– on the neurodiversity movement & futures beyond capitalism –
Robi Blaga – Writer
M. Martelli – Script Editor & Narrator
Sofia Zadar – Music Composer & Sound Designer
Mina Mimosa – Art Director, Illustrator & Frame-by-frame Animator
Aron Nor – Director, Video & Sound Editor, Animator & Narrator
📝 Video transcript
1. Am I broken?
Spring 2019. I am at the yearly forum of the housing justice coalition that I am a part of. After a long day of meetings there is a collective decision to go to a club. I am somewhat anxious, as I’m not really a party-person.
We arrive at the place, go down a short flight of steps, through a narrow hallway and then we are suddenly smack right in the middle of the dance floor. Stroboscope lights flashing, bodies moving erratically, ear-drum-rupturing electronic music.
Breathe. Push it down. Lets buy a beer, fast! Breathe. Push it down. Press your forehead. Jump your eyes from place to place in repetitive patterns. Maybe the repetition will drown out the noise. Press your forehead. Another beer. Hold it together. Breathe. Just ten more minutes, until the alcohol kicks in. Everything is shaking. Press your forehead. Push it down. Breathe. Breathe. Push it …. I’m sorry, I can’t!
I rush outside. In a while, two comrades come to comfort me. We talk platitudes. After some more time we leave. In the days that follow, I am left with a lingering feeling. These are all comrades whom I love dearly. We are committed to each other in the fight for a different world. So why do I feel so out of place even among them? Is the problem really with me? Is there something wrong with me? Am I broken?
In the weeks that followed, I joined a dozen autistic facebook groups and read all the books and articles. It’s actually something that I’d considered years before, but had brushed it aside. I just didn’t recognize myself in the alienating and medicalist language of the DSM. From these stories that i read online, however, i learned something else: the myriad ways in which the cold and minimalist wording of the diagnostic criteria are reified in actually existing ways of being and doing and feeling. I found a constellation of experiences onto which my own mapped exactly and, with this, gained meaning.
I am autistic. I am neurodivergent.
These labels explain much of what has happened to me that i couldn’t make sense of, from very early childhood up to the present. It gives a coherent narrative for both my sensory and my social difficulties – things that i had always tried to understand separately. Realizing they had one common, unitary explanation – autism – was a lightbulb moment.
How has this truth been hidden from me for sooo long? How could I have spent three decades on this planet and not know what substance I am made of? Why did no one tell me this was a possibility?
2. What is this ‘neurodiversity’?
As a descriptive term, neurodiversity simply means the infinite variation among human brains and minds. This diversity exists, it is a banal fact.
As a paradigm and social movement, neurodiversity (ND) seeks to reframe currently pathologized differences – like autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, Tourettes and so on – as ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ ways of being in the world. There is no one correct brain, one valid mode of interacting with people and the environment. Neurodiversity adds value to our shared social fabric and stands at the base of the usual social dynamics – power, privilege, oppression -, the same as race, gender, sexuality or any other form of difference.
The term neurodiversity was invented by the sociologist Judy Singer in 1998, to create space for non-pathologized ways to view autism. The language of ND includes the terms neurotype, neurominority, neurotypical and neurodivergent.
The definition of neurodivergence is intentionally left open – its borders unstable and porous. Although initially invented by and for autistics, now people with varying neurocognitive differences are increasingly identifying as such. This includes, but is not limited to, people with neurodevelopmental differences, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, circadian rhythm disorders, intellectual disabilities or any kind of mental illness or form of madness. Some, like autism, are lifelong; others like some mood disorders, can be temporary. Some, like Tourettes’, are primary; while others like Down syndrome, are secondary or derivative – meaning that neurodivergence is not a fundamental part of the condition, but is a consequence of it.
2.1. Neurodivergence as disability
Mad? Neurodivergent? Disabled? Which one is the right label for me? In everyday usage their meanings often get thrown together, which can make things confusing. In current, radical spaces, they are interchangeable in many instances. The differences between them have more to do with the history attached to each concept and the place from which it radiated outwards.
Mad pride, in my understanding, is an identity defined in relation to one’s psycho-medical history, even if through negation. Parts of the mad community do not completely negate a pathologized approach to these conditions – they are ‘illnesses’ – but aim to remove the stigma that is attached to living with them and engaging with the psychiatric system. Other paradigms promote a view of mad culture in a radical break with pathology and psychiatry. But even in the latter case, madness is defined through the movement of distancing from the medical and psychiatric systems.
Neurodiversity, on the other hand, came into being by inventing a new semantic space for neurocognitive differences to exist. It is formed in relation to the neurotypical majority, rather than any psycho-medical link. By design, ND negates any kind of pathological optics — not only are you not less worthy if you happen to live with these conditions, but the conditions themselves are not something negative, but valuable (or at least neutral). This feels very empowering for many of us.
Within the ND paradigm, we understand that some or most of the difficulties that we face are, in fact, due to the gap between how society is built and the ways our brains and minds work. In this aspect it overlaps with the social and radical models of disability.
Disability itself is notoriously difficult to define. The social model of disability (SM) makes the distinction between the ‘intrinsic’ disability or impairment, and the barriers that arise when society does not account for our differences. Within the social model, disability arises exactly at that gap between self and society; it is equal to the set of barriers that disabled people face. Radical critiques of it take issue with its exclusive focus on social barriers, because this relegates impairment to the ‘objective’ biological sphere, failing to politicize it where it should be. Is dyslexia an impairment or a natural variation among minds? Within the SM there is no space to interrogate this. And how we view differences affects what accommodations we envision. If dyslexia is an impairment, perhaps appropriate accommodations are therapy, while a view as natural variation requires changes in how society is structured. The SM also holds no space for personal reflections about the disabled experience – its arena is purely that of policy demands.
Disability Justice (DJ), in distinction, focuses on radical access and the changes that should be made to help us fit into each other’s lives and society. This includes ramps and curb cuts, yes. But also knowing how to navigate our personal and collective feelings about our bodies when they ache and break, and also when they create crip joy. The disability justice movement does not invest a lot of time and energy in interpellating the state, because many of us – the homeless, undocumented migrants, people with ‘subclinical’ disabilities and so on – fall outside of its matrix anyway (although policy changes are still needed, of course). Instead, DJ focuses on tactics of mutual aid and prefiguring non-ableist ways of living.
Personally, I think of disability as being any difference that is pathologized within a given context. This (very broad) definition makes disability group-dependent, which has been historically true for many differences. Think, for example, how gay-ness and trans-ness have functioned as pathology at the societal level in the past century, while being viewed as natural human variation in-group. In the meantime in many countries gayness has been completely, and transness partially, depathologized at the social level, but they remain viewed as such by conservative groups.
Because many ND folks do not identify politically as disabled, the discussion whether ND is or is not disability is a relevant one for the community. The above definition, then, helps us reconcile these views: ND is both disability and not disability, depending on whether we are talking at the social level (in this case it is disability, as codified in both the public opinion and the legal and medical systems) or within ND groups (where it can be, but it’s not necessarily disability).
2.2. On labels and belonging
Each of these labels — mad, neurodivergent and disabled — spotlights different aspects of living with a neurocognitive difference, and all are valid and valuable. People in radical disability communities often identify as all three, exactly to highlight and value all aspects of their experiences.
A topic that is, for example, particularly difficult to grapple with in disability spheres is the relation to cures and treatments. The questions ‘Would I change my bodymind if I could?’ and ‘Do I love myself exactly the way that I am?’ frequently pop up, and the answer can be yes to both at the same time. Learning to hold these two apparently dissonant thoughts — like magnets that repulse each other — is, I think, a big part of everyone’s journey in coming to terms with their disabled identity.
Of course, it’s always important to ask and respect how people choose to identify. I think many of us prefer the language of neurodivergence simply to escape the historical baggage that comes with the disabled label, and also because neurocognitive differences have been marginalized in disability movements in the past.
At the same time, it is important to interrogate our own assumptions and biases. Often the desire to distance oneself from the disabled label comes from a conservative, medicalist — or even eugenicist — view of disability and from internalized ableism. Other times it’s simply a misguided desire to not take up space that is meant for people with higher support needs.
Whatever the reasons may be, avoiding the label damages the disability community and, ultimately, oneself. Disability is not a bad word. Disability is an analytical tool to identify and fight oppression. Disability is also a place of belonging.
Besides being autistic and having ADHD, I have other (mostly hidden) disabilities — chronic pain and fatigue, migraines, a chronic skin condition, a circadian rhythm disorder and the executive functioning chaos that comes with all of these. Even so, it took me quite a while to feel comfortable enough to say it out loud. I had been living a profoundly crip life for most of my adult years, but I was unable to attach any meaning to it, other than individual failure. Disability literature and praxis gave me the tools to interpret these experiences and the confidence to ask for accommodations. And it also gave me a community where – for maybe the first time – I felt like I belonged. My people. My history. My culture.
2.3. Neurodivergent identity
Another important question is whether neurodivergence is a political identity. Any marker of difference can form the basis of identity, but not all of these will be politically relevant. For example, people can associate based on having green eyes, but that doesn’t mean ‘fighting for the rights of green-eyed people’ is a politically meaningful action.
From my point of view, there are two major reasons for which identity is important for leftist praxis: gaining (self)knowledge and — perhaps most importantly — identifying (and fighting against) systemic oppression. So, is neurodivergent a political identity?
Across the board, people who discover their neurodivergent selves — especially if later in life — report a vastly improved quality of life, leading to the dissolution of feelings of wrongness or brokenness, to finding a community of like-minded people, and to a confidence to ask for accommodations from the world at large.
Personally, I had lived with chronic depression and suicidal ideation for — without hyperbole — my entire adult life. I got to a point where I couldn’t imagine a day without their constant presence. Then, in a brief few months after I started exploring and accepting my neurodivergent, crip and queer identities, they just vanished. It’s really breathtaking when I think about it. The other thing that I learned is to map out my own abilities and boundaries, and to be more understanding towards myself when there’s something that my mind and body simply cannot do.
This is a set of experiences reported by neurodivergent people across the board, and is something the importance of which, I think, is underestimated by people who focus purely on the material conditions.
2.4. Neurodivergent oppression
Secondly, does neurodiversity form the basis of oppression?
Yes. Yeah. Absolutely.
In countries like my own, having a medical diagnosis from the neurodivergent bouquet draws many negative consequences — from lowering your employment chances, to possibly barring you from getting a drivers’ license, to influencing your chances of adoption, to many other areas of life. Shockingly, some countries like Australia or New Zealand even expressly bar some disabled immigrants, including autistics, from obtaining full citizenship.
Among autistics who can pass as neurotypical — at least some of the time — the life expectancy is much lower and suicide rates much higher than among neurotypical peers. Employment rates among neurodivergent groups — and autistics in particular — are very low, while financial support from the state is a joke in most countries, and very hard to access anyway. The correlation between forms of madness and neurodivergence, on the one hand, and homelessness and long-term unemployment, on the other, is so strong that we intuitively know it.
For capitalism this configuration is ideal and deliberately maintained. Disabled people act as a reserve army of labor, the threat of which is used to lower wages and weaken the force of organized labor — if conditions ask for it. (“If you don’t accept this wage/these conditions, we can always find someone who will”). As a Marxist analysis shows, this is a systemic product of capitalism, not just a particularity of our historical moment.
Furthermore, for those of us whose differences are more immediately visible and whose support needs are high, the forms that oppression can take are shocking. The ways in which equal personhood is still in the present being legally denied to some of us in various countries include:
- forced institutionalization,
- non-consensual sterilization,
- differentiated treatment in abortion laws,
- and torture with electroshocks,
just to name a few.
There is a long history of eugenic practices applied against neurodivergent and disabled people, the culmination of which was the outright murder of at least 300.000 people in the psychiatric system of nazi Germany. These practices persist to the present day in some states with laws that allow neurodivergent people to be sterilized against their will. In places like the Judge Rotenberg Center in the US, the application of electroshocks stronger than tasers which can lead to PTSD or even death, is still a legal practice. And worldwide, the most popular form of therapy for autistic people is a behavioral intervention, called Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), whose goal is to train autistics through pavlovian methods to repress their behaviors and act neurotypical — a practice that is very similar to conversion therapy for queer people, and was actually invented by the same person (O.I. Lovaas). Historically, oppression has taken other forms as well. In countries like Romania, up until a few years ago, when autistic people reached the age of 18, their official diagnosis was changed to mental r*tardation or schizophrenia, erasing with one stroke all autistic adults.
2.5. Compulsory neurotypicality
A less obvious way in which neurodivergent people are oppressed is what could be called compulsory neurotypicality — a term introduced by Adrienne Rich in the context of sexuality, and adapted to the sphere of disability by Robert McRuer and others. This construction doesn’t just mean the descriptive fact that the more privileged social locations hold more power in society. What the ‘compulsory’ construction highlights is the ways in which the majority options are projected onto every social action and interaction, therefore erasing any divergent meanings and possibilities.
Some of the ways compulsory neurotypicality can look like are the automatic assumptions that:
- writing/talking in dry, straight language means being passive-aggressive
- asking for clarifications means being intentionally obnoxious
- losing focus means not caring
- canceling on plans means not being interested
- forgetting things means not being serious
- making frequent typos means you are uneducated
- not having the ‘right’ reaction to a situation means having hidden motives,
- staring due to prosopagnosia (‘face blindness’) means disrespect, or harassment
- failure to implement verbal instructions means you are incompetent
and endless other examples.
At first glance these things might not seem very important, but they influence everything – from relationships to workplace dynamics – and the constant bombardment just grinds you down and drains all your energy.
So, where to from here?
3. Towards collective liberation
Almost all of the visions of utopia that we have consumed through books and media, represent futures in the absence of disability. Disability is regularly coded as the mark of no future or of negative futures. In the face of all this violence directed at us, ‘fuck the future’ can seem as the only viable crip response, as Alison Kafer notes in her wonderful book, Feminist, Queer, Crip. This, however, is not very satisfying to me and seems to fall right into the ableist and eugenicist narratives, involuntarily condoning the idea that the future is not something for us.
In Kafer’s words “[t]he task, then, is not so much to refuse the future as to imagine disability and disability futures otherwise, as part of other, alternate temporalities that do not cast disabled people out of time.” But this is hard. It is difficult to imagine futures devoid of ableism and neurodivergent oppression, because most of the examples that we have are of this type. Here are some lessons that I have learned from others that can guide our path.
3.1. Throwing away the master’s tools
The way in which autism, ADHD and other neurodivergent identities are currently viewed is accurately called a pathology paradigm. The language of ‘disorder’, ‘recovery’, ‘rehabilitation’, ‘high/low functioning’, ‘deficit’, define the way the mainstream perceives these differences — they determine what questions are meaningful to ask and what possible futures we can imagine.
Based on Audre Lorde’s eponymous essay, Nick Walker argues that ‘the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house’ — until we get rid of pathologizing language, we won’t be able to stop thinking that there is something inherently wrong with us. And this depathologizing movement has to start from the most fundamental level — the definitions of these conditions and differences.
Why is it so easy to accept autism being defined through ‘restricted interests’ and a ‘lack in socializing abilities’? Instead of talking about the capacity to spot details that others miss, the ability to systematize vast amounts of information, the ability of hyperfocus on a task for a prolonged time, a predisposition for hyperempathy, even being a very reliable and loyal friend — all of which are common traits among autistics. And so forth with ADHD and the gamut of divergent neurotypes.
To give a sense of what a more empowering example would look like, consider this definition by Nick Walker:
Autism is a genetically-based human neurological variant. Autistic brains are characterized by particularly high levels of synaptic connectivity and responsiveness. This tends to make the autistic individual’s subjective experience more intense and chaotic than that of non-autistic individuals: on both the sensorimotor and cognitive levels, the autistic mind tends to register more information, and the impact of each bit of information tends to be both stronger and less predictable.
Once we think of neurodivergence as difference rather than lack, the questions that we can ask are also different; and the answers we get can be surprising. For example, as recent research shows, what presents as a lack in social abilities in autistics when seen through a neurotypical lens, is actually just a particular language that autistics use — not deficient, not less complex, just different.
On a more day-to-day basis, casual unintended uses of pathologizing language can contribute to compound stress experienced by neurodivergents, and can erode trust if not addressed. Everytime i hear a comrade saying that racism is a mental illness, or equating capitalist greed with psychopaty or just casually calling a politician ‘handicapped’ as a derogatory stand-in for incompetence or corruption, a small part of that relationship dies.
We need to start from really seeing each other, and embracing our differences as a valuable part of our relationships and of the substance of society. And that starts from the everyday language and interactions that we have with each other.
3.2. On access needs and passing
For people like me who can pass as neurotypical and able-bodied, the greatest problem is the recognition of our access needs. There is an assumption that if you can look and act neurotypical – at least some of the time, like myself – your needs are not severe enough to warrant accommodations. It doesn’t matter if your brain explodes during work meetings or social events, it matters if you can be physically present and simulate engagement. It doesn’t matter if you are chronically tired and have to take sick leave after a family Sunday, it just matters that you are not a hermit that shuns sociality. Or so would some of our friends and many psychiatrists have us think.
Under the current coordinates of the system, if you wander outside the capitalist warp field, your social life is pulverized. As a consequence, we have learned to cut pieces of ourselves out in order to maintain the illusion. We always cut from where it’s not visible: time and energy spent with friends and family; spent cleaning the house; spent caring for ourselves; spent doing things that we love. And what happens when there is nothing left to cut? This, i think, is the experience of most of us who are able-pasing.
There is a great interview with the actor Michael J Fox, who has Parkinson’s. The interviewer asks him whether he can make his body stand still. He says yes, and proceeds with a demonstration. His twitching, contorting body suddenly becomes perfectly still. But his muscles are stiff. His gaze fixed. He says he cannot talk during this time, because it takes up all of his mental space and energy to control his body.
The first time I saw this clip, I broke down in tears. I’d never seen such a striking illustration of the struggle that goes on inside my own brain when I force eye-contact with someone, or when I’m in a space with multiple sources of lighting or noise, or am strongly masking to blend in.
Our access needs might not be immediately apparent. And most of us don’t know how to ask, because we have been conditioned to suck it up, to push through, and stop whining. For allies, learning to listen is a first step, yes. But this is not only about listening. It’s about learning to recognize the signs of struggle with ableism in someone’s face or movements. It’s about forming what Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha calls ‘crip emotional intelligence’; in her words:
It means not taking it personally sometimes, when another disabled person is short with you, is fumbling for words, is frustrated. Instead, you might assume that they just threw up for eight hours, have been fighting suicide for a week, […] and are struggling to decide what treatments to try. I’m not talking about excusing verbal abuse; I’m talking about the ways in which we cut each other slack. […] I’m talking about the gift we give each other of seeing what the able-bodied imagination refuses to see: that sick, disabled, Mad, Deaf, and neurodivergent lives, and the stress we hold from places where ableism rubs up against them ’til they chafe, are normal. This is the norm, the default we assume is happening, rather than being oddballs who don’t fit into an abled norm and have to apologize for it.
I am a person who is white, nonbinary, socialized in a toxic masculine culture, gray ace, disabled, autistic, and a precarious academic from a poor working class background, and the struggles that I face are representative of my social location. Having some privilege means your voice is louder in certain spheres than of those who are more marginalized, and it is important to constantly interrogate what narratives you center.
Autistic spaces often tend to be dominated by autistics who do not struggle with comorbidities like aphasia or dyspraxia or intellectual disability. These spaces tend to be very white and sometimes cishet. And the overwhelming majority of diagnosed or self-diagnosed autistics are from the western world. Growing up neurodivergent in working class Eastern Europe, in a post-socialist country is, for example, a topic I have rarely if ever seen being written about. More broadly, autistics, in general, tend to be overrepresented in neurodivergent spaces.
It’s also important to do the work of figuring out how the ‘less pleasant’ forms of neurodivergence like narcissistic or psychopathic personality fit into our worldview. How would the social experience of people living with these conditions be different in a non-capitalist radical neurodivergence-embracing world? How would a world look like in which their differences are valued, while not perpetuating and facilitating harm or oppressive practices?
These are difficult questions, which need to be engaged with as we map out the road to utopia.
Struggling with neurodivergence has also given me a different perspective on non-human brains. The ways in which society often devalues the minds of other animals – through judgements about mental skills and abilities which they purportedly lack in comparison to humans – seems, to me, very reminiscent of the way in which neurodivergent oppression is perpetuated. Thus, I’ve come to the personal understanding that total liberation is the only just way for moving forward. As long as unjust, uninterrogated hierarchies persist among groups, oppression will find a home amongst us.
4. Crip times: resisting neoliberal cooptation and forging utopia
I think that perhaps the greatest danger that the neurodiversity movement faces at the present is cooptation by neoliberal forces and the extinguishing of its radical potential.
The concept of neurodiversity has taken hold in the Western world and is slowly diffusing into semi-peripheral geographies like Romania. In essence this is a good thing. However, most of the discussions are about how to modify the workplace in order to accommodate the needs and valorize the skills of neurodivergent people. In itself this is not bad — unemployment is high, and people have to live somehow under capitalism. The problem, on one hand, is when this discussion takes up the entire space, with the common effect of further invisibilizing people with more extensive support needs and who cannot work a regular workday. On the other hand, this further allows capitalism to control the social organization of difference, as it has done with gender and race relations, with the facilitation of the extraction of profits being the prime directive.
Our nonnormative minds intrinsically resist the 8-hour workday, resist the quantification of our value as economic productivity, resist oppressive gender norms, resist unjust authority. There is sooo much radical potential inherent in our lives. We can not let capital set the tone for inclusion of neurodivergence in social life. And inclusion of disability and neurodivergence is not just a box to tick. Anti-ableism has to become a central part of the struggle, reframing how we think about our present and our futures.
As the large-scale collapse of ecosystems looms on the horizon, there is no one better prepared for it. Like Matsutake mushrooms, we know how to live in low-resource, disturbed environments – in the ruins of capitalism. We have persistently learned to hang on, fight, love and create worlds on the edge of the precipice – like barnacles – because our lives are like that all the time. As universal precarity becomes the hallmark of our present moment, we are already prepared to build something different. Listen to us.
We will limp, step, roll and slither towards a crip future, together. Or there will be no livable future for any of us.
to those who are proud, to those who are hidden, to those who are just wondering
whatever your journey is, it’s valid and it’s precious, and it’s worth pursuing
 Singer, Judy. “Odd people in: The birth of community amongst people on the “Autistic Spectrum”.” A personal exploration based on neurological diversity (Unpublished bachelor’s thesis). University of Technology, Sydney (1998).
 The introduction of the term neurodivergent is commonly attributed to the blogger Radical Neurodivergence Speaking, around 2010. The blog can be found at this link: https://timetolisten.blogspot.com/ Accessed October 6, 2023.
 Withers, A. J. Disability politics and theory. Fernwood Publishing, 2020.
 Mingus, Mia. “Mia Mingus, on Disability Justice.” EquitableEducation. December 1, 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cJkUazW-jw&t=109s Accessed October 6, 2023.
 Sins Invalid. “10 principles of disability justice.” Sins Invalid. September 17, 2015. https://www.sinsinvalid.org/blog/10-principles-of-disability-justice Accessed October 6, 2023.
 Mingus, Mia. “Re-envisioning the Revolutionary Body.” GVSU Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center. July 15, 2014.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fOl3gw2Wdk&t=4674s Accessed October 6, 2023.
 McClure, Tess. “New Zealand denies entry to autistic daughter of immigrant couple”. The Guardian. April 26, 2022. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/26/new-zealand-denies-entry-to-autistic-daughter-of-immigrant-couple Accessed October 6, 2023.
 One can find the scientific papers linked in the following articles: https://theconversation.com/autistic-people-are-six-times-more-likely-to-attempt-suicide-poor-mental-health-support-may-be-to-blame-180266 and https://www.stephaniebethany.com/blog/autism-and-life-expectancy Accessed October 6, 2023.
 Russell, Marta. Capitalism and disability: Selected writings by Marta Russell. Haymarket Books, 2019.
 Perry, BP. “Aktion T4 the Nazi euthanasia programme that killed 300,000”. SkyHistory. N.D. https://www.history.co.uk/article/aktion-t4-the-nazi-euthanasia-programme-that-killed-300000 Accessed October 6, 2023.
 Llach, Laura & Amiel, Sandrine. “Spain debates bill to scrap forced sterilisation of disabled people”. Euronews. January 21, 2020. https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2020/01/21/spain-debates-bill-to-scrap-forced-sterilisation-of-disabled-people Accessed October 6, 2023.
 Trigger warning: video includes images of a person bound and shocked. CBS Evening News. “Shocking people with autism, behavioral disorders stirs controversy”. CBS Evening News. August 6, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV5D2ZL0icM
 NeuroClastic. “ABA Horror Stories Are Far Too Common”. NeuroClastic. August 17, 2021. https://neuroclastic.com/aba-horror-stories-are-far-too-common/ Accessed October 6, 2023.
 Lieu. “I Was Part of the “Good ABA””. NeuroClastic. August 27, 2021. https://neuroclastic.com/i-was-part-of-the-good-aba/ Accessed October 6, 2023.
 Silberman, Steve. Neurotribes: The legacy of autism and the future of neurodiversity. Penguin, 2015.
 McRuer, Robert. Crip theory: Cultural signs of queerness and disability. NYU press, 2006.
 Kafer, Alison. Feminist, queer, crip. Indiana University Press, 2013.
 Walker, Nick. “Throwing Away the Master’s Tools: Liberating Ourselves from the Pathology Paradigm.” Neuroqueer. N.D. https://neuroqueer.com/throw-away-the-masters-tools/ Accessed October 6, 2023.
 Crompton, Catherine J., Danielle Ropar, Claire VM Evans-Williams, Emma G. Flynn, and Sue Fletcher-Watson. “Autistic peer-to-peer information transfer is highly effective.” Autism 24, no. 7 (2020): 1704-1712.
 Piepzna-Samarasinha, Leah Lakshmi. Care work: Dreaming disability justice. Vancouver: arsenal pulp press, 2018.
 Mocanu, Iulia. “Muncă și neurodiversitate. Aberații din lumea întreagă, uniți-vă!”. Cutra. November 15, 2022,
https://cutra.ro/munca-si-neurodiversitate-aberatii-din-lumea-intreaga-uniti-va/ and Sgârcitu, Maria și Negrea, Ileana. “Discriminarea care nu avea nume: sanismul. Sau Eu sunt săpoca: trecut sanist, viitor nebun”. Cutra. October 20, 2021. https://cutra.ro/discriminarea-care-nu-avea-nume-sanismul-sau-eu-sunt-sapoca-trecut-sanist-viitor-nebun/ Accessed October 6, 2023.
 Some autistic-run web pages/platforms to follow: NeuroClastic (https://neuroclastic.com/), Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (https://autisticadvocacy.org/), Autistic Women and Non-binary Network (https://awnnetwork.org/)
 Some autistic podcasts/channel/content-creators to follow: will be added soon.
 Nonspeakers Archive on NeuroClastic: https://neuroclastic.com/category/culture-identity/nonspeaker/
 List of Autistic Black/Indigenous/People of Color & Latinx Advocates to follow, compiled by the indigenous autistic mother of neurodivergent children writing under the name Autistic, Typing: https://www.facebook.com/AutisticTyping/posts/455214035079000
 Taylor, Sunaura. Beasts of burden: Animal and disability liberation. The New Press, 2017.
 McRuer, Robert. Crip times: Disability, globalization, and resistance. Vol. 1. NYU Press, 2018.
 Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt. The mushroom at the end of the world: On the possibility of life in capitalist ruins. Princeton University Press, 2015.
 SinsInvalid. “Episode 1: We Love Like Barnacles”. Into the Crip Universe [podcast]. October 17, 2020. https://www.sinsinvalid.org/podcast/2020/10/16/episode-1-foundations-of-climate-justice-and-disability-justice Accessed October 6, 2023.