Article on Sue Rubin

Editor’s Note: Anti-autistic Wikipedia editors have long been vandalizing and rewriting the narrative around autism and neurodiversity, with the most aggressive editing directed at non-speaking autistics.

As a result, many of their pages have been deleted.  The Aspergian, in an act of purposeful protest, is reposting the articles which have been removed.  We will be adding links to the author’s and organization’s personal sites, and encourage all autistics and allies to read more from non-speaking autistics. Click here for other articles deleted from Wikipedia or to read about efforts to silence autistics.

Special thanks to Ren Everett for taking the lead on this project and to Sue Rubin and her family for helping to provide additional resources.

Sue Rubin

At four, Sue Rubin was diagnosed with autism and mental retardation. Rubin attended public day classes in special education until she was in high school. At thirteen, testing at the 2½ year level, she was introduced to facilitated communication training, which begins with physical touch, emotional, and communicative support.

After five years, Rubin was able to type independently, graduating from high school with honors. Rubin graduated from Whittier College in May, 2013, with a BA in Latin American History. The only academic accommodation Rubin received was extra time on exams and homework.

Rubin has received many honors. She carried the 1996 Olympic Torch in Los Angeles as a Community Hero.  She has also received a number of awards, including Cal-TASH’s 1st annual Mary Falvey Outstanding Young Person Award (1998), the Autism Society’s Wendy F. Miller Award (1999) as the annual outstanding individual with autism, the Supported Life Institute Award (2000), and the Baron Inspirational Award from Vista Del Mar, LA (2011). In 2002, Rubin joined Phi Alpha Theta, International Honor Society in History.

Sue has presented at over 100 conferences, workshops, and classes, was the subject of two PBS Life and Times programs, has had two articles published in the L.A. Times, two in TASH Connections and one in Disability and Society, and has written chapters for the books Education for All: Critical Issues in the Education of Children and Youth with Disabilities; Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone, and Sharing Our Wisdom.

Sue was the subject and writer of the 2004 Academy Award-nominated, Autism is a World, and was featured in We Thought You’d Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism. She was the subject of the article “My Mind Began to Wake Up” in Newsweek in 2005.  Sue was a community teacher for Included in the Picture, a series of documentary shorts created in 2019 at UCLA. Sue also was an elected member of TASH’s National Board of Directors for two terms and served on the Board of Directors of Cal-TASH.

She is the owner and CEO of Sue Rubin Consulting, offering autism related presentations and consulting for various audiences.  She lives in Whittier, CA, with support, and enjoys an active social and cultural life.

References, Media Appearance, & Articles

Post Secondary Education” The Communicator, Spring, 2019, Vol.25, No.1

“We Thought You’d Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism”, 2009, DVD, The Hussman Foundation. One of six people interviewed.

I Am Sue Rubin”, The Autism Perspective, Summer, 2005, Vol.1, Issue 3, 38-39.

Writer and subject of Academy Award nominated documentary, Autism is a World, appeared on CNN, May 22, 2004

My Mind Began to Wake Up,” Newsweek, Februay 28, 2005.

Featured in autism segment, KCET-TV, ”Life and Times” Oct. 23, 2002.

NLM Foundation Meeting on People with Autism as Self-Advocates,” TASH Connections, June, 2002, 28(6), 25.

“Matching a Thinking System to a Student,” TASH Connections, May, 2002, Vol.28. No.5. 17

“Independence, Participation, and the Meaning of Mental Retardation,” Disability and Society, May 2001, 16(3), principal author, with D. Biklen, C. Kasa-Henrickson et al.

“My Experience with Inclusion: I Was Seen as a Competent Person.” National Association of Social Workers, California News, May 2000, 26(8), 19-21.

Subject of video, “Appearances versus Reality/ Success in College By a Low-Functioning Autistic Individual,” October, 1998.

“They Assured Me I Would Be Welcome”, The Rock, V.69, No.2, Summer 1998.

Subject of “Life and Times” segment, KCET, channel 28, aired July 15, 1997.

“My Own Story,” My Handi-Capable Reporter, V.1, No.9, Nov. 1996.

“New Frontiers” poem published in Tomorrow Never Knows,  The National Library of Poetry, 1995.

Subject of “Life and Times” segment, KCET, Channel 28, aired Dec. 20, 1995.

Interview on Cable Channel 65, “Long Beach Community Forum,” aired Dec. 4, 1995 and Dec. 15, 1995.

“Killing Autism Is a Constant Battle,” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 14, 1995. (reprinted in several newsletters)

“Battling for the Disabled with Cesar Chavez in Mind,”Los Angeles Times, June 12, 1995.  (reprinted  in several newsletters)

Featured in Facilitated Communication training video,  More Than Meets the Eye, Chapman University, 1993.

Other Publications:

“Personal Experiences with Disability and Special Education: Discovering the Real Me.” Education for All:  Critical Issues in the Education of Children and Youth with Disabilities.  Terese C. Jimenez, Victoria L. Graf, eds.  Jossey Bass. 2008.

A Conversation with Leo Kanner.” Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone,  Douglas Biklen with Richard Attfeild, Larry Bissonnett, Lucy Blackmen, Jamie Burke, Alberto Frugone, Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay, and Sue Rubin.  N.Y, New York University Press. 2005. 82-109.

“ Facilitated Communication: The Key to Success.” Sharing Our Wisdom. G. Gillingham & S. McClennen, eds. The Autism National Committee. (2003) pp. 133-143.

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2 Responses

  1. The list of articles by Sue Rubin does not include her appearance at the 1999 AutCom FC preconference in Ann Arbor, Michigan on November 11, 1999, which I saved to my hard disc and I wish to quote the last 2 paragraphs because I believe it is extremely important:
    Wordfile FC-Rubin 1999 Autcom fc preconference – last 2 paragraphs:

    “Independence also helps with negating influence. Even when a facilitator gives minimal support at the shoulder or back, I can feel influence. Obviously I don’t mean influencing which letter I hit, because that would be impossible with just a light touch on my back; however, the physical touch can influence my typing by having me know what the facilitator wants me to type. I can only verify what I am saying, not describe just how it happens. Being independent doesn’t prevent this entirely, but it makes me responsible for what I type. I can more easily reject the facilitator’s awful interference with what I want to say.

    Quite a few people who use FC are experiencing what I described. We are always patronized and put down for wanting to actually examine this more closely. We are aware of the controversy around FC and don’t want to make it more difficult for people to accept, but we are also entitled to be able to explore this area of potential influence.. FC has changed my life completely and I wouldn’t want my actions to prevent others from having the same opportunities I have had, but I think we should be honest about all aspects of FC.”

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