Jim Sinclair (activist)
|Autism rights movement|
Jim Sinclair is an autism-rights movement activist who, with fellow autistics Kathy Lissner Grant and Donna Williams, formed Autism Network International (ANI) in 1992. Sinclair became the original coordinator of ANI.
Sinclair has said that they did not speak until age 12. Sinclair was raised as a girl, but self-identifies as “intersexed.” In their introduction to the Intersex Society of North America, they wrote that they “remain openly and proudly neuter, both physically and socially.” In 1998, they were a graduate student of rehabilitation counseling at Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y.
Sinclair wrote the essay, “Don’t Mourn for Us,” with an anti-cure perspective on autism. The essay has been thought of by some to be a touchstone for the fledgling autism-rights movement, and has been mentioned in the The New York Times and New York Magazine.
You didn’t lose a child to autism. You lost a child because the child you waited for never came into existence. That isn’t the fault of the autistic child who does exist, and it shouldn’t be our burden. We need and deserve families who can see us and value us for ourselves, not families whose vision of us is obscured by the ghosts of children who never lived. Grieve if you must, for your own lost dreams. But don’t mourn for us. We are alive. We are real.
—Jim Sinclair, “Don’t Mourn for Us,” Our Voice, Vol. 1, No. 3, 1993
Sinclair also expresses their frustration with the double-standard autistic people face, such as being told their persistence is "pathological" when neurotypical people are praised for their dedication to something important to them.
- Shapiro, Joseph (26 June 2006). "Autism Movement Seeks Acceptance, Not Cures". NPR. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- "Autreat 1998: Presenters". Autreat. 1998.
- Harmon, Amy (2004-12-20). "How About Not ‘Curing’ Us, Some Autistics Are Pleading". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Leith, Sam (16 February 2013). "Family Differences". The Spectator. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- Sinclair, Jim (1997). "Self-introduction to the Intersex Society of North America". Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- "Learning to Live With Autism". Syracuse Herald Journal. 16 August 1999. Retrieved 2 March 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- Solomon, Andrew (2008-05-25). "The Autism Rights Movement". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
- Sinclair, Jim (1993). "Don’t mourn for us". Autreat. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
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