Has your child just been diagnosed, or is likely autistic? Are you a therapist/teacher/researcher who is working with autistic kids? Start here! I answer the 5 most common questions I've seen from parents of autistic kids.
Neurotypical Accommodations and Unwritten Rules
Here’s the definition of a rule from the Oxford Dictionary: rule. Noun. One of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere.
The Preservation of Autistic Self-Advocacy
It’s kind of funny that I don’t even want to write this right now. Currently, I feel neutral about autism advocacy. I’ve learned recently that there is a whole world out there of people who are sometimes trying to do their best but without the right resources. I’ve seen people actively try to include others, … Continue reading The Preservation of Autistic Self-Advocacy
Understanding Non-Autistic Social Skills
How do non-autistic people process social cues like body language and eye contact? This may help answer that question.
Book Review: I Will Die On This Hill
This is a book review for I Will Die On This Hill by Meghan Ashburn and Jules Edward, which is set to come out in January of 2023. This book is about autism from a myriad of perspectives...
10 Tips for Parents New to Autism
Here are 10 tips for anyone who is new to understanding autism and autistic people.
Why Social Skills Training Does Not Help Autistic People
Here's the main reason why "social skills training" makes no sense to me: There is no neurotypical formula for social interaction.
Autistic Unmasking: How to Unlearn Trauma Responses
I've written about masking and sensory pain a lot. But there are still things I notice even years after recognizing that I'm autistic. Masking is Subconscious and Pervasive I've been wearing headphones around my neck everytime I go out, even just for in person meetings inside. Recently I was early for a meeting, someone came … Continue reading Autistic Unmasking: How to Unlearn Trauma Responses
Autistic Burnout Is More Than Burnout
I think I just realized why autistic burnout is so bad. When autistic people reach their limits, they continue because they know they have to continue to be considered valuable.
What Autistic Advocacy Really Means
What I want to talk about is the lasting effects that occur when autistic people are used as a commodity, a political football, a theoretical argument, as exploitation, when autistic people have to witness the dehumanization and legal torture of autistic people.
The Advantage of Pauses
It is important to listen to AAC users and include them in conversations and really listen to what they have to say.
I am not an AAC user. I just have one experience of using AAC temporarily. The one time I had almost no misunderstandings with other people was when I had an issue with my vocal cords for about a month. The day after I stopped using text-to-speech apps and AAC apps, someone misinterpreted my words. And it was because I was physically speaking to them so I didn’t have time to state my thoughts.
If AAC was more generally accepted in society and accommodated by others, I would probably be a partial AAC user right now. However, that’s not the world we live in.
Please share the words of people who use AAC or other alternative communication methods. It’s really, really important. Physically speaking should not be seen as the only way of communicating. This needs to change.
Not long after I had posted about a cancer scare I was dealing with recently, I received a very interesting message from an SLP that I’ve been replaying in my head a lot.
“I don’t understand why you’re not verbal.”
They listed all the reasons why they thought I could be nonspeaking, and then asked if it was just because I was more comfortable communicating with a device – as if I needed to justify to a stranger why I use assistive technology.
[Friendly reminder once *again* that I use AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) primarily due to aphasia/brain damage and also autism.]
They then continued with “a device will never be as quick to communicate as a face-to-face conversation.”
At first, I brushed it off gently – thinking maybe I was more upset than usual due to being significantly stressed out.
But then I realized that this was an…
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