So what’s this hashtag all about?
When autism was first included in the DSM in 1980, it laid the foundation for generations of people to be formally identified as autistic. Previously, parents, teachers, and other caretakers had no formal, common language or accessible information about the minority of people who were so clearly different than most. For all its controversy, inclusion of autism in the DSM was the beginning of much needed light being shone in the darkness.
After 1980, children who were identified as autistic early in life grew up with an awareness of their differences that was unavailable to the generations before them. Identification may not have yielded ideal outcomes (and in many cases was harmful and/or fatal) but identification allowed families, institutions, and autistic people themselves to realize that autistic people aren’t the same as non-autistic people. That was a problematic yet valuable societal change.
Those children are now adults and they have tools, coping strategies, and points of view that could greatly benefit the community at large. Enter the YAAS hashtag. When combined with #ActuallyAutistic, a conversation is born!
What does all this mean for you?
Whether you’ve recently realized you are (or might be) autistic or have sought out a formal diagnosis, you probably have questions. Who better to share their strategies and life hacks that your very own community?
How to use the hashtag
- Tweet any question you have about anything at all related to your neurodiverse life. Include both hashtags: #YAAS and #ActuallyAutistic.
- Volunteer mentors — all of whom are under 40 — will Tweet to your aid.
Mentors will do their very best to give you their personal perspective based on real experience, point you to resources that may help, or just be there to listen. What’s better than that, right?
Give it a try. No topic is taboo. No question is wrong. And it’s free!
So what are you waiting for?
The Young Autistic Adult Squad is waiting to glow up your life. Tweet both #YAAS & #ActuallyAutistic hashtags with your question. That’s it!
No topic is taboo. No question unaskable.Tweet now!
And, as always, for more general questions, #AskingAutistics is always there for you.
Want to be a mentor?
If you want to join the growing legion of mentors, hit me up here or on Twitter. I’ll add you so can check the hashtag combo for questions, help out when you can, and take a break at any time. Each one teach one, right?
Already a mentor?
Here’s how this works. When you volunteer to be part of #YAAS, you’ve made a public promise. You’ll be added to the list as a mentor and sought out for your experiences and advice.
- Add your involvement as a mentor to your profile (optional). Wording is up to you.
- Check the hashtag combos at least once per week (twice or thrice are better!)
- When you see a question where your input would be welcome, respond!
Whenever you’d like to scale back your involvement for any reason at all, just message me and it shall be done. Want back in? Let me know. That’s all there is to it!
Remember the times you needed a little help or advice but didn’t know where to turn? Now you can lift that feeling away from someone else. Thank you for giving of yourself. May your kindness and generosity return to you many times over.