Dear Any Means Necessary,
Firstly let me say that I really love your work and designs. So chilling, intense. Interesting.
I logged on to your website today after receiving my subscription newsletter for the new Inktober plan for Mental Health Awareness and I spotted a new autism design.
Although fantastically drawn, I’m afraid it isn’t remotely correct.
I am autistic and female, if you like, an Aspie. This image doesn’t represent any Asperger’s person, but all Aspie’s are autistic. Your image appears to represent the very old stereotype that all autistic people can’t speak. This represents a severely autistic non-verbal person, which is only a small slice of the autism spectrum.
The tee is also listed under the mental health month for Inktober.
Autism isn’t a mental health issue. It is a developmental difference. A physical brain difference.
Portraying all autism affected people as one stereotypical non-verbal, unhappy image is absolutely wrong and could be very hurtful for someone young (or old!) who is coming to terms with a diagnosis.
Of course, mental health issues often run co-morbidly with autism, but they are not one and the same. Not everyone with autism has depression, however, and this is how this image represents us all.
Portraying a non-verbal autistic person as feeling like they want to scream all the time is also not correct. That is more likely ‘locked-in’ syndrome.
Please check one of the many autism websites for a more appropriate design pointer – perhaps taking the three triads of impairment as an inspiration, and perhaps, revisit your current design as it is incorrectly, and really quite hurtfully, stereotypical.
That said, best wishes, and keep up your otherwise stunning work.