This is not intended to be my usual weekly posting – I expect I’ll post something either later today or tomorrow. This is just a follow up from the autism and race post I did back in January. I did write to both the AWN and wrongplanet, and got nothing but silence in response. Today I realized that this actually really bothered me, so I decided to make some more noise.
So I posted this to AWN’s facebook page.
Back in January I emailed the Autism Women’s Network about the matter of race, and the silence around race that we have in various autism communities. I asked that you consider making a space for discussion about autism and race, along side the spaces you’ve made for groups such as LBGT, adults, relationships, and other such things. I never did hear any kind of response, and I find that saddens me.
AWN understands that it is worth addressing the intersection of autism and gender, and the impact gender has on a person’s experience of autism. However, despite the discrepancy between the ages of diagnoses for white people and african american people, despite the CDC showing differences in the rates of autism across different races, I have yet to see a sign that the AWN cares about this intersection. I do not want to believe it is due to indifference, but the extended silence has me discouraged.
The AWN would be a wonderful place to make room for discussion about the experience of autistic women of color. It is not right to ignore the impact of race, or to pretend that the experiences of women are the same across different races. If we are going to talk about the intersection between gender and autism, we must make sure we include ALL women. The only way to do so is to explicitly, conscientiously make room and acknowledge that there is something to discuss.
Back when I emailed you I also wrote a blog post about why it is so important that we start talking about autism and race. I invite you to take a look at it, as it goes into far more detail than I have gone into here. https://aspergersandmeblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/autism-and-race/
I don’t know if it will get any more notice than my email did, but apparently I am not finished making noise. Because seriously, this matters.