics of all ages and abilities to participate in sharing their stories and messages, in whatever form is the most comfortable for them to use.
  • The organizers of Autistics Speaking Day also welcome non-autistic allies to share in this day of respectful community and communication.

Here at The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, we will be observing the day two ways: Carol Greenberg, co-editor, adult with autism and autism parent, will be tweeting articles and comments from our twitter account @thinkingautism, I will be updating the list below silently as new posts are published.

Autistic Participants:

note: the posts at Autistics Speaking Day have trigger warnings; the listings here do not.  If you are concerned about triggering, please go to Autistics Speaking Day and read there.

Non-Autistic Ally Participants:

Here is the website: Autistics Speaking Day .

If you have written a post, submit it using this form (be sure to follow the trigger warning guidelines).

Here is the Facebook page: Autistics Speaking Day.

Here is the Facebook page for the event: Autistics Speaking Day 2011.

If you use Twitter, follow @AutisticsSpeak and use the hashtag #ASDay