Adults on the autism spectrum don’t have as much of a voice as they should. Their roles and relevance to autism issues are under-represented not only scientifically and politically, but within the autism community itself. Yet adults on the autism spectrum have a tremendous amount of lived experience that can help put autism issues into their most proper context – the context of what it’s actually like to live a life on the autism spectrum.
INTEGRAL is dedicated to expanding and improving communication between adults on the autism spectrum and the countless specialists, supporters, and family members whose lives and work are entwined with theirs, with a focus on ensuring that adult autism voices are fully and accurately represented to professional, political, and parental leaders in the wider autism community. “Nothing about us without us.”
1. People on the autism spectrum are complete humans who deserve complete human dignity.
2. People on the autism spectrum deserve the same rights, fair opportunity, and dignity as people in general.
3. All people on the autism spectrum are assumed to be capable of personal growth unless proven otherwise. Personal growth is always good, and personal growth can be whatever is meaningful to the individual.
4. When autism treatments are reported to be harmful by people on the autism spectrum, the people reporting this should be listened to and taken seriously.
5. Autism in and of itself, so far as we know, does not prevent a person from being healthy or happy.
6. Autism is extremely diverse, and diversity does not have to be division.
7. We all get to hold our ground, or negotiate, or change our positions as we see fit, and we should do so with facts, logic, fairness, compassion, and dignity as our core principles.
8. We should all communicate clearly about our needs, personal boundaries, and emotional states. If you feel attacked or dismissed or misunderstood, please say so. Please be open to explanations and interpretations from other people about how they understand the situation. You are not required to agree with them, but they deserve a chance to try to repair their interaction with you.