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Stim - An Autistic Anthology


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Who do you picture when you think of an autistic person? Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory, Rain Man, the boy from Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time? These are the responses you’ll get from most people. Not the most diverse line up of voices, not least because they are all fictional, and all follow a really specific set of characteristics: good at maths, socially inappropriate, male, strange.

Dialogue around autism often follows a bleak and cliched path -- “problem” children, parents desperately seeking answers and cures, unemployment -- and it has been neurotypical people who have often led the discussion on autism in the wider media, the parents, carers, doctors, and experts. They are the ones on the daytime tv sofas, in parliament, or writing about their experiences with us. While these voices are important, the balance is tipped, and rarely do we get to use our own voices to talk about our experiences or to show how creative, smart and funny we are, how different from the stereotype most people have.

But the tide is starting to turn, and autistic people are taking the chance to speak for themselves, rather than being spoken about. The stereotypical view of autism we once had is starting to slip away, and the more representation there is, the more this will happen.

Autistic people have routinely been denied the opportunity to share their own stories, and we want to change that.

This anthology represents an important step in reclaiming that power, of using our own voices. This book brings together some of the best autistic writers.

What does stim mean? Stimming is the nickname for ‘stimulatory behaviours’, the repetitive self soothing movements that are a well recognised trait of autistic people. In many harmful autistic therapies, stimming is forcefully repressed; I want to reclaim this word as something powerful.

Grace Au
Nell Brown
Helen Carmichael
Mrs Kerima Çevik
Agri Ismaïl
Laura James
Katharine Kingsford
Rachael Lucas
Ashleigh Mills
Tristain Alice Nieto
Reese Piper
Cornelia Prior
Megan Rhiannon
Robert Shepherd
Waverly SM
Amelia Wells
Gemma Williams
Tjallien de Witte

Edited by: Lizzie Huxley-Jones

Date Published: 2 April 2020