Neurodiversity Advocates: Jim SInclair

Advocacy has changed a lot over the past few decades, especially when it comes to the topic of neurodiversity. Jim Sinclair was one of the earliest activists advocating for autistic people. He co-created one of the first websites that focused on autism, the spectrum and giving people information about it. The website, Autism Network InternationImage result for autism network internationalal allowed Jim to speak to an extremely large audience about the topic of neurodiversity. Jim started his advocacy in the 1980s and helped pioneer making autism more known to the public.



Throughout his advocacy career Jim has gone to many talks about autism, written articles, given interviews about autism and most importantly, created the website Autism Network International to reach even more people about his views on autism. His website features most of his articles about autism and perhaps his most famous one “Don’t Mourn Us” tells us how we should look at autism through the perspective of an autistic person. This is an extremely important article as Jim talks about how an autistic person views autism. It is powerful and really shows how neurotypical people really need to consider not just their own perspective when it comes to autism. While the website has been the majority of his advocacy work and while he is no longer a large activist, taking part in only small talks now, he was one of the first major autism activist and helped to spark the movement.

Image result for jim sinclair autismJim, who is autistic himself, received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in development and child psychology. Much of his writings about autism have become popular and have spread throughout the world in multiple languages, he is also a speaker at many autism conferences both nationally and internationally. Empathy was one of the first things he has in writing and he explains why it is different for autistic people to place themselves in another position without actually having done that themselves. He has gone on since and tackled a range of topics about autism from how autistic people should be referred to, (he prefers autistic person rather then person with autism) whether autism is something that should be ‘cured’ or not and explaining what it is like to have a child with autism and how parents should view that.

In one interview he talks about how autism is a culture. What he means by this is not the traditional sense of culture such as American culture. He refers to the culture of autistic people around the world by saying that growing up with autism is similar all around the world. He goes on to say how people should accept a person’s autism as part of their unique identity. This is something he spread through his work as a counselor.Image result for autism acceptance

Overall Jim Sinclair may not have the same impact now that he did in the 1980’s and 90’s but he was one of the leading autistic advocates during his time. He empowered autistic people across the world by speaking on their behalf and helping to spearhead the movement for widespread acceptance of autism.

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