A nation is great not by its size alone. it is the will, the cohesion, the stamina, the discipline of its people and the quality of its leaders which ensure it an honourable place in history. – Lee Kuan Yew (1963)
We autistics are a disadvantaged race seen as broken and undesirable. We are looked down upon as incompetent and immature by those meant to support us. We are oppressed by those who impose their culture onto us claiming to know what is good for us. We are exiled from many communities and relationships because of the different ways we express ourselves.
We seek a sanctuary where we may thrive in ways that are authentic and supportive of ourselves. We seek a home where we may work together with others on our terms and at our pace. We seek a space where we may live and work peacefully as equals in a world that often seems unfair, harsh, and cruel to us. We seek to create our unique path not based on following the unsuitable paths and lifestyles of other people.
We have been told that we cannot make it, but just like Singapore, we can achieve if we can find our unique approaches to success. We can tell our teammates that they can count on us to give our best and more. Together, we can work with all people to create a world where differences cease to divide us.
This is in contrast to the popular misconception we only need representation (advocacy), employment (a way to make a living) and housing (a place to stay). This perspective only sees the physical aspects (hardware). But what we also need is heartware – a community where we belong. We wish to end our exile in the desert of desolation to enter the Promised Land where we can co-exist in peace and contribute our unique gifts to Humanity.
We are not the colonies of our caregivers; we are sovereign individuals with dreams and aspirations.
We seek a home where we belong, a sanctuary to build our future, a community to grow together.
We pledge to work with all like-minded people, regardless of origin, status or ability, to make the world a better place.
We wish to be defined by our future potential and what we can do, rather than by our past limitations and what we cannot do.
We accept and work with our limitations and disadvantages, together with our strengths and advantages.
We choose to go beyond the present situation to re-imagine and re-create a new and better future for ourselves.
We share the same spirit as the nation on which this aspiration is born – a disadvantaged nation that the world did not believe can survive.