Similarly to how the neurotypical society is not built for everyone, AUsome Training courses are not for everyone.
As an advocate, I hear a lot of talk about safe spaces. A few of the ways Merriam Webster dictionary defines “safe” are: “affording safety or security from danger, risk, or difficulty,” and “unlikely to produce controversy or contradiction.” If this is the type of space you are looking for, AUsome Training is not for you. AUsome Training will provide significant risk to your conceptualization of Autistic people because it will challenge what you’ve been taught about us. Here, we challenge the pathology paradigm of Autism and Autistics, and in this way produce both controversy and contradiction. Autistics inherently contradict societies ideas of normal, right, and logical, contradict the way we act around and treat disability. At AUsome Training, us Autistics want to challenge you; if you aren’t ready to be challenged, then AUsome Training is not for you.
AUsome Training courses are brave spaces
AUsome Training courses are not safe spaces, they are brave spaces. In these spaces, we welcome neuromajorities to learn about Autistic modalities of existence, and we wish them to feel secure in their seeking—but we do not want them to confuse safety with comfort, because these will not always be comfortable spaces. These Autistic-led spaces for learning are where you can come to be challenged, encouraged, and educated by the very demographic you’re seeking to help and engage with. This will include difficult truths, direct communication, corrections, challenges you will want to shy away from. If you shy away from challenges, then AUsome Training isn’t for you.
ABA AND PATHOLOGY PARADIGMS
AUsome Training courses are pro-Autistic, proudly autistic owned, operated, and led. Courses are by Autistics for neuromajorities—to teach them, because we believe that it is incorrect at best and morally reprehensible at worst to place the onus of conforming to a society that at its roots wants to reject us on Autistics alone. We want to bridge the neurocultural gaps, but need to be met in the middle. We believe that the perception of our neurology is incredibly skewed, but not irrevocably or irreparably so.
From the moment a person is identified as Autistic, society begins to start changing them. Our edges are expected to be sanded down so we don’t grate on others, our light dimmed so we don’t blind others; we are subjected to abusive therapies that attempt to fundamentally alter who we are to the very core of our being and left traumatized and in the throes of identity crises due to the treatment we endure. If you think that this is the correct way to treat Autistic people—whether they be adults, children, or teenagers—AUsome Training is not for you.
Our autism courses are pro-Autistic
The education you will receive from us is our attempt to revoke and repair what we believe to be persistent misperceptions of Autistic modalities of being. If you are not ready to challenge the status quo’s lack of meaningful inclusion even as it calls for our awareness and acceptance, AUsome training is not for you.
Part of being pro-Autistic and rejecting pathology paradigms of Autistic neurology includes rejection of Applied Behavior Analysis. The ABA industry is predatory, rooted in exploitation and abuse. The primary goal of ABA is to make an Autistic indistinguishable from their peers by utilizing behaviorist principles through ethically questionable methods. Hundreds of thousands of Autistic humans have been thoroughly traumatized by the ABA industry. Many who have come forward with their stories are routinely gaslit by pro-ABA parents and educators, even though recent research has come out about the link between development of PTSD and long-term ABA exposure. If you believe that traumatizing Autistics is a good way to make us fit in, if you believe that we even need to fit in, AUsome training is not for you.
EXPERTS ON OUR OWN EXPERIENCES
But if you are brave, open minded, and ready to listen to the Autistic experience without speaking over us; if you are the type of person who acknowledges that society as it is now does not accept or understand Autism and Autistics and that the experts on the Autistic experience are Autistic people living Autistic lives, then AUsome Training is absolutely for you.
Thank you to Jay Jay Mudridge for writing this AUsome guest blog. We are honoured to collaborate with so many talented Autistic people at AUsome Training. Together we will change the future. Jay Jay will be presenting at our upcoming Parents Conference and other projects so stay tuned.