Frequently Asked Questions
Let me start by saying I’m not “the expert”. But I’m pretty sure I know myself quite well after living with autism for 35 years. I got diagnosed when I was 25. Before that, and I must say, after that as well, albeit a bit less, I struggled with life. With school, with work, with friends. When I found out that I’m autistic, I wanted to learn everything about it. So I ordered books, and read. But most books I read weren’t by autistic people, and some got it so very, very wrong…
I decided to start writing about autism. Not in a book, but on my blog. I’ve been blogging since 2004, so that made sense. My blogs got picked up by a publisher, with the book as a result.Last updated:
Own voices! I interview a number of autistic people, and tell my personal story. I go over the most common scientific theories, and give my opinion on them. The book ends with 8 things we don’t ever want to hear again. “You don’t look autistic?” Yep, on the list. People tell me the book is funny, but some others say autistics lack sarcasm, so that must have happened by accident.Last updated:
First of all, get a translator. I’ve already found an amazing girl to work with, so that box is checked. After her initial translation, we need correctors/proofreaders. I also want to update the book with additional, international interviews. I might need to travel for that.
When the book is finished, it goes to a graphic designer to make the inside look perfect. We’ll probably use the same graphic designer that did the Dutch book. As for the cover... I already designed that. A year ago.
Then the big unknowns. Printing. Distribution. Transportation. Storage. A percentage goes to my Dutch publisher, because they contributed to the original. And then there’s marketing and promotion.
If after all that there’s still money left, that will be my earnings, and with that I’ll fly to Japan to recover from all the stress this project will most likely cause. Looking forward to that.
The goal of this Kickstarter is a minimum, to make sure I can do what I intend to: get the book translated. But please don’t stop there. I assume most of you will back this project in exchange for a book, so every backer is an extra sale. Let’s make this book an international bestseller as well!Last updated:
Someone pointed out to me that the translation of my intro text said "when you have autism", instead of "when you're autistic". I will touch on this more elaborately in my book, but let me tell you my opinion on this.
Many autistics prefer to be called just that: autistic. A lot of parents and professionals on the other hand, are taught that it's better to say "person with autism". So-called person-first-language. They think that by addressing us this way, they're saying we're a person too, not just autism. Quite a number of autistic people want to be called autistic, because that's who they are: autism is an essential part of their being. That's identity-first-language. They feel like saying "person with autism" sounds like "person with a disease". Something that needs a cure. They don't need a cure, they need understanding. And I totally agree with that.
Yet, I use the terms interchangeably. That has multiple reasons. First, there's also people that do like to be called "people with autism". Because they feel like "autistic" is kind of a slur. I guess this is more so in Dutch, and I will pay attention to that in the translation process, because we might be able to shift the balance a little bit. "Autist" in Dutch sounds way harsher than "autistic" in English. The crude translation we have now is still very literal, and I do prefer to use "autistic" more. So I did change the intro of this kickstarter.
Second, I really believe that intention matters. I also believe that I, as an autistic person myself, can describe myself however I want. And I don't believe in excessive policing of other people's speech. It distracts from the message. Sometimes "people with autism" just works better in a sentence.
I don't believe "people with autism" need to be cured. When I use the phrase, I don't imply that. I also don't believe "autistic people" are only that, and have no other distinctive traits. It should be obvious that we're complex people, and that there will always be other factors at play.Last updated:
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