This is a page just for you who would like to be the center of your own cause. There is a growing number of us attending UC Davis every year, and so we would like to increase public acceptance of our differences.
"Help us find the missing piece of the puzzle"
"Let's put an end to this epidemic!"
"Autism is a devastating disorder that kidnaps healthy children, leaving behind an empty shell"
There are several online organizations created by autistics themselves, and many of us would agree that these scare tactics are very offensive and only further spread misunderstanding. Although we do not deny that there is a disability in place, many of us would much rather be accepted the way we are (and given supports to help us live more independently), than to be "cured" of our alternative way of thinking. Many of us embrace a radical new concept called "Neurodiversity," the idea that no two brains are alike, and that sometimes it is society that causes us problems rather than our atypical thinking style.
The MIND Institute
As students attending UC Davis, you may be aware that there is the MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders). It places a large emphasis on autism research, so the staff could really use our voices.
Tips for the newcomers on the spectrum
Get yourself registered with the Student Disability Center as quickly as possible. Let your parents help you if you are having trouble. Try figuring out what accommodations you need. Sometimes you will not know immediately.
Be prepared for group work, because most of your discussion sections will require it to some extent.
Use your cell phone or other electronic devices to keep yourself organized and stay up to date with midterms, finals, assignments, etc. Regularly check your electronic calendar so that you do not forget important events.
Try getting a single occupancy room so that you do not have to worry about getting along with roommates. If you do have roommates, follow the same guidelines that are given to the general group. Chances are, you will have the same social issues, just at a more pronounced degree.
There is a grace period in the first few weeks of school, in which it is okay to join random groups in the cafeteria. Use it to your advantage so that you get an opportunity to search your networks. Stick to asking questions about majors, residence areas, hometowns, all those general "meeting people" topics. Later on, you may encounter some friends worth keeping, and then you can tell them more about yourself.
It will not be wise to join random groups after the grace period ends, because people will have formed their cliques by then, and it will be very awkward.
JOIN CLUBS if you want to meet people with common interests!
Do not feel pressured to build huge networks in the dorms, if you do not find the people particularly interesting. If you are worried that others might label you a "loner," go to the Dining Commons as soon as they open, and regularly rotate around the three (Tercereo, Segundo, Cuarto) to decrease your visibility amongst the crowd. But know that most students are too busy to care how others live their lives.
Follow all the guidelines given to you at summer orientation and the beginning of the year.
Most of all, have fun! (on your own terms)
Autism Speaks has an annual walk in Sacramento, usually around October. In 2011, ASAN Sacramento held its first protest against Autism Speaks. If you are curious as to why ASAN has an issue with Autism Speaks, check out some YouTube videos and our website.
Another Autism Speaks protest took place October 14, 2012
Resources to Consider
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