And Stimming With Rainbows of Every Design

Monday, August 18, 2008

I just spent time at another residential-farm/institution's website reading the rationale for why agricultural life is good for autistics.

There's something I want to establish, for the record.

I am a city person.

Yes, I am autistic. But I am still a city person. The two are not mutually exclusive.

I love the concept of having access to university lectures, concerts, well-stocked libraries, groups of people (yes, autistic doesn't mean asocial), and convenient public transportation. I don't love being surrounded by loud noise and sirens at all hours, but I'd rather find a place not on a main throughway or find a way to handle it with earplugs/noise-cancelling-headphones/anything-else than live on a rural farm.

SAGE Crossing's rationale/justification for concept has no similarity to my experiences, and clashes horribly with my worldview in general (that we should create a culture of inclusion). Theoretically a rural setting might be "safer" for autistic-me. (But is it for someone with my chronic illness? I think me-with-cystic-fibrosis is far better off in a city with nearby medical facilities.)

And there is no way that I'm going to live in a farm just because I flap my hands. People who flap their hands are allowed in cities too, for the record. And if all people who annoyed other people were sent out to the countryside, there would soon be so few people in cities that they would no longer qualify as cities.

Also, what the hell does needing to be anesthetized for routine medical procedures have to do with needing to live on an institution-farm? It seems like SAGE Crossing is just throwing out random stuff about autistics and assuming that people will infer we can't be included in society based on these disconnected, irrelevant things.


  • Hi Danechi. I agree with your critique of SAGE Crossing's web page. To suggest that autistic people cannot hold jobs because we might flap our hands in the office restroom is ridiculous and discriminatory.

    Not that there's anything wrong with living on a farm if that's what a person wants to do, but it certainly shouldn't be seen as an alternative to equal employment opportunity.

    Also, there's something else I would like to discuss privately, but I did not see a contact address on your site. Please send me an e-mail -- autisticbfh (at) hotmail (dot) com.

    By Blogger abfh, At 5:41 AM  

  • This community also sounds like one of those quasi-institutional settings you blogged about in your last post. The board is all parents of autistics, whom they represent as total shut-ins they need to keep away from the big scary world.

    The writing of the general mission statement was problematic, as you said, in that it implied that rural life is the answer for all autistics. Personally, I think it's great, it's just the kind of life I'd want, but one autistic's solution can be another autistic's nightmare.

    I also agree that pushing for seclusion (whether in institutions or otherwise) as The Answer for all autistics conveniently lets the larger culture off the hook about including us.

    By Blogger Lindsay, At 2:55 PM  

  • I do think that farms might be a good place for some autistics to live, particularly because of the contact with animals and the fact that well-run farms tend to have quite consistent routines (every morning at 6am you go and milk the cow, then you have breakfast, etc) but a lot of the reasons they give are discriminatory, and it's certainly not the best choice for all autistics.

    By Blogger Ettina, At 4:06 PM  

  • By Blogger SEO PARTNERS, At 5:33 AM  

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