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When Autistic Kids and Teens Are Aggressive or Self-Injurious: Overview

–> Shannon Des Roches Rosa Senior Editor, Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism Why do some autistic children and teens become self-injurious or aggressive? How can parents and caregivers help the kids in their care get through meltdowns safely, protect the kids themselves as well as family members, and anticipate and avoid future incidents? This was the topic of a recent workshop I moderated at Support for Families of Children With Disabilities, in San Francisco, with speakers Dr. Clarissa Kripke, Brent White, and Lindsey Anderson. The presenters covered a lot of material, which we’ll publish here in three parts: Overview (Shannon Des Roches Rosa) Medical and trauma-informed practices (Dr. Clarissa Kripke) Autistic professional and personal insights (Brent White and Lindsey Anderson) The workshop was well-attended (standing room only), engaged and productive. One of my favorite parts was that, after a short explanation of why “flappause,” or flapping one’s hands for applause,…

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Hillary Clinton’s Autism Plan: In Which Autistic People Are Deserving Human Beings

Shannon Des Roches Rosa Senior Editor, Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism Hilary Clinton’s campaign published an autism plan yesterday. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen in an autism-centric policy statement, in a good way. It’s not perfect, because this is politics, and politics are more about compromise and incremental gains than revolutionary change. But throughout the statement, autistic people are treated as human beings with legitimate and sorely unmet needs, and not the usual (infuriating-to-read) millstones, pity magnets, or financial black holes that are tearing the fabric of families, not to mention our nation’s budget, apart. Human beings who deserve to be prioritized. That’s welcome progress, and I would like to see such outlooks become our country’s policy reality. The author and her son [image: selfie of two white people on a twilight hilltop.] As the parent of a beloved autistic teenager, and as a person who adores her autistic…

In A Different Key: One (Deeply Flawed) Story of Autism

M. Kelter TheInvisibleStrings.com 
 In A Different Key, by John Donvan and Caren Zucker, is described by its publisher as “the definitive history of autism.” Its story begins in the 1930s, with a portrait of “autism’s first child” Donald Triplett, then moves to “father of child psychiatry” Leo Kanner, who was the one to diagnose Triplett with autism. In the following decades, readers encounter a variety of researchers and parents as they grapple with questions about the origin and nature of autism. This history is a complex and nuanced one, yet Donvan and Zucker tell a fairly straightforward David and Goliath narrative. The role of the villain, Goliath, is played not by a person, but by autism itself. Anyone fighting autism becomes the book’s sympathetic, underdog David. Which means that, unfortunately, In A Different Key becomes a chronological collection of anecdotes about these “heroic” battles. [image: Book cover: Beige background…

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Talking With ASAN’s Sam Crane About Her Role on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee

Sam Crane [image: A smiling white person with ear- length brown hair, wearing a black suit jacket and a white pearl necklace.] What is the IACC, or Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, and what does it do? We talked with newly seated IACC member Sam Crane about her role, how the IACC works, its goals, why it needs to broaden its focus beyond causation — and her experience as one of the committee’s autistic minority. The next IACC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 12, and will be webcast live. Community members who would like to submit written comments for the meeting should do so by Tuesday, January 5th. —- TPGA: How would you describe the IACC to someone who isn’t aware of what the IACC is, and what it does, beyond the standard — rather stuffy — description? Sam Crane: The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee is the government’s attempt to…