Editor’s Note: Anti-autistic Wikipedia editors have long been vandalizing and rewriting the narrative around autism and neurodiversity, with the most aggressive editing directed at non-speaking autistics.
As a result, many of their pages have been deleted. The Aspergian, in an act of purposeful protest, is reposting the articles which have been removed. We will be adding links to the author’s and organization’s personal sites, and encourage all autistics and allies to read more from non-speaking autistics. Click here for other articles deleted from Wikipedia or to read about efforts to silence autistics.
Special thanks to Ren Everett for taking the lead on this project. Poem, “Voice,” taken from Lucy Blackman’s page at Brotherhood of the Wordless.
She was the first nonspeaking autistic person in Australia to become a published author with her book, Lucy’s Story (2001). Having begun to use typed communication in adolescence, Lucy progressed to being an independent typer via the communication technique of facilitated communication training through Melbourne’s DEAL Communication Centre, run by Rosemary Crossley, beginning at the age of 14.
As an adult, Blackman has given public presentations on her experiences with autism and the importance to her of facilitated communication in having given her a voice. Advocates of facilitated communication reference Blackman’s case as providing strong evidence supporting this technique as a viable pathway to communication where verbal speech may otherwise never develop.
“I find it difficult to understand why other people are more interested in the process of what I produce than the content.” –Lucy Blackman
In all my personal interactions with Lucy Blackman, I have found her opinionated, articulate, humorous, ever so candid, and always ready to challenge my ideas or anyone else’s. In her chapter, these qualities persist. At several points, she suggests that my questions are from a nonautistic perspective and therefore not about topics that she would herself choose to discuss; she seems to find mine annoying. For that matter, she questions other normate takes on autism as well. For example, she points out that if experts insist on focusing on communication impairment and social interaction as diagnostic markers for autism, then the field may fail to notice other factors that lead to these “peculiarities” [Blackman’s term].
- Lucy’s Story: Autism and Other Adventures by Lucy Blackman. Foreword & Afterword by Tony Attwood (Jessica Kingsley, 2001) ISBN 978-1-84310-042-3, also published with the title Lucy’s Story: Theoretical and Research Studies Into the Experience of Remediable and Enduring Cognitive Losses by the University of British Columbia Press ISBN 1-84310-042-8.
- Review by Christi Kasa-Hendrickson in Facilitated Communication Digest, The newsletter of the Facilitated Communication Institute vol.9, no.1, 2001 Syracuse University
- “Reflections on Language” by Lucy Blackman, pp. 146–167 in Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone ed. by Douglas Biklen. New York University Press, (2005) ISBN 0-8147-9928-0
- “Strategies to Teach Improved Behaviours to a Non-Speaking Adolescent and Adult Who Had Not Received Formal Early Intervention,” by Lucy Blackman and Mary A. Blackman. Presentation with video at The ARMS Global Autism Conference, Brisbane (2006) Abstract
- Biklen, Douglas, et al. (2005). Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone. New York University Press, p. 145. ISBN 0-8147-9928-0
- Lucy Blackman at Brotherhood of the Wordless