Just a quick follow up from autism and race

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.


Filed under issue

2 responses to “Just a quick follow up from autism and race

  1. Hi, this is Sharon with Autism Women’s Network. I’m really not quite sure what you are talking about. As far as I know, we never received an email from you.

    I will ask our web developer to go back through our spam filter to make sure it did not get routed there.

    As far as autism, ethnicity, and the intersection of women, Autism Women’s Network already began a committee last year in October of 2012 which addresses this very topic. In fact, we posted about it on our November 2012 Newsletter http://eepurl.com/rEcTr

    Our Committee has been actively discussing projects to determine how best to accomplish our goals.

    Until we can determine why we never had your email forwarded to us, it might be more efficient to email us directly instead of through the website. You can do so at: info@autismwomensnetwork.org

    Thanks so much.

    • Hi, and thank you very much for the reply. I’m not sure what to make of the fact that you never got my email, but it’s nice to know that it hadn’t simply been ignored. I also appreciate hearing that it is something that you are addressing. A big reason I addressed the AWN specifically is because I already have a high opinion of you and your commitment to inclusiveness for everyone. Also thank you for the direct email address. If I feel the need to contact the AWN again, I will keep that in mind.