Sneha Girap (Editor)

Jim Sinclair (activist)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Jim Sinclair


Organizations founded

Jim Sinclair is an autism-rights movement activist who, with fellow autistics Kathy Lissner Grant and Donna Williams, formed Autism Network International (ANI) in 1992. Sinclair became the original coordinator of ANI.



Sinclair has said that they did not speak until age 12. Sinclair was raised as a girl, but describes having an intersex body and, in a 1997 introduction to the Intersex Society of North America, Sinclair wrote that they “remain openly and proudly neuter, both physically and socially.”

In 1998, Sinclair was a graduate student of rehabilitation counseling at Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y.

Sinclair was the first person to "articulate the autism-rights position."


Sinclair wrote the essay, “Don’t Mourn for Us,” with an anti-cure perspective on autism. The essay has been thought of by some to be a touchstone for the fledgling autism-rights movement, and has been mentioned in The New York Times and New York Magazine.

You didn’t lose a child to autism. You lost a child because the child you waited for never came into existence. That isn’t the fault of the autistic child who does exist, and it shouldn’t be our burden. We need and deserve families who can see us and value us for ourselves, not families whose vision of us is obscured by the ghosts of children who never lived. Grieve if you must, for your own lost dreams. But don’t mourn for us. We are alive. We are real.
—Jim Sinclair, “Don’t Mourn for Us,” Our Voice, Vol. 1, No. 3, 1993

Sinclair also expresses their frustration with the double-standard autistic people face, such as being told their persistence is "pathological" when neurotypical people are praised for their dedication to something important to them.


Jim Sinclair (activist) Wikipedia