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September 25, 2009



How could you say this video is not promoting civil rights for autistic people? They are asking to be included in legislation. The voiceovers are all from autistic people speaking their own words.


One wonders why, although some autistic voices were included, the faces and bodies if these advocates didn't make the cut. The story I've heard says this was a matter of expense, but I'm finding it hard to understand how these paid actors cost less.


It is not that they didn't "make the cut" I make these videos all on my own, with my own money and it was just not financially possible to get the people together on one day. And NO ONE was paid anything for these videos. I use the resources surrounding me. If you don't like the message that is one thing, but don't think it was done to disrespect any autistic person. The Actors did this because they thought the message was important and many of them have cousins, nephews and children who are autistic.


Interesting video and points..
I will say I did like the "priority should be on quality of life..."


I did not like the message.

I thought it was disrespectful.

The message I got is that the lack of autistic people to be used in the video was not the reason for making the video the way it was made with actors instead. The message of the video called for these actors to represent what they thought was right in the way they thought was the right way to do it. I hope videos like this are not made to represent what autistics need because I think the message completely contradicts what autistic people need.


Hi Bev,

Since I was the one who said that, I'll try to offer some clarification. Some of the autistic people in the video live far away from LA where the video was made, so it would have been expensive to fly them out for another day of filming.


I understood what you meant Sarah and it would be a good point but I'm thinking if we are talking about the availability of autistics to fill the role of the actors played instead the video wasn't meaning to that. I saw the message as meaning to represent something other than autistics being included in those roles unless they they had the needed sex-appeal and celebrity status the video was advocating the use of when spreading the message they felt was important.


You don't have the facts. No one was paid to make this video. All were volunteers who donated their time and talent to the video. The autistic adults heard in the video live all over the US and some sent their VoiceOver via email.

Hope that clears things up.



I apologize for my assumption the actors were paid. I understand the reasoning behind the decision better now. I still don't care for the way this is presented. I would have preferred real autistics to the conventionally beautiful, "normal" acting, thin white actors. More of a preference maybe than a valid argument. Anyway, I see I was wrong in what I said, and for that, I apologize.


Thanks, Bev. :)


Hey Bev, I actually tried to get autistic people to be in my videos in LA, but no one wanted to do it, except for one person and then it was already shot and too expensive to re-do. Most people I know don't trust what will be done with the information. I can't blame them. Look at what happened with the people who submitted footage of their children for the Autism Speaks video.


Thanks for the comments Bev.

Sorry I have to keep commenting around you but these guys are so terribly disrespectful.


It was made clear in your video that this was the intent - not a mistake or something that you wanted to prevent. Using these "beautiful people" were the objective and what the video was meant to represent. The video states that very clearly. All autistic people get exploited much worse by what this video was meant to do than the way Autism Speaks does it because as you clearly stated in the video - this way works.


If you just type up a transcript and look at it, it seems like a refreshing change from all the hate speech put out by Autism Speaks. But when I actually watched the video, it just looked like a bunch of non-autistics spouting pro-neurodiversity messages and being good "allies" for autistic people. The attitude displayed by these actors as they spouted their messages frightened me. Their attitude of "I'm speaking for the autistic community and for neurodiversity and I'm RIGHT!" reminded me of the pigs in the Orwell novel Animal Farm and their role in the novel. In the beginning, the pigs are on the same level as the rest of the animals and stage a revolution where they take over the farm. At first, it seems great because everyone has a job to do and everyone has a fair share of food and freedom. Then the pigs become dictators of the farm, one step at a time. How they do it is that they set themselves up as acting for the rest of the animals' welfare and as the "brainworkers" who can fulfill this duty and the animals are quickly silenced each time the pigs make new rules that give themselves more privilege and marginalize the rest of them. With these devices in hand, the pigs eventually enjoy a status of so much privilege that there was “no question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” If we tolerate this system where the privileged, confident non-autistics speak up in these videos for autistic people, we could eventually end up like those poor creatures outside.


Exactly! Thanks so much Sadderbutwisergirl. It's refreshing that someone else understands the intent of this post. (BTW I've had to start deleting troll comments here)

This is a good example.

This is something I think lots of people don't about how they are privileged. The claim is they are helping but they take something from those they speak for that I don't think they are conscious of but it's no less noticeable to those having it taken from them.

The other thing is how blatant it is. It's like they are saying, I'm going to tell you what I'm going to do to you, I'm going to do it, then I'm going to tell you what I did. This is basic marketing and totally strips the consumer of their dignity of self-expression. (as one can see is happening on this thread)

I was considered disabled at birth and I've seen this crap occur in many ways for nearly 5 decades. This video is literally like a slap in the face to me.


What I mean by this: " It's like they are saying, I'm going to tell you what I'm going to do to you, I'm going to do it, then I'm going to tell you what I did." is that they are saying sex appeal and celebrity status (they say that in the video) is the way to advance the rights of autistic people, then those with celebrity status show their sex appeal while autistics are talking in the background. This is the way rights are denied people and I don't hear them asking anything about how that happens so I have to believe what they say in the video about they know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it and they don't care about anything else. It's shameful.


That whole business with using sex appeal and celebrities to be satirical of those who use those tools to exploit a minority group makes me think of South Park. The creators claim that they're having main characters use discriminatory remarks like "That's gay," "retard," and Cartman's "Jew" remarks directed at Kyle to be satirical of how racist our society still is. That may look nice when you're reading a quote by Trey Parker or Matt Stone, but when you watch the show, it seems frighteningly similar to the racism that it claims to be satirical of.


I haven't seen South Park but I had some reference with the example of Animal Farm.

I can see how it would make a difference if the one making discriminatory remarks was a main character just like it would matter if someone who was claiming to represent others was promoting a standard that encouraged them rather than just saying some nice words while encouraging a standard that excludes them.

And what you're saying (you are helping me formulate ideas and words,thanks) about discriminatory remarks is similar to how violence is sometimes determined by weather it is gratuitous or not. Gratuitous violence would be like someone being violent in order to rob someone in a story and then they showing how much fun the robbers had with the money. Gratuitous discriminatory remarks would be when the characters high five and go away laughing instead of showing how the person was hurt by these words and/or showing consequences for the people making the remarks.

How what was done in the video to use sex appeal and celebrity to make a point would be gratuitous rather satire or in any way being responsible is they validate what may otherwise just be satirical in by showing no consequences for doing it or needing to be responsible.

You'll see that earlier in this thread as well.The belief that I was the one discriminating against those who made the video rather than even bothering to read my post and trying to understand how the video was discriminatory to me or how I saw it as discriminatory to autistic people. Then as behaviorist will do they turn the attention to Bev and show respect to her as a way of what they would consider using her politeness as an example for others to see gets their attention while ignoring me for not doing the same. She gets the praise and I get the punishment (what they regard as punishment and frame that way). That's behaviorism and ABA. It's a system being used to control behavior.

Where it falls short (besides that they have no business controlling peoples behavior) is that not enough was learned about the people before implementing a method of control. If you don't know where you are at the beginning you won't really achieve going anywhere. This makes everyone into just animals who react to stimulus. So (and I hope you're still following me) that's what's wrong with the video.

They were saying that how they got the reaction didn't matter (if others use sex appeal and celerity status why not them ) as long as they got the desired reaction. But to get that reaction by the means justifying the end, they throw away the values that would show respect to the autistic's they said they were claiming to be advocating for.

So this is the problem with systems to control peoples behavior, you never find out why the people act the way they do so you even know them well enough to respect them.So they just go on trying to control people actions instead of living life. Sad really.

It's about civil rights

That's because NDMom is ABAMom IRL
along with her day job as a celeb photographer.
And she has an actor husband named Michael,
IIRC, who appears in the vid.

celebs are gods

Ah, i finally turned on the sound for the video. Before that I thought it was an ad for Teh Neurotypicality Club. Where, "You, too, can be a member. We'll show you how to dress and schmooze and get girlz".

Hey, its Lovass for Dates.

It's also looking like the director chose only AsAn-Approved autistics to represent autistic people.


I am unreserved in my praise for this ad because it is made by people whose hearts are in in the right places and have done a good job with limited resources. I would also agree that it is disrespectful in the ways you describe, and I am grateful to you for angrily expressing that. It is evolutionarily better to be disrespectful in these ways than in the ways displayed by Autism Speaks, but no one is going to do better if we don't demand it of them. I think both the ad and your response to it can help others to see us as more fully human. Thanks.


"It is evolutionarily better to be disrespectful in these ways than in the ways displayed by Autism Speaks, but no one is going to do better if we don't demand it of them."

The first part of this sentence;It is evolutionarily better to be disrespectful in these ways than in the ways displayed by Autism Speaks

How is that? Have you read my post and the comments on this thread?


Vector: The whole point of this post is that the Rethinking Autism people are speaking up for neurodiversity, which is a good thing, but they're only using people who can be confident, sexually appealing actors for the video to spread their message. It's a few non-autistics speaking for a large population of autistics who have lots of needs. You could argue that they don't want to stereotype autistics as being less than confident, but I say that that plays right into the hands of people who believe that autistics are just a population who should be kept around so that they can learn appropriate, non-autistic ways of behaving from their non-autistic peers. And, to bring up the Animal Farm analogy again, if a small elite is given the power to speak for the many, it has the potential to turn into that elite becoming our new oppressors. We'll be left outside in the cold and stables while the elite of our non-autistic spokespersons are in a comfortable house, playing cards with our old oppressors. And it'll be hard for us to tell which is which


...and they have their own agenda, which is to push PBS.

I hate how people abuse the word "Neurodiversity" and make it sound like this funky new trend, when in reality it is just an extension of disability rights.


I was having a conversation with a teacher about PBS. She said, "isn't it better than ABA?" I was explaining my position on why I didn't really like it.
#1: The program's goal is behavior modification, which is really a form of control and forced conformity. I have been through behavioral modification, which mainly focuses on behavior to look better in the face of your peers. Examples were eye contact, taking turns in a conversation, talking on the phone, and other stuff like that. It was delivered in psychologically abusive ways that were hidden under a disgustingly saccharine-sweet coating of "kindness" and "help." It is, in a nutshell, telling kids this, "You have to learn how to do THIS STUFF in order for your peers to accept you. You must make eye contact, no matter how much it hurts you, otherwise, you won't get any points and nobody will feel comfortable around you. No, you can't be reading your book. That's not appropriate behavior. I don't care how stressed out you are. You have to talk to people and learn good social skills." Basically, it involved telling kids that there is something wrong with them and that they aren't acceptable as they are.
#2: PBS involves police involvement, restraints, seclusion, and lower expectations for those who are expected to be the biggest problems, in other words, those diagnosed with "behavioral disorders." Not only are young children facing really extreme situations if they don't "behave appropriately," they've already got a strike against them if they do fit into that category simply because of a dianostic label based on how other people perceive them.
The teacher was saying that I didn't really know much about the situation because "You haven't had to deal with kids like that." Never mind the fact that I have five younger autistic siblings, all in different places on the spectrum, to deal with at home. Never mind the fact that I have experience being on the "modification" side of the fence. And never mind the fact that all she knows about behavior modification is that her autistic nephew has PBS in his school and what she has read about it. She dismissed my points and walked away.

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