1) When giving feedback and views on WACS:
Don’t: Take things personally; attack people’s morality and intentions.
Don’t: Give feedback without caring about others’ feelings and state opinions with the intention of disrespecting others.
Don’t: Stop contributing relevant views and opinions because of previous unrelated incidents on WACS or other communities.
Do: Contribute practical solutions that others probably have not heard of.
Do: Give enough time for other participants to contribute.
Do: Facilitate and support the sharing of other participants by clarifying or adding on to their points.
Do: Be respectful of the views of other participants even if we personally disagree with them.
2) When encountering fellow autistics who disagree:
Don’t: Refuse to greet and speak to them because of personal disagreements.
Don’t: Post long emotional rants and then call it “giving feedback”.
Don’t: Condemn anything less than perfect as unacceptable.
Do: Consider the personal needs, emotions and situation of fellow autistics.
Do: Leave room for personal growth and learning when assessing the competency and efforts of fellow autistics.
Do: Accept different approaches/beliefs and find win-win solutions to work with them.
Do: Accept and appreciate imperfect efforts as part of the long journey towards competency and inclusion.
3) When seeing a lack of inclusion and support:
Don’t: Educate people about our views while ignoring their needs, emotions and situation.
Don’t: Say there is nothing we can do about our situation until mainstream society changes.
Don’t: Say we don’t really care how bad things get.
Don’t: Say we are “forced” to advocate or speak out.
Do: Reach out to all the stakeholders to understand their needs and why the status quo exists.
Do: Propose practical solutions that can be implemented immediately or soon.
Do: Take action to do projects that can start solving issues.
Do: Set a personal example of what the golden standard of inclusion should look like.
4) When mentoring fellow autistics:
Don’t: Encourage them to follow controversial and divisive role models likely to be detrimental to their life situation and well-being.
Don’t: Encourage them to follow their dreams/passions unconditionally even when these conflict with their life situation and well-being.
Don’t: Tell them that obtaining formal education/qualifications automatically grants credibility.
Don’t: Take pride in on-going challenges such as the inability to adapt to the local job market.
Do: Advise suitable solutions and developmentally appropriate role models for mentees.
Do: Be a good role model for how to create change effectively.
Do: Be a good role model for how to handle situations in an emotionally mature manner.
Do: Be a good role model to demonstrate how we can be adaptable even in a tough and disadvantageous situation.