Autistic & Divergent Voices (and a few allies) from around the world.
By Anna Merlan
Duke University and a private company have been selling access to unproven cord blood treatments for autism. Now, they’re planning something much bigger.
With Anne Borden King
People are drinking and injecting bleach to prevent and treat COVID across Latin America. This is how the conspiracy theory gained enough legitimacy for Bolivia to pass a law legalizing its use.
Why It’s Different
I think I just realized why autistic burnout is so bad.
It’s because when abled non-autistic people reach their limits, they can’t go on.
When autistic people reach their limits, they continue because they know they have to continue to be considered valuable.
This article was co-authored between David Gray-Hammond and Tanya Adkin
Trigger Warning: This article contains discussion of systemic abuse and trauma inflicted by professionals. Some of the research cited contains person-first language and other problematic or ableist language. There is also discussion of sexism and racism.
The first part of this series looked at the trauma that Autistic people experience on a daily basis from birth, perhaps even before birth. We did this so we could start to paint a picture of why so many Autistic people experience what would be considered “poor outcomes”. In this next part of the series, we intend to dive into the issues around the identification of Autistic people.
I was truly excited to sit down to read Uncommon Sense: An Autistic Journey by Adam Mardero, my good friend and fellow advocate from the Facebook page, Differently Wired. I love a well-written autistic narrative, and in general, Adam’s perceptiveness and empathic understanding blow me away. But this book surpassed my expectations.
It is downright profound.
Autismatic: The TRUTH Behind #ActuallyAutistic
Some people describe “Actually Autistic” as a political group, others as a fashion and some even regard it as a threat.
So what is it and what started it? What is the truth behind #ActuallyAutistic ?
By C.L. Bridge
Not all autistic people are withdrawn or shy, although most media portrayals and “signs of autism” lists focus on those who are. We need representation of what autism can look like in a more outgoing person, too. One very extroverted fictional character whom I view as autistic (and probably also ADHD) is Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
We’re Not Broken: Talking with Autistic Journalist Eric Garcia About Changing the Autism Conversation
By Shannon Des Roches Rosa
Eric Garcia wants you to know that autistic people like him, like editors here at TPGA, like all our editors’ children, are not going anywhere—and that this is true regardless of how much support each individual autistic person needs to live their best life. Garcia’s new book We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation talks about what we can all do as parents, advocates, educators, policymakers, and allies to ensure that the autistic people who have alway been part of our communities can thrive through having their disabilities acknowledged and accommodated, while recognizing and fostering their abilities.
TPGA editor Shannon Rosa talked with Eric about several of the themes in his book.
Janine Booth: Calling for Labour to adopt policy on neurodiversity
At 2021 Labour Party conference, I moved a ‘reference back’ of the National Policy Forum report, due to its failure to include any policy on neurodiversity, despite a detailed submission being made to the policy forum process. This is what I said in the one minute allocated. Delegates passed the reference back.
Janine Booth, Lewes CLP and Chair of Neurodivergent Labour.
Reward charts belong in the bin
The problems with ABA is widely publicised and well known in the UK. Many parents are aware of staying the hell away from it because it hurts Autistic children.
The thing is it’s not just ABA. It’s anything that uses reward and punishment as motivation. It’s behaviourism in its entirety.
Neurodivergent Rebel: What Are Autistic Meltdowns Like?
Hey humans Lyric here, and this week, I’m going to talk about what it’s like to have meltdowns as an Autistic Person.
I’ve done these videos in the past, but this week, I wanted to talk a little bit more about the human experience of having a meltdown.
So if you are wondering at all what that’s like, from a firsthand perspective, please stay tuned.
Control — it’s a word with a dirty reputation. If I told you to pull out a sheet of paper for a word association exercise, what other words would you jot down? Maybe toxic, aggressive, jealous? The harmful use of control gets a lot of press, pretty much all the press. And it makes sense that we talk about the hurt that comes when people try to control things and people who aren’t their business to be controlling.
I have been taking anti-psychotic medication since 1995. I have been on several different medications. I think I have tried all of them actually! I also take mood stabilisers and an anti anxiety medication.
Like many people with schizophrenia I often doubt that I need the meds. If I am well for a long period of time I imagine that I am OK and the medication isn’t necessary. I have discovered that I actually do need the meds through painful experience. …
NOTES/WARNINGS: swearing; vaccination; attention differences impulsive thoughts/talk about *flaying human skin*
We created this video for free, but we would welcome a very small donation so that we may pay the speakers for their time and work. Please consider donating £1 to our PayPal or donating via Facebook stars https://bit.ly/3AvbIZF
In this session, Tanya Adkin (she/her) & Louis Bishop-Ford (he/him) talk about their experience of ADHD, and what it means for them in reality. Too often neurotypical people and those who don’t have ADHD focus on the attention differences element of ADHD, missing a large number of other experiences people with ADHD have, such as: intense rejection sensitivity; imposter syndrome; sensory issues; working memory loss; etc.
Guest speaker details: Tanya Adkin (she/her) is a SEND Advocate. Tanya is also a late identified Autistic, ADHD (possibly PDA), single parent to two Autistic/PDA/ADHD children.
Find Tanya and EHCP advice via her page TanyaAdkinAutistic on Facebook (Tanya Adkin – Autistic children and young person’s advocate) and group facebook.com/groups/866861860722163 (seND Support – Through a Neurodivergent Lens).
Louis Bishopp-Ford (he/him) was diagnosed Autistic with attention differences as an adult. He believes not knowing he was Autistic when he was younger meant that he could not ask for the support he needed to complete a university education. Louis is a keen gamer, gardener (on the small balcony in his apartment with no garden!), and loves kayaking.
**Please note we are not clinicians or diagnosticians**
Dr Chloe Farahar – Autistic academic, educator, and self-advocate Aucademy is on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, and .co.uk
By Louis Stay
I became an RBT because I saw a real opportunity to help people.
A coworker mentioned that she had been looking into the voices of the autistic community. She said that there was a big push away from ABA. In training, they presented all the research that supports how much better autistic lives are because of ABA; reduced self-harm, aggression, greater adaptive functioning, and less family stress. With that kind of evidence, who could possibly be against ABA?
Our clinic was a part of the new “good ABA.” It checked off all the boxes of what to look for in ABA clinics; “child-led,” “natural environment teaching,” “reinforcement, not punishment focused,” “communication driven,” and “not discrete trial training (DTT).” I was part of a force for good, part of the cutting edge of the field where ABA was seeing true reform.
Editor’s note: this article contains descriptions of abusive therapy. Reader discretion advised.
What does this mean for you?
1 in 6 children struggles daily with sensory processing challenges.* You probably know one or two. Maybe it is even you!
Sensory processing refers to the mechanisms of how we feel. It is how we use what we sense to make sense of the world around us, and it underpins every aspect of human functioning. Everyone processes sensation. The sensory messages we receive from our bodies and the world around us are responded to in every single thing we do in life. (*Stats from STAR Institute)
Having written and performed as The Big J in the 1980s, Janine started again in 2014, after a brief interlude of around a quarter of a century.
Froms sonnets to villanelles, limericks to ballads, the occasional rap and plenty of straightforward rants, serious and humorous and sometimes both, here is Janine’s verse.
Janine’s poems have been published in numerous poetry and other journals and websites, including Algebra of Owls, South Bank Poetry, the Daily Mirror, PUSH, Hour of Writes, Proletarian Poetry, Confluence Medway, Screaming Violets, Poetry24, Solidarity, Stand Up and Spit, Hastings Independent, Freedom, Women’s Fightback, the Morning Star, Rising and TenFootCity; and in anthologies Spies4Life, Poems for Jeremy Corbyn, Justice: Poems for Grenfell Tower.and Ashes to Activists
A couple of days ago, I wrote a comment on one of my friend’s Facebook status in response to a Neurotypical (NT) attempting to gaslight their experience with Special Interests (sometimes referred to as a Sp-In or Sp-Ins [pronounced “spin” or “spins”]).
Basically my friend wrote about how they were shamed out of sharing their Special Interest at a young age by the adults and peers in their life because the intensity of their Special Interest was apparently “too much” for these people. One of these adults decided it was ok to attempt to gaslight their experience by saying stuff along the lines of “it was annoying how often you would bring up [insert Sp-In].”
So I woke up this morning checking my social media sites and when I came across on Autism article. I of course clicked on CBC’s news article thinking that it would be interesting.. instead what I found was an article full of misinformation. There is a notable lack of Autistic voices in the article. (Article linked at the bottom of the post).
The very first sentence after the Autism Diagnosis questioned in Canadian-Led review is “lead researcher says criteria for a diagnosis has become trivial”. This angered me greatly because the Autism Diagnostic Observation System(ADOS-2) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI-R) which are the gold standard for Autism Diagnosis are extremely expensive tests. That most medical professionals aren’t even trained in, those that are quite often don’t have the tools for the test because of the expense, making getting a diagnosis even harder for Autistic people.
If you want to learn about autism and neurodiversity, there are plenty of resources to choose from! You can consider these titles vetted by a large group of autistic adults and allies.
We’ve been compiling this book list for over a year in That Au-Some Book Club. All of the titles have been discussed and approved by our autistic members and allies.
It’s important to remember that there are no perfect books. All books related to autism and neurodiversity come with several trigger warnings. Some may contain person-first language, while others may include internalized ableism.