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AutINSAR Twitter Chat 2019: What Autistic People Need From Autism Research

What do autistic people need from autism research? What is current autism research doing right? How does research let autistic people and their families down, and why? 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 fantastic conversations at IMFAR 2017 in San Francisco, and again at INSAR 2018 in Rotterdam, and are hoping for another fruitful discussion this year during INSAR 2019 in Montreal, Canada. AutINSAR will once again be a partnership between us and The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), NOS Magazine, Autism Women and Nonbinary Network (AWN Network), AutChat, and We Are Like Your Child. We welcome new 2019 partners Flow Observatorium and Autistics 4 Autistics Ontario. #AutINSAR Partner Orgs: ASAN, AWN Network, NOS Magazine, TPGA,  autchat, Flow Observatorium, and Autistic 4 Autistics…

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On Autism and Social Camouflaging: An Interview With Lily Levy

Lily Levy at INSAR 2018 [image: Lily Levy, a white British woman, presenting a poster at an autism conference.] INSAR 2019, the International Meeting For Autism Research, starts in three days. Before we begin our coverage, we’d like to emphasize research and themes from last year’s conference INSAR 2018, in Rotterdam—so we can proceed with a grounded sense of how the two conference’s priorities compare and contrast, especially in terms of research that affects autistic people’s quality of life (QoL). A consistent QoL theme of INSAR 2018 was autistic camouflaging, also known as “masking” or “passing.” We spoke with Lily Levy, who led the INSAR 2018 presentation For Better or for Worse? Social Camouflaging, Mental Health and Wellbeing in Autistic Adults.  Content note: Discussion of suidicality, bullying, and trauma. Shannon Rosa of TPGA: I’m at INSAR 2018 with Lily Levy, whose group presented the poster on Social Camouflaging, Mental Health and Wellbeing…

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Running Away: Autism and Elopement

Photo © Gonsalo Gomes | Creative Commons / Flickr [image: Sepia-toned photo of a small child with short dark hair, seen from behind, running.] Marie Porter www.celebrationgeneration.com In an effort to raise a bit more “AutismAwareness,” I’d like to discuss “elopement.” I invite other autistics to add in their own experiences in the comments—this could be educational! But as far as what I’m about to say, I’m really just speaking to my own experience and thoughts. First, I’d like to say that “elopement” is a ridiculous term. Right up there with “differently abled,” IMHO. It’s running away. It’s wandering. Call it what it is! Secondly—and this is in response to an “autism warrior mom” who recently came at me to defend ABA—no one “dies from elopement,” just like no one dies from “running away.” Yes, there are all kinds of ways that one can meet their end running away, but those…

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A Conversation About Autism and Neurodiversity with Steve Silberman and John Marble

Steve Silberman, Shannon Rosa, and John Marble [image: Three adult white nerds, posing together and smiling.] Shannon Des Roches Rosa Senior Editor A large, friendly, and neurodiverse crowd came together at Square headquarters in San Francisco last night, to hear Steve Silberman and John Marble in conversation about autism and neurodiversity. The event was organized by by TPGA contributor Chris Williams and TPGA friend Chris Ereneta, Square employees both. We live-tweeted both the witty, empathy-filled conversation and the useful Q and A afterwards, but as tweet streams can be hard for some people to parse, here’s a streamlined text (and typos-fixed) version: Steve is talking about the origins of his book NeuroTribes, how in the early aughts, before he began his research, he thought autism was rare. And how the conspiracy theories about causation were really running rampant. He wrote his classic Wired article The Geek Syndrome in 2001, talking about…

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Review: Autism: A New Introduction to Psychological Theory and Current Debate

Finn Gardiner expectedly.org  [image: The cover of the book Autism: A New Introduction to Psychological Theory and Current Debate, featuring a grid of small illustrations, interrupted by an orange rectangle in the center-top. Large white text on the rectangle reads, “Autism”.  Smaller light orange text below that reads, “A New Introduction to Psychological Theory and Current Debate.”]  Introduction Written from the perspective of British autism researchers with expertise in both theoretical and practical aspects of autism, Sue Fletcher-Watson and Francesca Happé’s Autism: A New Introduction to Psychological Theory and Current Debate is a brief, readable volume about clinical constructions of autism, autistic people’s lived experiences, and philosophical debates about how autism should be approached by professionals and advocates. While the book is technically a reissue—the original was written back in 1995—the content has been entirely revised to reflect current research, policy, and advocacy. In particular, the authors have made a conscious…