Many autistic people have at least some language skills, and have started to speak and/or write for themselves about their experience. Along with neurotypical allies, they have started the autism rights movement to advocate the rights of autistic people. The use of the Internet has made it possible for autistics to present their perspective when they do not have the communication skills to do so offline. Even some mute autistics, such as Jasmine O'Neill, still write very well and present a case for societal acceptance of autism. These autistics do not desire a cure, but rather to be given opportunities to use their unique skills and perceptions in useful ways.

The position this movement considers most fundamental is the position that autism is not a disorder at all but simply a different way of being. They believe a cure for autism would destroy the original personality of the autistic person and replace them with a different (neurotypical) person. This movement has made ethical challenges to applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and mental institutions. The movement strives to include autistic adults in autism societies and provide services for autistic adults. They also wish to challenge descriptions of autism that they consider to be pitiful, insulting, and/or incorrect.

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