Do you still believe in the Autistic Community & Culture

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KenG
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11 Feb 2011, 4:45 pm

EnglishLulu wrote:
There are lots of other obstacles, including poor social skills, disparate populations. It's not like with 'gay culture' where there are some major population centres that LGBT people are drawn to, like London, Brighton, Manchester, San Francisco, New York, Vancouver, Sydney, Tel Aviv. The only place that I can think of, for sure, is Silicon Valley. And then Seattle because of MicroSoft. You could argue pretty much any city with a university that has a good computer science school or tech industry base.
All of the population centres you mentioned have large numbers of autistics living in them. Some of them even have places in which autistics commonly meet. (for example: the Blue Anchor Pub, by Hammersmith Bridge, in London).


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KenG
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13 Feb 2011, 12:12 pm

EnglishLulu wrote:
As for what I think the chances are of your hopes listed above become realities: I really like the idea of art spaces, but then I suppose that any Aspie who's an artist will tap into local artistic communities and get involved in art squats and putting on exhibitions in existing galleries or 'pop up' art spaces. And likewise Aspie musicians will probably get involved with the local music scene and join a band and get gigging that way.
Perhaps so.
Aspie writers of short stories, though, are invited to submit their works to a new anthology of autistic-written stories:
http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt151627.html
The idea of this anthology is a fine example of what I mean by "Autistic Culture".
The anthology's editors have attended Autscape 2006, so there is also a nice cultural connection between Autscape and this new autistic anthology.


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KenG
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15 Feb 2011, 10:00 am

EnglishLulu wrote:
Autscape and Autreat fulfil a niche need that can't be satisfied by more mainstream alternatives like an equivalent of an art scene or music scene. But those are only two events, and for many Aspies geography and the resultant cost of travel and attending are a problem. While a lot of Aspies might want to attend such events, many are unemployed or underemployed and don't have the means to do so.
Right.


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anbuend
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15 Feb 2011, 10:22 am

Yeah. Worse, I can't fly and Autreat has no train access. That means I have to rent a wheelchair van. Which is ultra-expensive and only worked one year when my agency had not spent all my funds by the end of the fiscal year.


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KenG
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16 Feb 2011, 2:20 pm

anbuend wrote:
Yeah. Worse, I can't fly and Autreat has no train access.
Around 2006-2007, Autreat's venue was a short taxi ride from a train station. (in a suburb of Philadelphia).
Autreat 2011's venue is yet to be announced, so we are yet to know if it is going to have train access.


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16 Feb 2011, 4:06 pm

Going back to the OP, the original question, and the OP's concerns, I say YES with one caveat.

I am not officially diagnosed, but I am fairly certain that the black cloud of my life from childhood on has been AS! I have been here for a while.

The circularity of the discussion board is actually a help because it keeps me and others from having to search to find topics from way back when. When they come back up again and other people respond, I get a different perspective from other people. There is always the chance that more will be revealed and I will remember something that I didn't mention before. In this case, it's as much of a HELP to ME as it is a reason to post.

I tend to enjoy solitary pursuits (being part of a group is okay - taken in moderation, of course) :P The clubhouse where we play cards made an appeal to people to join to help keep the club financially afloat. I told one of the members that I want to contribute to the club's continuation, but that I wasn't interested in the rigamarole and the politics. So I offered to be a member in-absentia meaning that I would pay the dues so I wouldn't have to pay the entry fee while continuing to pay for sodas so that others wouldn't ask me to abuse my membership privilege.

Another example is that I used to be very active in the Fellowship I belong to at the metropolitan area level, but it began to wear me thin dealing with too many personalities and power issues. I went back to working in my homegroup and just being a member.

I use those as examples because I really rather doubt that I would become like an activist in the movement. I enjoy what WP and other forums have to offer as far as sharing experience, strength, and hope while finding identification with others on the Spectrum.



KenG
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18 Feb 2011, 3:23 pm

EnglishLulu wrote:
As for what I think the chances are of your hopes listed above become realities: I really like the idea of art spaces, but then I suppose that any Aspie who's an artist will tap into local artistic communities and get involved in art squats and putting on exhibitions in existing galleries or 'pop up' art spaces. And likewise Aspie musicians will probably get involved with the local music scene and join a band and get gigging that way.
You are overestimating the social abilities of many of us.


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18 Feb 2011, 4:21 pm

KenG wrote:
EnglishLulu wrote:
As for what I think the chances are of your hopes listed above become realities: I really like the idea of art spaces, but then I suppose that any Aspie who's an artist will tap into local artistic communities and get involved in art squats and putting on exhibitions in existing galleries or 'pop up' art spaces. And likewise Aspie musicians will probably get involved with the local music scene and join a band and get gigging that way.
You are overestimating the social abilities of many of us.


You may be as well. You seem disappointed that the autistic community hasn't transformed into a thriving social community... like one of the many social communities where non-autistics flourish.

I see this as being like a group of children that are not good at sports, don’t like sports, and never get picked for the team, judging the success of their collective we by trying to make a successful sports team.

I don’t think the mark of success for our community should be us creating environments almost identical to those celebrated by people without unique neurology, but fully comprised of people with unique neurology.

I'm of the opinion that we should create our own measures and goals.



KenG
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19 Feb 2011, 3:13 pm

j0sh wrote:
I don’t think the mark of success for our community should be us creating environments almost identical to those celebrated by people without unique neurology, but fully comprised of people with unique neurology.

I'm of the opinion that we should create our own measures and goals.
OK. So what measures and goals should we create?


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j0sh
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20 Feb 2011, 9:05 am

KenG wrote:
j0sh wrote:
I don’t think the mark of success for our community should be us creating environments almost identical to those celebrated by people without unique neurology, but fully comprised of people with unique neurology.

I'm of the opinion that we should create our own measures and goals.
OK. So what measures and goals should we create?


I haven't the foggiest idea, honestly. I think the needs of our members will decide the goals. You've been in this community a lot longer than I have. Can you identify some of the core needs of our members by examining the patterns you've recognized over the years?



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20 Feb 2011, 11:58 am

For many autistic people (and by no means is this related to what most call functioning level), the desire to socialize is very real, they just lack opportunities to socialize with people who understand them and will not judge them. It's not that being social is an "NT thing", just that nonautistic people get far more chances at socializing in environments that are good for them to socialize in.

This is why, before there were any big social meetups of autistic people, individual autistic people would spend huge amounts of money and effort flying and driving thousands of miles just to meet each other. This is also why people still fly and drive those distances for the big social gatherings that now exist. And these are not and have never been just the "least autistic" people who do things like this, in fact most of the people who founded the original events were (by typical standards that I understand but don't share) far "more autistic" than many of the people who say they can't understand why autistic people would ever want to do something like socialize.

(I actually think more nonsocial autistic people may be being diagnosed now than back then. Because back then most diagnoses were just based on appearance which is often wrong. These days many diagnoses are based on people identifying with the nonsocial stereotype that such appearances evoke in people.)

Not all autistic people have this desire but many do and it shouldn't be pooh poohed as an "NT thing" when they do, or when they want to build communities around this desire. Even webforums like this one are essentially social in nature.


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20 Feb 2011, 2:16 pm

We, as a community, have so much to offer. Thank you, anbuend, for stating the premise so well. I so much appreciate your posts and really value your contributions. I do sense a connection amongst all ASD individuals; I'm an Aspie and the Wrong Planet is such a boon. So many articulate individuals - we are a collective culture.

In all sincerity, I've regarded the Culture of Autism as a collective, quite the borg cube as a collective (honestly, I do not mean this facetiously!) and we each bring our own perspective to a greater organisation: our community. Many Aspies are so very successful and productive with so much potential. As a culture, we need to share this with all others.


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21 Feb 2011, 8:04 am

anbuend wrote:
For many autistic people (and by no means is this related to what most call functioning level), the desire to socialize is very real, they just lack opportunities to socialize with people who understand them and will not judge them. It's not that being social is an "NT thing", just that nonautistic people get far more chances at socializing in environments that are good for them to socialize in.

This is why, before there were any big social meetups of autistic people, individual autistic people would spend huge amounts of money and effort flying and driving thousands of miles just to meet each other. This is also why people still fly and drive those distances for the big social gatherings that now exist. And these are not and have never been just the "least autistic" people who do things like this, in fact most of the people who founded the original events were (by typical standards that I understand but don't share) far "more autistic" than many of the people who say they can't understand why autistic people would ever want to do something like socialize.

(I actually think more nonsocial autistic people may be being diagnosed now than back then. Because back then most diagnoses were just based on appearance which is often wrong. These days many diagnoses are based on people identifying with the nonsocial stereotype that such appearances evoke in people.)

Not all autistic people have this desire but many do and it shouldn't be pooh poohed as an "NT thing" when they do, or when they want to build communities around this desire. Even webforums like this one are essentially social in nature.


Was that directed towards my comments? I was just trying to point out that our community may not fit a common community model; not that we shouldn't have one.



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21 Feb 2011, 8:35 am

i have never been interested in "communities".
"communities" are coagulations of incomplete souls that search for their completion.



MXH
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21 Feb 2011, 10:01 am

Never have and won't.



anbuend
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21 Feb 2011, 11:19 am

Yeah it was directed at you, I misunderstood what you meant.

I'm personally pretty wary of group membership so while I may work alongside groups for various goals, it is rare that I actually join them.

I think the comment about incomplete souls is inaccurate though. Plenty of people feel totally complete yet enjoy socializing or working in communities. Or as one autistic founder of an autistic community said to someone else "You could leave and I'd be just fine, or you could stay and I'll feel even better." Social interaction can be as rewarding as any other activity without having to be about loneliness or incompleteness. I never get lonely but I like having a few friends and sometimes participate in communities.Heck anyone writing here is participating in a community whether they admit it or not. :) I've always found it amusing watching autistic people socialize online by saying how nonsocial they are.


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