img_4423-1576316

#AutINSAR 2018: What Do Autistic People Want from Autism Research?

Some of the onsite #AutINSAR participants, left to right: Jon Adams, Sara Luterman, Donna Bish, Andrew Colombo-Dougovito, Lily Levy, Laura Crane, Mel Bovis, Carol Greenburg, Georgina Perez Liz, and Shannon Rosa. Not pictured: Jelle van Dijk Photo by Josie Blagrave.  [Image description: Neurodiverse adults smiling and posing together] The #AutINSAR chat was an in-person and online Twitter discussion about autism research priorities, with the conversation taking place directly between autistic and/or autism researchers on May 11, 2018, at #INSAR2018, the International Society for Autism Research conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Many thanks to participants, and partners NOS Magazine, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network, autchat, and We Are Like Your Child. We discussed the following questions: Q1: What should be the top three priorities for autism research?  Q2: Which topics do #ActuallyAutistic people discuss that are missing from research conversations?  Q3: What kind of technology research do you think would most improve #ActuallyAutistic…

144532202_b690bc7dc5-8243602

An Autistic Burnout

Content note: This post discusses suicide and suicidal ideation (thinking about suicide). Photo © Lee | Flickr/Creative Commons [image: Photo of end-stage burning match.] Kieran Rose www.theautisticadvocate.com I’ve struggled massively with writing this. It’s ironic really. It’s taken me six weeks to start writing an article about Autistic Burnout, because I’m going through Autistic Burnout… If you saw someone going through Autistic Burnout would you be able to recognise it? Would you even know what it means? Would you know what it meant for yourself if you are an Autistic person? The sad truth is that so many Autistic people, children and adults, go through burnout with zero comprehension of what is happening to them, and with zero support from their friends and families. If you’re a parent reading this, I can confidently say that I bet that no professional, from diagnosis, through any support services you’re lucky enough to…

cos2bmichael2bjune2b2017-7685109

Why I Hate ABA: A Personal Opinion

Cos Michael www.autismage.com Cos Michael | photo courtesy author [image: Photo of a white British woman with short-ish curly platinum hair.] ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis) as a discipline, requires autistic children to appear as if they are typical children. It doesn’t matter how kind and well meaning the teacher, whether they are autistic or not, a loving parent or not—the outcome is that the “successful” autistic child ceases the behaviour that defines them as autistic. They never stop being autistic. Once you realise that an autistic child will never stop being autistic, it becomes clear that they are suppressing their natural responses. It is masking, or “camouflaging.” Asking a child to mask all of the time causes a build up of stress. Stress is both mentally and physically damaging. When that child grows up, they are likely to exhibit the mental and physical effects of their stress. Autistic people are…

fullsizerender-4276375

Autistic Commonality and the Illusion of “Quirky”

Emily Paige Ballou chavisory.wordpress.com Some people insist on describing the autistic spectrum as ranging from the non-speaking and very profoundly disabled, to the “just quirky.” Or, during discussions about the need for acceptance and accommodation, the same people might tell autistic self-advocates, “That may be fine for autistic people like you who are just quirky, but you’re not like my child.” Some of those same people even insist that autistic people who are “just quirky” should probably have a different label than ‘autism’ altogether. Meanwhile research shows “camoflauging” influences autistic suicidality [image: Screenshot of a tweet. The icon and user name are blurred. The tweet reads, “If u can”disguise” your autism then imo u cannot possibly have autism. #NeedRealDiagnoses #SuckItGroupingEveryoneUnderOneLabel #FocusOnObjectiveReality”] But I actually wouldn’t mind if the word “quirky” were to disappear entirely from autism discussions, and take with it the dismissive and simplistic idea that autism is a…

lauracrane-9285259

Supporting Autistic People in Health Care, Education, and The Criminal Justice System: An Interview with CRAE’s Laura Crane

Shannon Rosa from Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and Corina Becker from Autism Women’s Network interviewed Laura Crane from CRAE, the UK-based Centre for Research in Autism and Education about her work in supporting best practices in health care and education for autistic people, and also demonstrating that Autistics, children specifically, can be reliable witnesses during criminal investigations. Laura Crane | Photo: CRAE [image: Smiling white woman with long brown hair.] Shannon Rosa: Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about the work that you’re doing for CRAE, because it seems like you’re involved in so many things. Laura Crane: My research focuses on two main areas. The first is looking at how we can support autistic children and adults within the criminal and family justice systems. A lot of that work has come from police officers and barristers and other legal professionals assuming that autistic children and…

autimfar2bpartners-6248518

#AutINSAR Twitter Chat 2018: What Autistic People Want From Autism Research

What do autistic people want from autism research? And how can we convey these concerns to autism researchers? That is what #AutINSAR is all about: a conversation between autism researchers and autistic community members, both in person and on Twitter.  We had a fantastic conversation last year at IMFAR 2017 in San Francisco, and are hoping for another fruitful discussion this year at INSAR 2018 in Rotterdam. We are once again partnering with The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), NOS Magazine, Autism Women and Nonbinary Network (AWN), and autchat. We are also welcoming new partner We Are Like Your Child. #AutIMFAR Partner Orgs: autchat, ASAN, AWN, NOS Magazine, and TPGA (Not pictured: We Are Like Your Child) [image: The Twitter logos for five organizations: autchat: a rainbow background with a black infinity symbol and black text reading: “#autchat”; The Autistic Self Advocacy Network: a spiraling rainbow heptagon on a white background; Current Autism Women and Nonbinary Network logo: a…