Autistic Lincs: Spalding Today columnist Callum Brazzo talks about the need to represent the autistic community in an authentic way
Hello there! Callum Brazzo here, continuing to make Autistic Lincs.
I was at a family friend’s 18th birthday this past weekend, albeit taking time out every so often because of the social integration, and had parkour training in the sand dunes and have thoroughly refreshed myself for the week ahead.
How have your weekends been? Let me know by contacting me or the editor Jeremy Ransome in the Letters To The Editor section of the paper you’re holding!
This is one of those times because fellow autistic advocate and ally Sara Harvey has been working a lot in Paris recently with the amazing Louis Brunel of Crimson AU, had her work translated into Spanish and performed her first ever live street performance in her home city of Chester.
She’s getting around and it’s inspiring!
As she says in one of her recent headlines ‘I’m not hiding online anymore!’
While there is a certain unity in the online worlds of social media advocacy, communities such as Autistic Empire and many more ways to impact the world we all live in, the offline world is important to reach too.
As Sara says in her live street performance entitled ‘Where Are The Autistics?’ she considers herself a ‘privileged autistic’ and this is not to mean that she is BETTER than any other autistic person who may have their own journey to undergo with diagnosis, education and family acceptance to name a few common issues, but to say that when you have a platform like she has or like I do, it is crucial that that we share messages that authentically represent our autistic community.
There is power in both online and offline worlds, let’s not get it twisted; I’ve spent most of my childhood social time online and I won’t have anyone invalidate those experiences.
No one should invalidate autistic experiences and instead I believe we must unify and continue to spread autistically authentic messages across the world (and with my recently renewed passport arriving, best believe I will be travelling A LOT).
A balance between online and offline must be struck as moderation is a positive attribute to healthy and sustainable lives.
However, if the answer to ‘Where Are The Autistics?’ is ‘Playing Fortnite’ or ‘Sitting on her computer all day’ then we still must listen.
Sometimes, it’s okay to stay in your comfort zone and actually use that as an advantage, a springboard to new paths in life that develop AROUND the comfort zone. A game designer/tester, a coder, a soundtrack recordist, a tournament champion YouTube sensation….
Reiterating the message from my 2017 TEDx talk in Norwich, it’s integral to ‘Make mountains out of molehills.’
Autistic people are offline and online with potential shooting towards the skyline if we only look for them.
Sara Harvey AKA Agony Autie, Emma Dalmayne, Kieran Rose, Hannah Molesworth, Fiona O’Leary and so many more people have sacrificed for our community gain and I for one thank them for their tireless efforts for a safer, sustainable and beautifully autistic future.
Where Are The Autistics?
Ready and waiting.
Further Reading And Events:
Agony Autie (Check out Where Are The Autistics?’)
My poetry book on Autistic Empire!
It’s An Autism Thing, I’ll Help You Understand It book:
Perfect Day – festival to take note of in Lincoln:
AIM Summer Party Fundraiser:
Autistic Led on YouTube!
Autistic Lincs Facebook Page:
Autistic Led, autistic adult support group:
Contact me via Facebook @CallumBrazzo, Twitter @CallumBrazzo and through Letters To The Editor.
Ciao for now!