About

Autism Advocacy Network

AAN is about developing and harnessing technology to empower autistic self-advocacy. We can use technology to understand social context and to aid in autism advocacy awareness. The Autism Advocacy Network provides in-house services and tools based on data science and an online social platform. This platform will expand to an online email system to offer self-advocates a way to be heard while providing additional protection to their privacy.

Most autism self-advocates have not had access to readily available tools developed with the help of data science and machine learning. By contrast, large corporations have used similar tools, along with large budgets, for their awareness and advocacy agendas. Autism Advocacy Network exists to help empower autistic self-advocacy with technology developed by autistic self-advocates. Autism Advocacy Network is an assistive technology platform that provides social reciprocity technology.

Founded By An Autistic

My name is Nathan Young, and I founded the Autism Advocacy Network platform after spending approximately six years studying computer programming and achieving my IBM Data Science Professional Certification with the help of social services support staff. I grew up in a military family and I firmly understand and respect the freedoms guaranteed in the constitution. I believe that diverse ideas should be welcomed and celebrated in autism advocacy. To me, autism self-advocacy is about respecting and empowering the individual to think openly and creatively instead of empowering one set of ideas or beliefs.

Respecting Individuals

AAN values policies that encourage and allow for diverse ideas to constructively co-exist. Tolerance of diverse ideas is important so that new ways of thinking can evolve, become appreciated, or be recognized as acceptable. Without this fundamental respect for diverse ideas, reconciliation and change can be slower, if not impossible. The Socratic Method is a communication style that allows for a constructive dialogue between individuals.

AAN believes in the Socratic Method:

This method is named after the Classical Greek philosopher Socrates and is an examination of the underlying beliefs we hold to be true. Asking questions to stimulate critical thinking, draw out one’s ideas, and identify underlying presuppositions is the main goal of this form of communication. To this end, AAN facilitates online communication and participation, without enforcing belief in a particular agenda or point of view, other than respect for the dignity of individuals.

In its simplest form, the Socratic method is a series of questions that allow us to examine our beliefs and assumptions. The process of asking and answering questions can help us to clarify our thoughts and to see the beliefs we hold from a different perspective.

The Socratic method is particularly well suited to internet forums; people from all over the world can come together to discuss ideas and share their perspectives on a forum. By respectfully asking questions and encouraging others to do the same, we can create a space for critical thinking and open dialogue.

It is true that the Socratic method can be an effective tool for learning, but it is not without its challenges. The process of asking and answering questions can be time-consuming, and it’s impossible to ensure that everyone understands something the same way. Additionally, the internet can be a breeding ground for trolls and people who are not interested in an open and honest discussion. To combat this malicious behavior, AAN employs common sense moderation when a lack of respect like name-calling or the destruction of opinions occurs by means of bullying. AAN believes that all people deserve respect so that they can have their dignity preserved. Communication should be about fact-finding, science, and collaboratively achieving conclusions in a dignified way.

AAN believes in honoring different ways of thinking:

Different ways of thinking should not be alienated as it is important to be able to think in different ways in order to be successful. Different ways of thinking include critical thinking, creative thinking, and scientific thinking.

Critical thinking is the ability to think about a problem or issue in a clear, logical, and analytical way. It involves making a judgment about something based on evidence and reasoning.

Creative thinking is the ability to come up with new, original, and innovative ideas. It involves thinking outside the box and looking at things from a different perspective.

Scientific thinking is the ability to use the scientific method to solve problems. It involves gathering data, forming hypotheses, testing hypotheses, and analyzing results.

All three of these ways of thinking are important and should not be alienated. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, and they can all be used to complement each other. For example, critical thinking can be used to evaluate ideas generated by creative thinking, and scientific thinking can be used to test the validity of those ideas.

Different ways of thinking should not be alienated as they are all important and can be used to complement each other.

AAN believes in preserving dignity and forgiveness whenever possible:

It is said that to err is human, and to forgive is divine. But what about dignity? Is forgiveness always the best option?

It is important to remember that we always have a choice when it comes to forgiveness. We can choose to forgive or not to forgive, and either option is okay. What is most important is that we act in a way that is true to ourselves and allows us to heal. Remember we are all human and are prone to mistakes, and forgiving others for being human and making them shows strength in character.