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Busting Anti-Vaccine Myths While Supporting Autistic People

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.Squidalicious.com Yesterday I was given the opportunity to head a “Let’s Talk About Autism” discussion for the excellent organization Voices for Vaccines, in order to help vaccine advocates understand how anti-vaccine information can be hurtful to the autistic community, and with the hope that better understanding about autism as part of pro-vaccine messaging will help spread acceptance of autistic people like my son Leo. If you missed the discussion, which was followed by a Q&A, one option is to listen to the Voices for Vaccines “Let’s Talk About Autism” recording. Another is to read the simultaneous conversation on Twitter, which Liz Ditz kindly Storified. Or you could read the below version of the talk I gave, though the live version include some improvisation. This transcript also does not include the Q&A session, though its highlights are covered in Liz’s Storify post. —- I’ve been writing about autism…

“How Do You Not Have Hate in Your Heart?”

One of our autistic community members, who was frustrated with being treated dismissively by non-autistic people, asked us this question via email. Another of our autistic community members answered the question, with both thoughtfulness and strategic advice. The two then gave us permission to post their exchange. We hope readers who are not autistic will show respect by listening, learning, and asking questions if appropriate; and that those who are autistic will find (and share) their own strategies and advice. —- Question for autistic people: How do you not have hate in your heart? I got into a discussion with several people who are not on the spectrum, and was just battered from all sides by ableism, willful ignorance and ad hominem attacks. No one was interested in what I had to say. I was called selfish, stuck up, angry, and expletives I can’t repeat here. I was even told…