|Autism rights movement|
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.
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 Baggs' In My Language.
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 the Simon's Rock College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Several classmates of Baggs have subsequently claimed that Baggs "spoke, attended classes, dated, and otherwise acted in a completely typical fashion." Baggs does not dispute those details online, but claims a loss of all functional speech in Baggs' 20s.
In addition to autism, Baggs has also been diagnosed with and writes about other disabilities, including bipolar disorder, dissociative disorder, psychotic disorder, and gastroparesis. Baggs moved from California to Vermont in order to be closer to a friend in 2005.
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