- TLDR: Donate for Anti-Ableism and Against Radical Behaviorism
- To Vendetta Music Fest and ATX Event Systems
- To SxSW Community
- To Certain Former Partners
- To All
- Very Grand Emotions
- Black and White
- Use Your Power; Ethics are Demonstrated
- You Can’t Have This Art
- Anti-Ableist Art
- A Good Autism Charity
- Give to the Fund
To Vendetta Music Fest and ATX Event Systems
This is Ryan Boren of Stimpunks Foundation, a nonprofit foundation and community by and for Neurodivergent and Disabled people. Unlike the autism charities your organizations and events promote, we do not support abusive autistic conversion therapy or eugenics.
I can tell you why your neurodivergent artists and their allies are upset and leaving.
Read stimpunks.org. Engage with it openly and honestly.
Then ask yourself if you can support what these autism charities do to autistic people, who have been eloquent and overwhelming in describing the legacy of abuse of ABA and other autism therapies. We have ABA and radical behaviorism survivors here at Stimpunks.
But even more compelling is the testimony of young people who understand the reality of this approach better than anyone because they’ve been on the receiving end of it. It is nothing short of stunning to learn just how widely and intensely ABA is loathed by autistic adults who are able to describe their experience with it. Frankly, I’m embarrassed that, until about a year ago, I was completely unaware of all the websites, articles, scholarly essays, blog posts, Facebook pages, and Twitter groups featuring the voices of autistic men and women, all overwhelmingly critical of ABA and eloquent in describing the trauma that is its primary legacy.
How is it possible that their voices have not transformed the entire discussion? Suppose you participated in implementing a widely used strategy for dealing with homelessness, only to learn that the most outspoken critics of that intervention were homeless people. Would that not stop you in your tracks? What would it say about you if it didn’t? And yet the consistent, emphatic objections of autistic people don’t seem to trouble ABA practitioners at all. Indeed, one critical analysis of ethics in this field notes that “autistics have been excluded from all committees, panels, boards, etc., charged with developing, directing, and assessing ABA research and treatment programs.”Alfie Kohn, Autism and Behaviorism
- Why I Left ABA | Socially Anxious Advocate
- I Abused Children For A Living – Diary Of A Birdmad girl
- I Abused Children And SO DO YOU: A Response To An ABA Apologist – Diary Of A Birdmad girl
- Is ABA Really “Dog Training for Children”? A Professional Dog Trainer Weighs In. » NeuroClastic
- I’m an ABA therapist, I’ve noticed a lot of the… – neurowonderful
- I’m sorry, but that’s not earning your token
- ‘Cardgate’ Scandal Uncovers Widespread Disrespect of Autistic People | NOS Magazine
- The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists
- Applied Behaviour Analysis – Personal Reflections
- Read what one autistic adult had to say the day she realised that the therapy she went through as a child was actually ABA.
Some artists have decided they cannot be party to funding ableism. We must elevate ableism as one of the injustices of the world. These artists would not do business with an event promoting racism. Likewise, they will not do business with an event promoting ableism.
- Oppression, prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination against disabled people on the basis of actual or presumed disability.
- The belief that people are superior or inferior, have better quality of life, or have lives more valuable or worth living on the basis of actual or perceived disability.
Will Vendetta Music Fest and it associates at ATX Event Systems change the charity for the event to one run by autistic people and supported by autistic communities?
Our communities are awaiting your reply. Our people who have survived the abuse y’all are about to celebrate and fund are waiting. Our neurodivergent artists who left in protest of this assault against our people are waiting. You can’t have our neurodivergent art while advocating to eliminate neurodivergent people.
Further, is a single autistic adult involved in planning this event that supposedly benefits us? I highly doubt it, because then you would know not to platform abusive therapies and eugenics universally rejected by us.
Ableism is a set of beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities and often rests on the assumption that disabled people need to be ‘fixed’ in one form or the other. Ableism is intertwined in our culture, due to many limiting beliefs about what disability does or does not mean, how able-bodied people learn to treat people with disabilities and how we are often not included at the table for key decisions.Ableism – Center for Disability Rights
DisCrit empathizes with John Powell’s words, “I feel like I’ve been spoken for and I feel like I’ve been spoken about, but rarely do I feel like I’ve been spoken to” (cited in Dalton, 1987). A similar mantra in dis/ability rights circles, “Nothing about us, without us” (Charlton, 2000, p. 3), also speaks to this tenet. DisCrit, therefore, seeks to disrupt the tradition of ignoring the voices of traditionally marginalized groups and instead privileges insider voices (Matsuda, 1987).DisCrit-Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory in Education (Disability, Culture, and Equity Series) (p. 21). Teachers College Press. Kindle Edition.
You’re throwing a party on the world stage of SxSW to fund our abuse and saying you’re doing it for us. It’s hurtful and obscene. Y’all are taking up all the autism fundraising that could be helping instead of hurting people.
And if it turns out that, contrary to widespread assumptions, behavior modification techniques aren’t supported by solid data even when used with autistic kids, why would we persist in manipulating anyone with positive reinforcement? A rigorous new meta-analysis utterly debunks the claim that applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is the only intervention for children with autism that’s “evidence-based.” In fact, it raises serious questions about whether ABA merits that description at all.
You might assume that those who use the phrase “evidence-based practice” (EBP) are offering a testable claim, asserting that the practices in question are supported by good data. In reality, the phrase is more of an all-purpose honorific, wielded to silence dissent, intimidate critics, and imply that anyone who criticizes what they’re doing is rejecting science itself. It’s reminiscent of the way a religious leader might declare that what we’ve been told to do is “God’s will”: End of discussion.Autism and Behaviorism – Alfie Kohn
I think we’re just going to have to let the term “evidence-based” go. There seems to be an inverse relationship between the extent to which a practice is described as evidence-based, and the quality of evidence supporting its use.Dr. Kristen Bottema-Beutel on Twitter
We educate CEOs and organizations on this stuff. We would like to educate you so that you understand the harm you are enabling. Attempts so far have been dismissed, ignored, and blocked.
In the city of weird, y’all are funding and celebrating radical behaviorism and eugenics that seek to eliminate weird from society and the gene pool.
When I was a little girl, I was autistic. And when you’re autistic, it’s not abuse. It’s therapy.QUIET HANDS | JUST STIMMING…
Note: A representative of Vendetta Music Fest directly contacting neurodivergent artists was sent several revisions of this draft over the course of days. The progression of the drafts showed the processing and refining of our pain and anger and hope and despair into what you read now. They were offered opportunity to provide feedback and an official statement. They were given our targeted publication time. We offered honest, candid, and vulnerable communication, as is the way of our people. They went silent and had not replied at time of press, as is the way of too many.
The stress of this has been immense. I’m burnt out.
“A state of pervasive exhaustion, loss of function, increase in autistic traits, and withdrawal from life that results from continuously expending more resources than one has coping with activities and environments ill-suited to one’s abilities and needs.” In other words, autistic burnout is the result of being asked to continuously do more than one is capable of without sufficient means for recovery.THINKING PERSON’S GUIDE TO AUTISM: Autistic Burnout: An Interview With Researcher Dora Raymaker
To SxSW Community
We must combat ableism throughout the SxSW and Austin communities. It’s hard to enjoy the party when people keep fundraising for your abuse and thanking themselves for abusing you. It’s hard to enjoy SxSW Edu when it also needs to be tended for radical behaviorism. See stimpunks.org for our upcoming track at Conference to Restore Humanity on this very issue. Mainstream ed-tech is dominated by behaviorism that should not be platformed. It teaches educators to systematically abuse us. The deficit model is a business model, and ed-tech is a monster.
The number of autistic young people who stop attending mainstream schools appears to be rising.
My research suggests these absent pupils are not rejecting learning but rejecting a setting that makes it impossible for them to learn.
We need to change the circumstances.Walk in My Shoes – The Donaldson Trust
There are monsters because there is a lack of care and an absence of justice in the work we do in education and education technology.The Curse of the Monsters of Education Technology
SxSW should be a venue for being different. It is, but also isn’t, not for us, the most different. You are trying to correct and prevent us instead of help us be our authentic selves, selves that are accepted despite our spiky profiles, inability to speak, and inability to tie shoelaces.
We’ve been on quite a journey trying to change things, especially here in Austin. But it’s so hard to compete with these highly profitable non-disabled led charities. They can be so distracting. Disability led orgs find ourselves battling them instead of doing the work we set out to do.
SxSW seems like a likely ally for neurodivergent people such as ourselves. We are looking for support in building spaces where we can show up, be who we are, and share our art without being distracted by our oppressors who still find ways of overshadowing and silencing us.
To Certain Former Partners
Imagine-a-Way Foundation funds and promotes autistic conversion therapy.
The Broad Institute effectively practices eugenics.
You advertised them on your flyers, after being told about the psychological scarring and long lasting harmful effects. That really hurt. Seeing those images on your flyer broke me, because it made clear how little people care. I regret coming at y’all so hard with an early and emotional draft of this piece, but I felt that hurt deeply. I’m sorry if I hurt you deeply.
Your response to us explaining the harm on your flyer was to block us.
Blocked. Ignored. Dismissed. Abandoned by allies who can’t leave money on the table. Allies who won’t take the least little risk on our behalf. Who won’t speak a single challenging word to power. Who will never take a role in social change. Who will never pressure the status quo.
Over and over, because few care. Ableism doesn’t count. We’ve been on quite a journey getting anyone to care about the funding and platforming of ableism and radical behaviorism in our community, facing ableist aggression, micro and macro, along the way. Presumed incompetent because we use a wheelchair. Presumed drunk or on drugs and denied opportunity and audience when we slur our speech even after informing people we’re neurodivergent. Yelled at to neurological consequence. Presumed all kinds of ignorant things when we tell someone we are autistic.
Few really give a shit about the truly weird in the city of weird. Autistic children are just marketing and grist for industry as everybody hustles to bank on our misery.
Against all that, we exist and resist as friction.
THINKING PERSON’S GUIDE TO AUTISM: ON HANS ASPERGER, THE NAZIS, AND AUTISM: A CONVERSATION ACROSS NEUROLOGIES
Very Grand Emotions
Society feels thoughtlessly and consistently sub-ethical and uncurious compared to our very grand emotions.
Black and White
Let’s get black and white.
If you wouldn’t support gay conversion therapy, you shouldn’t support autistic conversion therapy.
Everyone involved in Vendetta Music Fest and other events platforming radical behaviorism and eugenics has an important ethical decision to make. Show them stimpunks.org so they can make that decision informed.
What’s your creed?
What do you call the suppression and elimination of an identity group, of a community, of a culture, of a people?
I call it violent bigotry.
Violent bigotry against our loved people.
Do you support violent bigotry against neurominorities?
That is the question. That is what it boils down to.
stimpunks.org explains why.
Therefore, eugenics is an erasure of identity through force, whereas radical behaviorism is an erasure of identity through “correction.” This all assumes a dominant culture that one strives to unquestionably maintain.EMPTY PEDAGOGY, BEHAVIORISM, AND THE REJECTION OF EQUITY
Use Your Power; Ethics are Demonstrated
Just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.Toni Morrison Talks Love
Those associated with events supporting harmful autism charities have a chance to demonstrate that you don’t support profiting off and funding the misery of our people. You have a chance to take an ethical stand, of whatever size you can take. You have a chance to help out the punks. Even after these events conclude, build pressure by letting organizers know you don’t like their choices and behavior. Become an ally to people so marginalized that abusive therapies were invented to control how we move and speak. Be help against the onslaught, not part of the onslaught.
I would like to honour all the autistic people who survive the care system somehow.
All those who survive extreme ‘therapy’.
All those who are brought to their knees, reading hellish descriptions of their loved people.
And all who did not survive this onslaught.ANN MEMMOTT PGC🌈 ON TWITTER
You Can’t Have This Art
These artists did the work of allies. They used what power they had to talk to organizers about our concerns and then pulled their art, leaving money on the table. Doing the first is what we ask all allies. Doing the second is next level. Our thanks to them is bottomless. Few choose to be allies. Fewer still take action like these folks have. They are going to bat for some of the most marginalized people on earth. They load-shared our burden of existing as friction.
Those with the least power in the industry of SxSW are making the biggest sacrifices. Ain’t it the way?
They platform our destruction. We build community in response.
These artists did what they could to exert pressure. You don’t have to pull your work to join us. We know you gotta eat in this dystopian world. Just talk to the organizers and say you are not okay with this and maybe even say you won’t work with them in the future if their events fund against autistic community preferences. Heck, just reading this far merits some ally cookies. Thank you, thank you, thank you for witnessing our appeal.
Now, feast your senses.
These artists join us in a message of anti-ableism and celebration.
Heike Blakley is a self-taught, emerging artist working with a wide array of mediums such as acrylic, oil, watercolor, pencil, charcoal, pastel, mixed media, pen & ink.
Also specializing in resin art, jewelry making, woodwork, clay sculptures, fabric art and poetry.
Using her creativity as a form of learning and for meditative purposes, she is determined to, “absorb as much “collective knowledge,” as she is able to grasp in one lifetime and effectively communicate understanding through art.”Home | Heike Blakley, Heike Vogt (@hblkly) • Instagram
Raised between the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and a small farming community in Wisconsin, Kyle gained an appreciation of the land, wildlife and the beauty of nature. Kyle grew up as a 3rd generation artist, his grandfather was an oil painter and his mother ran a stained glass business out of their home in Wisconsin. There was no shortage of art projects, outdoor activities, hunting, fishing, camping and gardening. Post college, Kyle traveled and moved back to Colorado, Seattle and now Austin. He has been living in downtown cities since college. The clash of these two timelines reflects the duality expression in most of his work. This duality can also be seen through his passion for the skate, snow, music, tattoo and architecture world.Custom Artwork | Cryptic Creative | Austin
Kyle Duce (@cryptic_creative) • Instagram photos
More artists coming as we gather images, bios, rights, and informed consent.
Special thanks to the artists at PunkFlowers–a neurodiverse artist coalition led by neurodivergent and disabled people–who have been steady allies through all of this. We are allies in return. We got your backs.
The marginalized are the only ones helping the marginalized. Again, ain’t it the way?
We realize that the only people who care enough about us to work consistently for our liberation are us. Our politics evolve from a healthy love for ourselves, our sisters and our community which allows us to continue our struggle and work.The Combahee River Collective Statement – COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE
A Good Autism Charity
The Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence
The Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment exists to provide direct support, mutual aid, and reparations by and for autistic people of color.Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment
Join Stimpunks Foundation in donating to the Autistic People of Color Fund. They are a legitimate autism charity run by and for autistic people. Your money will help instead of harm when sent to Lydia.
Give to the Fund
The Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment practices redistributive justice and mutual aid by returning and sharing money directly to and with autistic people of color. We provide microgrants to Black, Brown, Native, Asian, and mixed-race people in the autistic community for survival, organizing, leisure, and pleasure.