I’m starting to put together a page of links to stuff (webpages and books) written by autistic people who use augmentative communication (at least a good chunk of the time, even when not always). The motivation behind this is similar to my motivation behind putting together the Autistic Authors Booklist, which was largely because people were always acting like only three autistic authors existed and it was getting really tiresome when I had books by easily dozens, and also because people were under the impression that vastly more female than male authors existed which also turned out not to be the case.
In this case, I recently got a comment along the lines of, “So if you communicate by typing, where are the rest of the people like you?” And I realized I’d known people before who’d never heard of any auties who couldn’t speak having written any books.
There are a lot of them, with varying degrees of usable speech, varying times of acquiring speech, varying kinds of communication devices, varying levels of loss of speech, various levels of physical and/or emotional independence accessing communication devices, etc. And of course most of those can vary within one person, so there’s people who speak and type independently and use facilitated communication, and it can surprise people in which order some learned.
That’s the list I’ve come up with so far.
I know I’m leaving a lot of people out. It was easiest to find FC users because of the FC Institute’s website having a lot of their writing. I know there’s others, as well as people who don’t use FC at all but use augmentative communication. I’d be interested in knowing who I missed (with links to their writing) so I can add them to that list, as well as any writing I’ve missed by the people on the list already.
And as reference, one thing I’m not doing is trying to say that this makes anyone more or less “really” autistic, more or less credible, or anything else. So I’m not too interested in engaging in either “This person doesn’t really type” discussions, or “Wow these are the real autistics and all those speaking kinds are just pretending or not as knowledgeable about autism” discussions. I hear enough of both of those the rest of the time. I get enough questions about whether I actually exist or not that I don’t want to do that to anyone else. And having read the writing of a lot of autistic people who’re regarded as all over the “spectrum”, I’ve seen what I regard as both clueful and clueless stuff both coming from all over people’s perceived positions on said landscape. So no need to say that I’m going to disregard all people who communicate in X, Y, or Z fashion.