It’s Sunday, which means that I’m doing a little cleaning, organizing, and clarifying, and today, that includes this blog (!). I’ve been considering an FAQ of some kind, and perhaps I’ll write one, but this will probably suffice for now. Baby steps and all that. 😉
Over the past few months of this blog’s growth, I’ve gotten a lot of neat questions and comments along certain themes, and I figure that for now, I’ll answer those here.
Let’s start with FAQ:
“Can I use/quote/etc…(excerpt from this blog) and use it (in whatever situation)?”
Sure! University professors have printed out excerpts, or even entire posts, from this blog for use in their classes; newly-diagnosed/realized Aspergian/autistic people have printed out blog posts to use as talking notes when coming out to their families and friends; and so on. Not only am I absolutely fine with that, I’m honored and humbled! It’s totally cool. 🙂
So long as it isn’t being held up to satirize or condemn, I’m completely fine with it.
The only thing I ask, if you can, is this: just let me know (somewhere in the comments of whichever posts) that you did so, so that I know that it’s having a positive impact somewhere, helping someone. This isn’t required, just appreciated. 🙂
“Can I post a link (to a post, this blog, etc) to Facebook/Twitter/etc)?”
Absolutely! Please feel free to do so whenever, wherever. So long as it isn’t being held up to satirize or condemn, I’m fine with that, too. And in fact, here again, I’m honored and humbled.
“Can I cite you in my research paper (etc)?”
Yep! My sentiments about that are the same as the other two items above.
“Can I link to/mention you (in whatever – a blog post of your own, etc)?”
Without a doubt, yes! Again, as long as it’s not for purposes of ridicule or malice, I’m totally honored.
“Can I reblog?”
Oh yes! Please feel free to reblog or share anything you like. No permission needed.
“Can I like/comment on older posts?”
Please, feel free to like or comment on anything you want. 🙂 I don’t close posts down from further commenting; I have no time limit. If WordPress does, that’s something different, and I don’t know about it; I haven’t seen anything like that happen yet. So yes, if you see something from a year ago that resonates with you, by all means, feel free to share your thoughts! 🙂
“Can I ‘butt in’ to a conversation in the comments under a post?”
Oh heck yeah. To me, there’s no real such thing as butting-in unwantedly, so long as it’s not for trolling purposes or “swooping” in to be rudely contrarian. I even welcome disagreement! I’ll get to that more below. For the purpose of this question, though, if your intentions are good, then please feel free to chime in on any discussion and reply to any comment.
“I disagree; can I say something about that?”
Sure! I welcome all genuine viewpoints, including those that dissent from my own. I’m not afraid of disagreements. I do ask a couple of things, though…
1 – That if you’re disagreeing with me (or anyone else on this blog) or calling me (or anyone else) out on something, that you block-quote whatever it is that I/we said that you’re disagreeing with. I run several blogs and have had more than my share of differences of opinion. The most frustrating thing is when people make unfounded accusations or attempt to put words in anyone else’s mouths. That simply won’t fly.
2 – That if you believe that I am wrong, show where I made my claim, and cite your source for your own opinion. (Obviously, personal experience is exempt from this, as there will be no documentation other than your mind and maybe your blog, but whenever stating claims or facts/info of any kind, having a source is preferred.)
For example, for those who think I came down too hard on certain parents in some posts, show me where I’m wrong. (I’m still getting a few comments about some of them, and while I’m not a fan of censorship, I haven’t approved them yet and I may or may not, because it’s fairly clear that they hadn’t read the post they’re commenting on, and thus the comment appears to be more emotionally driven, where I seem to fill more of a role of a scapegoat for their own problems.)
2 – That an air of respect is maintained throughout the conversation. Obviously, bullying, name-calling, trolling, false accusations, or other hostility won’t be tolerated.
This needs to remain a safe space for Asperger’s/autistic people, neurodiversity proponents, and our allies/supporters. And I will do my damnedest to ensure that it remains so, even if that means not approving (or retroactively deleting) some comments.
“I’m autistic/Aspergian. Can I promote (my blog, my book, my show, etc) in the comments?”
Sure, I don’t mind! I’m more than happy to promote and support the commercial works of other people on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum. This goes for writing blogs/books, art, music, a small business, a consulting practice, etc–anything headed up by someone on the spectrum.
That being said, please exercise common sense. Please don’t let those be the only comments you leave, however, unless it’s the first comment you’ve made and you plan to make others of a non-commercial nature. In other words, please don’t go overboard. That might get creepy or annoying to some.
“I created (wrote/painted/recorded) something. Will you publish it on your blog? Will I be sure to get credit for it?”
Yes, in all likelihood, I will be happy to host it here. People have submitted works to me before, usually in the forms of essays and art, and I’ve published them here on this blog, and I’m always happy to do so.
I do evaluate each creative work for its appropriateness on this particular blog. Obviously, it should be Asperger’s/autism-related, with a neutral-to-positive point of view taken toward the Asperger’s/autism itself. (Don’t worry; I’m not going to publish anything that demonizes or criticizes autism in any way!) It is perfectly OK if the creative work describes various difficulties or challenges one faces as an Aspergian/autistic person.
When it comes to credit, I do not steal anyone else’s work (!). Proper credit will be given, absolutely. If you wish to remain anonymous, that’s totally fine! Just let me know how you want your name to appear, if you want to use your name at all. Pseudonyms and Twitter handles are fine, too. Please also let me know if you would also like me to link to your Twitter, Facebook, and/or other social media outlets or website(s), and I will be sure to do so.
Let’s move on to FMC (Frequently Made Comments):
“This blog is more than just a blog – it has sort of become an internet forum, in a way!”
I totally agree, and I feel so thankful, and very blessed. It’s so cool to see a bunch of friends come here (or even meet on other peoples’ blogs) and meet new people through the various little blog-network that we’ve all kind of built up. I think that’s too neat. The coolest part is that I’m seeing sort of a forum-like atmosphere take shape on several other blogs as well (!). We have a sweet, awesome little community. ❤
“That term is ableist.”
Sigh. I’m sorry. Usually, I tried to come up with something better. Occasionally, however, I’m coming across what I believe to be a touch of over-sensitivity.
Personally, I’ve stepped back from the “ableism advocacy” realm a bit, because I found it very tiring and taxing. When my brain gets too taxed, blogging stops being fun. And when it stops being fun, it becomes more work to keep doing it. I do it to help people, of that there’s no question, but I also do it because it’s fun. I don’t get paid for it and I don’t expect to–ever–as long as it keeps being fun. To save my own sanity, I had to stop worrying about every little word and every little context in which it could be taken by everyone in every corner of the globe.
I might have given up a few readers in the process (sorry!), but I also know that I’m not typically an angry person and I don’t tend to jive as much with people who are, so the last thing I wanted to do is attract more angry people by writing about things that don’t always rile me up. Because those people are looking for you to make the tiniest little mistake, and I don’t want to be scrutinized that way. I am who I am, whether anybody (including myself) likes it or not; take me or leave me.
“You should totally license your work as Creative Commons!”
That is indeed a fine idea, and I really appreciate the suggestion, and I also love the people who suggested it.
After doing some research into the Creative Commons License and doing some deep thinking about it, however, I’ve decided not to. The reasons are few and simple; the way I understand it (and I might be wrong, and if I am, then I’ll do some re-thinking!), by licensing my work under Creative Commons, anyone can use it for any purpose and any reason, and once I’ve licensed it as such, I can’t rescind it should I want to turn this blog (or excerpts from it) into a book or something. I would essentially give up my ownership of it. Yeah, that probably means that I’ll be using the material on here to make some money someday. That might turn off some people, like I’ve gone over to the dark side or something. But I promise I Won’t Be Evil. 😉
And now, the FTR (For The Record)s:
I’ve pretty much interspersed those in the items above, but to recap a few:
Regarding “ableist language”: I use contemporary vocabulary with contemporary meaning. The way I see it, forward progress can’t be made if I’m/we’re stuck in the past. So a word’s historical meaning matters less to me than what it means now.
Regarding “different ability”: That’s how I see myself. I see myself as disabled in some ways, and maybe super-abled in others. We’re all like that, to an extent. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. Some of those are more advantageous or disadvantageous than others. Everyone has the right to see themselves as they do; I see myself as differently abled.
Speaking for oneself: If you’ve been reading this blog for a while and/or you’ve read a lot of the posts, you’ll see my usual “disclaimers” peppered throughout the post or stated boldly at the top. I get tired of writing these, but for a while, there would be an objection in response to practically every post, of someone accusing me of trying to speak for everyone. Those people need to read a little bit better, or maybe a few more times, or maybe a few other posts. I don’t claim to speak for anyone else. There are plenty of well-regarded blogs that do talk about Asperger’s/autism in the general sense, saying “we” and “us” a lot, and it went over (and continues to go over) very well, without criticism, but somehow that privilege hasn’t transferred to me. (Sorry if I sound a little bitter here. But practically anyone else would be, too, if they were denied rights that other people enjoyed.)
Of course this blog is through my own perspective – it’s a personal blog, after all. Of course it’s based on what I’ve experienced myself, or seen or heard or read, or people with whom I’ve had conversations or between whom I’ve witnessed conversations. That should go without saying, but I still feel like I have to say it. If I were intending to mean ALL autistic people, I would say “we ALL” or something similar. My writing of autism is mostly personally-based; for the posts that are meant to serve more of an informational purpose, I try to cite/link to my sources when I can, or intersperse words like “most”, “many”, and so on.
Works created by others: I’ll say again that I’ll never intentionally steal anyone else’s work. Any quote/term/concept I find interesting, I’ll do my very best to mention the person, link to their post, or what-have-you. Any work submitted to me will be properly credited.
I know this is a bit of a deviation from my usual Asperger’s/autism-themed posts and whatnot, but I love to systemize things and get them in order. And I love to read comments and consider suggestions.
Alrighty, my cleaning is cleaned out (lol) and I’m gearing up for Mental Health Monday. 🙂 ❤