Chapter 9

Learn from your mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes. As an ally, you will make mistakes, and you might hurt autistic people by accident. Your advocacy might not work.

Sometimes, autistic people will tell you about mistakes you made, or you might find out on your own. Making mistakes is a normal part of being an ally. It is important to know when you made a mistake so you can make it better. You can figure out how to fix your mistakes, and keep trying to be a good ally.

Some mistakes will be easy to fix. For example, if you use a word that hurts us, it is easy to stop using that word. Some mistakes will be harder to fix. For example:

You might have a job that hurts autistic people. The job might try and make us look less autistic, which makes it harder for us to be ourselves. You might need to change your job.

Being an ally sometimes means doing hard things. Autistic people understand that, since we have to do hard things all the time. It is hard to live in a society that hurts us, so it is important that our allies work hard to change that.

A note for families

Families can be strong allies for their autistic family members. Many years ago, parents of disabled kids started getting together. They worked to close institutions, and fought for their kids to get support in the community. Parents are still fighting today for the rights of their kids. You can be a part of that fight, too!

Families can make a big difference for their family members. You can support your autistic family member to have a good life, and help fight for our rights. You can make sure your family is a safe place for us, and help other families be allies, too.

There is some information and tools just for you at the end of this chapter.

Chapter 9 Resources