Believe in us.

Autistic people learn, think, feel, and grow, just like all people do. Sometimes, other people forget that we are people. This happens a lot to non-speaking people and people with intellectual disabilities. Other people say that we can’t learn, think, feel, or grow. This is wrong!

An ally remembers that we are people. An ally knows that we have thoughts, that we are listening, and that we can learn. An ally works hard to communicate with us. They help us find ways to show what we think and learn, and how we feel.

Believing in us means making sure we get to make choices. It means giving us lots of chances to do different things. It means treating us the way other people our age are treated. It means letting us do things in the way that works best for us.

Believing in us also means giving us the support we need. All of us have things we need help with. Allies believe we can live good lives with the right help, and they help us get the support we need to live good lives.

Believing us means taking us seriously when we ask for help. Sometimes, it might not look like we need help, but we still do. For example:

Chauncey is autistic. He is in middle school. He falls on some stairs and hurts his leg. He goes to the school nurse and says “My leg hurts.” Chauncey isn’t frowning or crying, so the nurse says to Chauncey, “You don’t look like you’re in pain.” The nurse doesn’t help Chauncey, but later, his parents figure out that Chauncey broke his leg. The nurse should have believed Chauncey