Monday, May 27, 2013

Black Voices: Ondrea Marisa Robinson

Author and Autistic Self Advocate Ondrea Marisa Robinson is one of many outspoken Black Autistic Voices for Autism not well enough known in our community. She is trying to find her way among ableist and racist backlash and critics who try to diminish her accomplishments by implying she is using her impariments as a crutch. This is something we all fight each day, whether we are autistic disabilty rights advocates, or parent advocates. Ondrea's candid book about her life will be featured this month, but I wanted to introduce her to our community. Please amplify her voice and help her continue her success. Her biography in her own words:


Photo ©Ondrea Marisa Robinson
Hi. I'm Ondrea. Here is my biography:
Ondrea Marisa Robinson was born in Woonsocket, RI, on February 11, 1981. When she was three years old, she taught herself how to read and write, but she would not speak in full sentences or make eye contact. She was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified at the age of 3, but she did not realize she had autism until she was 18 (even though she knew she was different). Even though she was very smart and loved doing school work, especially English, Computer Science, French, and Spanish, she was picked on, and she was not a happy camper at times, because some of the students and even some of the teachers were not that understanding. But thankfully, she made it to the Honor Roll every quarter during her 6th to 12th grade years (allowing her to be on the National Honor Society, graduating 22nd of her class in 1999) and attended Sawyer School for a one-year program in Business and Office Information Systems/Word Processing, graduating in October 2000 with a 3.90 (B-plus) grade point average. Then in May 2011, she obtained her Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts-English at the Community College of Rhode Island with a 3.44 (B-minus) grade point average. She is also an autism advocate, and she has spoken about her life experiences around the state of Rhode Island, including at the Community College of Rhode Island, the University of Rhode Island, and Rhode Island College. Even though she has been told by some people that she was using autism as a crutch or that she spoke about it too much or that she could be healed from autism, she has autism, but autism does not have her. 
A review of her book Living with Autism, will be coming up in before Summer's end.


This is part of a series of posts in protest of John Elder Robison's "The Myth of the Black Aspergian" two part article, in which Mr. Robison engages in speculation on the existence of people of color with Asperger's Syndrome, and further implies disturbing reasons as to why they do not seem prominent or vocal in the community. They are here with strong voices,  Mr. Robison is just not listening. 



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