Amanda Baggs (born 1980 in California) is an autism rights activist. In January 2007 she published a video on YouTube describing her experience as an autistic person entitled In My Language which became the subject of several articles on CNN. She also guest-blogged about her video on Anderson Cooper's blog and answered questions from the audience via email.
About her video, Amanda Baggs writes:
|“||My viewpoint in the video is that of an autistic person. But the message is far broader than autistic people. It is about what kinds of communication and language and people we consider real and which ones we do not. It applies to people with severe cognitive or physical disabilities, autistic people, signing deaf people, the kid in school who finds she is not taken seriously as a student because she does not know a lot of English, and even the cat who gets treated like a living stuffed animal and not a creature with her own thoughts to communicate. It applies to anybody who gets written off because their communication is too unusual.||”|
On CNN, Sanjay Gupta stated:
|“||It really started me wondering about autism. Amanda is obviously a smart woman who is fully aware of her diagnosis of low-functioning autism, and quite frankly mocks it. She told me that because she doesn't communicate with conventional spoken word, she is written off, discarded and thought of as mentally retarded. Nothing could be further from the truth. As I sat with her in her apartment, I couldn't help but wonder how many more people like Amanda are out there, hidden, but reachable, if we just tried harder.|