Here are some questions you might ask about me and whatever I write on this blog. And of course, I have answers for those. If you have any other questions you want to see posted in this page, go to the Contact page to throw your question to me, and I’ll have it answered as soon as I get it.
- Why do you call yourself “Autistic BigBro”?
- Hey, “autistic” is offensive. I’m just going to call you a “person with autism.”
- Why do you hate Autism Speaks so much?
- Why can’t you write something nice instead of bashing others?
- Would you write something else other than anything about autism?
- Are you getting anything from writing on this blog?
- Do you represent every autistic individual in the Philippines?
- Are you open for a speaking engagement?
- How can I contact you?
Why do you call yourself “Autistic BigBro”?
The name is basically the foundation of this blog, and therefore, my advocacy. I am a simple autistic self-advocate playing the role of Big Brother, serving as a role model and inspiration to my fellow autistics of every age, gender, and cultural upbringing. But I am just beginning there. I also extend my Big Brother advocacy to other special-needs individuals, their own siblings, their parents, and even professionals working with them.
My role as Autistic BigBro is simple. I serve to inspire and present how autism is awesome, and how every autistic person should feel proud of what they can do for themselves, for each other, and for others.
Hey, “autistic” is offensive. I’m just going to call you a “person with autism.”
Hey, “autistic” is not an insult. It is a real word that is used to refer to us on the autism spectrum. For those who don’t know what “autistic” is, here’s the meaning from Merriam-Webster:
1. adjective: of, relating to, or marked by autism <autistic behavior> <autistic children>
2. noun: an individual affected with autism
For years, the name has been hijacked by some individuals who associate it with stupidity and other negative behaviors, many of which are not really associated with the real face of autism. And we autistic self-advocates, who are most affected by this despicable practice, are seeking to reclaim the term “autistic” as our own.
Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.
And hey. Don’t ever call me a “person with autism” or a “PWA” in my face, in my presence, or in your description of me. Doing so would be equivalent to calling me a “person with Filipino nationality,” “person with black hair,” “person with English fluency,” “person with a brain,” and “person with male characteristics,” among others, which would simply make no sense at all, semantically and syntactically.
Person-first language, for me, implies that anything that I have something can be removed from me, which in autism’s case, isn’t that way and will never be. Okay, so your reasoning on person-first language is this: “We want to put the person first before the disability.” For me, as well as for many autistics that I have talked with, our autism is part of our identity, and is not something that can just be “cured.” This is a premise called identity-first language.
In a nutshell: no matter how good the intention is, I consider using person-first language on me as foul, rude, and outright offensive.
If you’re on the spectrum and you want to be called a “person with autism,” fine. I will have to respect your choice. But I don’t want any trouble as much as you don’t, so please, don’t insist that I use “person with autism” to refer to myself.
For editorial purposes, I usually make a compromise with the term “on the autism spectrum” or anything similar to that statement. If you see “person with autism” in any of my posts or stories, those are circumstances where I begrudgingly use such nomenclature. (To be honest, I am using it with a wince or a cringe on my face.)
But again, propose before you impose. Before you call me a “person with autism,” ask me first if I want to be called that way. In most cases, if not every time, you will hear this: “I’d rather be called an autistic person. I’m proud of being one.” Don’t attempt to justify your rationale on using person-first language on me. Again, I don’t want any trouble, and I hope neither do you.
Why do you hate Autism Speaks so much?
To say that I hate Autism Speaks so much is pretty much an understatement. Want to know why and how I passionately loathe that bigoted and corrupt for-profit scam group posing as a non-profit charity organization? Go to my post titled Beware to get all the answers and the facts. (Warning: The post is full of triggers.)
The post itself contains links to posts from other self-advocates who have already aired their sentiments against that organization even before I did, but in a nutshell, I’d like to point out some things why the group must not exist:
- Its agenda is aimed at removing autism from the human genome, and therefore exterminating autistics from existence;
- It has a bad record for excluding autistic individuals from policy making concerning autism;
- It may be the most well-funded autism organization in the world today, but they spend too much on fear- and hate-generating campaigns that claim autism as a “disease” and that proliferation of autistics must be “feared,” with a scanty percentage really going to help autistics and their families; and
- It should not set a precedent to other autism communities to follow suit and emulate their propaganda.
Here are some of the links to get started, and reconsider actually supporting their eugenic, paranoid, and hate-filled agenda:
Why can’t you write something nice instead of bashing others?
I am hearing constant feedback from some users who are expecting posts from me that avoid confrontation and focus only on positive news from the local and international autism community. In fact, some are using this tactic asking me to be a role model, and therefore don’t want my rhetoric to be confrontational. What you ask of me is to be your lapdog journalist, compelling me to write stuff that are not critical of issues and essentially make me a public-relations tool for any specific organization. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I don’t simply mince my words and sugarcoat any issue that leave a bad taste. I present my opinions as is, and whatever the intention of those are, no one is privileged to add to them. Or even compel me to rescind my voice and shut up. Ever.
Now don’t get me wrong — sometimes, I will write the brighter side of the issue, particularly when it deserves to be such. But sometimes, there has to be balance. While many of my posts are about my exploits as an autistic self-advocate, I also go blunt when I see something wrong in the autism community. I can’t write how good-looking and hunky some autistic adult guy is while he is being told by some scoundrel pretending to be a legal expert that he is not allowed by law to have children because he’s autistic, or write about how these autistic performers invoked a standing ovation onstage but are constantly being rejected at work solely on the basis of their being autistic. Of course, I’d choose to expose what’s wrong, and from there, I offer my takes on how that wrong can be resolved.
In short, you may see sunny stories, but don’t expect the weather to be always clear. I will have to write in-your-face stories if I have to. And don’t attempt to silence me. The tighter the grip, the higher the chances of my message will slip through fingers.
Would you write something else other than anything about autism?
If you want to hire me for your next graphic design project, you may visit my website. If you wish to talk with me about airliners, Super Sentai, cooking, memes, and all that kind of stuff, look for me in person, and let’s talk about our common interests over coffee, lunch, or dinner. But if you’re looking for autism-related topics and topics concerning my advocacy, be my guest in this blog.
In other words, if you are looking for life stories from an autistic’s perspective, this is one of many blogs devoted to showing such stories. But if you’re after something else, go somewhere else.
Are you getting anything from writing on this blog?
I would sometimes promote events, advocacy messages, and themes from other parties (of which I am always a part, or with which I am involved), but I post them on this blog on my own free will. No one’s paying me to write whatever I write in this blog. And the ads you see are not from me — those are from WordPress.com, where I host this blog at no cost.
I am being swamped with numerous offers to write about a certain product, which will most likely deal with products and services offering therapies, “cures,” and other means to eradicate autism and its related conditions. I simply ignore those offers, because they don’t help with the agenda of this blog. I mean, come on. “Curebies” in my blog? I don’t think so.
I may ask for donations whenever needed (for example, to fund my participation in autism conferences, to help other fellow autistics in need, etc.), but truth be told, no one pays me just to write on this blog. And most of the posts here (if not all) are written on my own free will.
Do you represent every autistic individual in the Philippines?
When you see one autistic individual, you’ve seen one autistic individual. I cannot say that I speak on behalf the autism community in the Philippines, because there are a diversity of voices that are either currently speaking or longing to speak. Either way, I strive to conglomerate the common agenda, which is basically upholding the right of every autistic individual to be part of society and become fully enabled. But when I see something that crosses the line, I will not have second thoughts of breaking the status quo and stand up against it.
Are you open for a speaking engagement?
Yes, I would definitely be happy to be part of your conference, seminar, or support group as a facilitator or a resource speaker. I have spoken numerous times to students, parents, and even fellow self-advocates.
To book me as your next resource speaker, fill out the Contact form in this site, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I receive your message. Please book at least two weeks in advance so I can plan my schedule accordingly. Thank you in advance for considering me to speak on your event.
How can I contact you?
Please go to the Contact page and fill out the form with the required information and your contact details. I usually reply to messages as soon as I receive them.
For security reasons (mostly as an anti-spam measure), I only give out my contact details (email, phone number, address, etc.) to people that I trust both professionally and personally.