Amanda Melissa Baggs (born 1980) is an American blogger who predominantly writes on the subject of autism. Baggs reportedly does not speak and has been labeled as having low-functioning autism.
In January 2007, Baggs posted a video on YouTube entitled In My Language describing the experience of living as a person with autism, which became the subject of several articles on CNN. Baggs also guest-blogged about the video on Anderson Cooper's blog and answered questions from the audience via email. About Baggs, Sanjay Gupta said:
|“||She told me that because she doesn't communicate with conventional spoken word, she is written off, discarded and thought of as mentally retarded. Nothing could be further from the truth. As I sat with her in her apartment, I couldn't help but wonder how many more people like Amanda are out there, hidden, but reachable, if we just tried harder.||”|
A Campbell, California native, Baggs went to Center for Talented Youth summer programs as a child and, in the mid-1990s, was a student at Simon's Rock College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Several classmates of hers claimed that she "spoke, attended classes, dated, and otherwise acted in a completely typical fashion." Baggs does not dispute those details online.
In addition to autism, Baggs has also been diagnosed with and writes about other disabilities, including bipolar disorder, dissociative disorder, psychotic disorder, schizophrenia and gastroparesis. Baggs moved from California to Vermont in order to be closer to a friend in 2005.
Video artist Mark Leckey admitted that he is, in a sense, envious of Baggs' empathic relationship to inanimate objects. The singing at the beginning of Leckey's video Prop4aShw is from In My Language.
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- Baggs, Amanda. on YouTube. Retrieved 23 February 2007.
- Gajilan, A. Chris. "Living with autism in a world made for others". CNN, February 22, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
- Gupta, Sanjay. "Behind the veil of autism". CNN, 20 February 2007. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
- Abedin, Shahreen. "Video reveals world of autistic woman". CNN, Anderson Cooper blog, 21 February 2007. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
- Cooper, Anderson. "Why we should listen to 'unusual' voices". CNN, Anderson Cooper blog, February 21, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
- "Amanda Baggs answers your questions". CNN, Anderson Cooper blog, 22 February 2007. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
- Amy S.F. Lutz (2013-01-16). "Autism neurodiversity: Does facilitated communication work, and who speaks for the severely autistic?". Slate.com. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- Baggs, Mel. "Feeding tubes and weird ideas".
- "Living With Autism In A World Made For Others". CNN.com. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "The Language of Autism". Well.blogs.nytimes.com. February 28, 2008. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- Jonathan Griffin, A Thing for Things, Frieze, Issue 160, January 2014.
- "Mark Leckey". We Find Wilderness. Retrieved 11 June 2015.