Marieke Nijkamp, the author of successful young adult novels like This is Where It Ends and Before I Let Go, happens to be autistic. And on World Autism Awareness Day, she had plenty to say about the importance of autism acceptance.
Nijkamp kept it very simple, compiling her thoughts in a series of "reminders" on Twitter.
"It's that time of year!" she wrote in part.
It's that time of year again! #WorldAutismAwarenessDay! *extremely sarcastic voice* yay Here are your annual reminders:— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201118.0
Reminder 1: Acceptance is more valuable than awareness.
1. We need acceptance, not awareness. We want acceptance of our voices and our stories and our lives. We deserve acceptance.— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201141.0
Reminder 2: Listen.
2. Listen to #ActuallyAutistic advocates. Boost our voices. Listen to what we have to say. Boost #ActuallyAutistic… https://t.co/DJDYSbuEwW— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201247.0
Reminder 3: Avoid Autism Speaks like the plague.
3. Don't #LightItUpBlue. Don't. Do not. LIUB is the signature campaign of Autism Speaks. The same AS that consiste… https://t.co/AkFFPttThK— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201281.0
Reminder 4: Seriously: Avoid Autism Speaks.
4. Autism Speaks doesn't speak for us. Non-autistic voices shouldn't speak over us. Listen. Listen. Listen.— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201296.0
Reminder 5: Watch the way you frame the conversation.
5. Don't speak of autism as a burden. Don't speak of autism as a tragedy. Don't speak of autism as an inspiration,… https://t.co/SQtNc2Ek29— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201338.0
Reminder 6: "Do speak of autism as simply another neurotype."
6. Do speak of autism as simply another neurotype. Another way of interacting with the world. Recognize where we ca… https://t.co/xoq1e7r8hq— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201372.0
Reminder 7: "Educate yourself."
7. Educate yourself. Ask yourself what YOU can do to make YOUR world more accessible to the neurodiverse people ar… https://t.co/0s2aCJw40D— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201423.0
Reminder 8: Pseudoscience deserves to be called out.
8. If you do wish to talk tragedies, talk about lack of access and acceptance. Talk about ableism. Talk about cure… https://t.co/iGUVB25ujm— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201717.0
Reminder 9: Oh yeah, and about vaccines...
9. VACCINES. DON'T. CAUSE. AUTISM. WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS.— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201734.0
Reminder 10: Change the way you celebrate.
10. Celebrate #WorldAutismAcceptanceDay today instead. And then celebrate it tomorrow too.— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201823.0
Nijkamp knows what she's talking about––and her thread was a hit.
@mariekeyn Thank you for this. I want to print out this thread and hand out copies. Here in the PNW where kids are… https://t.co/P6SvbEypl0— Ashley THX-1138 (@Ashley THX-1138)1554215503.0
@mariekeyn Thank you so much for this thread--for me and my kids. Sometimes it's hard for us to articulate, but you… https://t.co/PBpSc4FvlA— K. A. Reynolds is writing fierce fantastical girls (@K. A. Reynolds is writing fierce fantastical girls)1554202916.0
@mariekeyn This thread is beautiful. It’s like you sat inside my brain this morning and then summarized it in Twitt… https://t.co/cG2gT2ds3A— Amanda Morin (@Amanda Morin)1554206584.0
@mariekeyn Thank you. As soon as I saw that hashtag I thought "oh, yay, the people who think autism is a curse hav… https://t.co/iDFpZo8hlY— (((Sarah))) (@(((Sarah))))1554232244.0
@mariekeyn Thank you so much for this thread! Everyday is a new learning experience with our son but we wouldn’t ha… https://t.co/sDaaanFBFv— Arch Heretic Subtle (@Arch Heretic Subtle)1554230037.0
@mariekeyn THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for this!! It is like your took my inner most thoughts and so eloq… https://t.co/kYtsc8t1lT— Lauren Elizabeth 🌹 (@Lauren Elizabeth 🌹)1554221936.0
@mariekeyn I am a vision and hearing impaired autisic student. I’m struggling to find my voice in the face of adver… https://t.co/m8ixcPg4XG— Taylor Fraasch (@Taylor Fraasch)1554227452.0
This is the way it should be done, folks. We're tempted to print out copies of this thread ourselves and tape them to telephone poles and other public surfaces.