In the context of autism, an ally is someone who isn’t autistic but who wants to learn from us, hang with us, promote us, defend us, understand our perspective… Whether this is to improve the rights of an individual, give international talks, write books or papers, raise awareness locally. Allies come from a starting point as being relatives or friends of at least one autistic person. They can also be from professional contexts – academia, the medical profession, therapy and support groups – allies in professional roles have such power to make real change. One of the main reasons for this is beautifully put by an author on the ASAN network: “We spend a great deal of time spoonfeeding 101-level information to hostile people who resent listening to us-these people take the same information (like why Autism $peaks is bad) much better from non-autistics” click here → to read that blog post.

In their book The #Actually Autistic Guide to Advocacy, Brunton & Gensic explain that, whilst setting out with good intentions, “neurotypicals really shouldn’t designate themselves as allies”, they can make it clear that they are willing to learn how to be an effective ally (and they set about explaining how to do this in their book), but in the end, it is down to us to choose our allies as “validation comes from the Autistic community” (p.20).

Here are a couple of websites with some essential information on how to be an effective non-autistic ally to autistic people → Click here and here←