1200px-greta_thunberg_4-5255433

On Autistic “Super Powers”

Greta Thunberg by Anders Hellberg | Wikimedia Commons [image: Greta Thunberg, a white Swedish teen with long light brown plaits, standing outside a building holding a large hand-painted sign reading, “Skolstrejk för klimatet,” or, “school strike for climate”.] Marie Porter  www.CelebrationGeneration.com All of the people who think Greta Thunberg is a “mouthpiece” or “being exploited” have SO OBVIOUSLY never tried to get between a teenaged autistic and a special interest of theirs… much less a special interest involving the well-being of others.#ActuallyAutistic — Marie Porter 🇨🇦 (@OverlordMarie) September 17, 2019 Recently, there has been a lot of chatter on #ActuallyAutistic Twitter about the use of the term “super power” with regards to autism, and specifically by Greta Thunberg, who recently said, “Being different is a super power.” As usual, I have some thoughts. First off, I want to acknowledge that not every autistic is going to see their own autism as a super power. The…

2zqwtfvfsuitnnpfsa9jhw-9783364

Countering Neurodiversity Misinformation on KPCC’s Air Talk

Rosa’s son out in the community, enjoying a local aquarium [image: White teen boy with short curly brown hair, seen from the back, in front of a large public aquarium.] Shannon Des Roches Rosa @shannonrosa I was recently invited to be a guest on National Public Radio affiliate KPCC’s AirTalk, to provide a contrasting perspective to science writer Moheb Constandi’s Aeon article Against Neurodiversity. What follows is the transcript of our conversation, which was only 23 minutes long and in which I suspect neither of us covered all the points we wanted to make. However, before diving in, I have to state that I truly regret not speaking out about how absurd it is when writers like Mr. Costandi claim to champion autistic self-advocates with intellectual disability or speech disabilities, yet don’t even bother to get a single such person’s opinions. To see what self-advocate Ivanova Smith has to say…

fullsizeoutput_2daa-2328640

Autism And The Gut Microbiome: An Interview With Dr. Ruth Ann Luna

Dr. Ruth Ann Luna and Shannon Rosa. Photo © TPGA [image: A Latina woman with long dark brown hair, and a white woman with chin-length fluffy red hair and glasses, smiling and posing together.] Our editors Carol Greenburg and Shannon Rosa spoke with Dr. Ruth Ann Luna about her research on autistic kids and their incredibly diverse gut microbiomes during INSAR 2019, How her research is not about “special diets for autism,” how GI issues are co-occurring conditions and not a core trait of autism, how there’s no one universal single bacteria that is associated with autism, how GI profiles are ofter family- rather than neurotype-specific, and how this research may translate into real world supports for autistic people. —- Shannon Rosa: Thank you so much for being here. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what brought you into this area of autism and gut microbiome research?…

Artistic Collaboration Across Neurotypes: Autistic Artist Sonia Boué on the NUNO Project

M. Kelter theinvisiblestrings.com Earlier this year, fourteen artists (with funding from Arts Council England) presented a unique exhibition called Neither Use Nor Ornament (NUNO). “Unique” in that the event featured an intricately-designed collaboration between autistic and non-autistic creatives. The project recently released a short film providing an overview of both the exhibition and the artists involved. To learn more, I recently communicated with friend and project organiser Sonia Boue about autism, creative access needs, and the relationship between objects and autistic art. M: What was the guiding idea involved with the creation of NUNO? Sonia: The project is really essentially about me finding professional and personal congruence by bringing together two groups of people. The autistics were my post-diagnosis contacts and the non-autistics were the artists I met online before my diagnosis. I had no idea how to bring them together but I knew I had to try it out.…

9606781879_5a0f7292d5-3679200

How to Be The Teacher Our Autistic Students Need

Photo © US Department of Education | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: A Black adult with curly medium brown chin-length hair and glasses reading a book with a young Black student with long black hair in cornrows.] Miss A teachingunicorn.com I am a special education teacher who happens to have an autistic teen and a recent autism diagnosis of my own. I’ve sat on multiple sides of the table; I’ve seen a lot. And we’ve all seen the headlines where professionals have demeaned or abused students in their care. We all think, “I’m not like that!” But I’ve seen professionals limit or take away a child’s voice. I’ve seen students given mindless and meaningless tasks. I’ve heard terms like “pre-learner” and “so low.” I’ve seen students spend years without access to reading and writing instruction. And I’ve seen professionals doing all of these things without realizing the harm they are…

deejpress5-9660313

Distorting DEEJ: Deconstructing A Misinformed Literature Review

[image: Production photo of David Jame Savarese (Deej), a thin white male with short, cropped hair and glasses, wearing a light blue polo shirt and beige slacks, seated at a table facing his girlfriend who is seated in a power chair back to us, facing  him. A man holding a camera is standing to their left and caught in the act of filming them. ©DEEJ movie www.deejmovie.com/press] Kerima Çevik theautismwars.blogspot.com “A distinguishing feature of scientific thinking is the search for falsifying as well as confirming evidence. However, many times in the history of science, scientists have resisted new discoveries by selectively interpreting or ignoring unfavorable data.” Wikipedia on Confirmation Bias I understand that professionals who aren’t familiar with autism and autistic lived experience may carry biases about non-speaking autistic people. I don’t accept it, but I understand it. We’re human and all of us have biases. When bias becomes a…

screen2bshot2b2019-09-122bat2b10-19-432bpm-6590456

Things Left Unsaid: “I Am Autism” 10 Years Later

[image: Screen capture from the Autism Speaks video I Am Autism, with an African American child sitting on a slide, facing away from the camera. The YouTube video toolbar is visible, above title text reading, “I Am Autism commercial by Autism Speaks”.] Zephyr Ash Ostrowski thefilmroom.org “Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.” –St. Francis of Assisi “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe “Where ignorance exists, myths flourish.” Norman Begg and Angus Nicoll It doesn’t take long for a hurtful word or comment to make its way across the globe. The media eagerly reports on officials’ latest xenophobic remarks within minutes. Protesters will gather and complain for a corporation to sever ties with a controversial program or person. But this outrage somehow doesn’t happen with organizations that are directly tied to “helping” certain groups of marginalized people—and when…

image1-2971427

You Can’t Have Neurodiversity Without People With Intellectual Disabilities

How The Self Advocacy Movement Is Integral to the Success of the Neurodiversity Movement Ivanova Smith. Photo courtesy author. [image: A Latvian-American person with short dark hair and glasses. They are smiling and posing near a house on a shoreline, at dusk.] Ivanova Smith @lauralovesian1 With all the anti-neurodiversity stuff going around right now, I’m going say this: Intellectually disabled (ID) Autistics have been left out, that is true. But how? When people want to take away forms of communication like Facilitated Communication (FC) and Rapid Prompting Method (RPM), which is what anti-neurodiversity people want, that is is a form of silencing. That is how autistics with ID have been left, out because their form of communication has not been respected! Saying AAC users’ communication is not real and is fake is what is really silencing people. By not supporting behavior as communication, that is how people are being silenced. By…