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Getting the (Second) COVID-19 Vaccine While Autistic

Photo © bcgovphotos | Creative Commons / Flickr [image: Person with light skin and dark hair in a ponytail, wearing a blue surgical face mask, at a desk with hand sanitizer and vaccination paraphernalia. They are looking at someone off camera, and pointing to their right.] By Kate On Monday, March 15, I was lucky enough to receive my second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. My experience in getting the first dose of the vaccine had gone pretty well, but I have never been an optimist or a pessimist. I am a realist. For me, the glass is not full or half empty. For me, the 16 ounce glass contains 8 ounces of 52° tap water from Concord. (And yes, that town is deliberately chosen, because I have serious opinions on the taste of various places tap water, and their tap water does not taste that good to me.)…

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Review: Neurodiversity, Autism, and Recovery from Sexual Violence: A practical resource for all those working to support victim-survivors

Sonny Hallett twitter.com/scrappapertiger [Image: Book Cover. Black text at the top reads, Neurodiversity, Autism & Recovery from Sexual Violence Under is an illustration a seated purple figure holding an armful of pink and purple blossoms. More blossoms surround them on the ground and in the air. smaller black text underneath reads,   by Dr Susy Ridout, Illustrated by Catherine Haywood  Even smaller black text at the bottom reads,”A practical resource for all those working to support victim-survivors”]  CN: discussion of sexual violence and abuse Considering how many autistic people struggle with mental health difficulties related to trauma, there is really very little in the way of resources, let alone good practical guides, for those supporting autistic people dealing with traumatic experiences. What little there is is also so often about us rather than by us, and written from rather clinical and pathologising perspectives.  Susy Ridout’s book Neurodiversity, Autism, and Recovery from…

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Towards Autism Acceptance: An Interview With Researcher Desi Jones

Non-autistic people harbor assumptions about autistic people, whether they’re aware of them or not. And those biases can get in the way of autistic people being included both socially and professionally. We talked with Desi Jones, a Doctoral Student at the University of Texas at Dallas, whose recent paper Effects of autism acceptance training on explicit and implicit biases toward autism examines how autistic acceptance efforts both succeed and fail in addressing stereotypes about autism, and what this means. We also discussed her work on structural racism in autism research, and how institutions can do better by their autism researchers of color—and why that doesn’t merely mean recruiting more POC. Photo courtesy Desi Jones [image: Desi Jones, a smiling Black woman with curly shoulder length purple-tinged hair.]  TPGA: Can you tell us about your background, and what drew you to autism research? Desi Jones: I double majored in Neuroscience and Psychology…

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Getting Through The Pandemic With Art-Fueled Joy

Sunday Stillwell For the past three years, I have worked in a local elementary school as a one-to-one support aide to a handful of K-2 students with various intellectual disabilities, in a self-contained functional academic life-skills (FALS) classroom. My job is to assist the student I am working with in all aspects of their day. I sing songs during circle time, help them learn to request items with their communication devices, teach ABCs and 123s, and during recess I play tag because it made everyone giggle and little bodies have a lot of energy to burn in the last two hours of school. But, hands-down my favorite days are the ones when we draw pictures, sculpt creatures out of clay, or create masterpieces in art class using bits of rolled up tissue paper, glue, and a vivid imagination. My favorite days. Then, in March 2020, COVID-19 hit, and those in…

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Challenging Kickstarter’s Support of a “Torture Device”: Interview With Advocate Rory McCarthy

Anne Borden King twitter.com/AgainstCures The NOIT device in use [image: Screen capture from a video, showing the back of a person’s neck with a small buzzing device attached with a gel pack or some such.] The NOIT product was first flagged by Rory McCarthy, an advocate in the ADHD and autistic communities. The device is attached to the base of a child’s neck with glue. It stays attached to the child throughout the day, emitting loud beeps every eight seconds. Its marketers claim that this “Natural Orientation Inducing Tool (NOIT)” is a “tool to create and maintain focused attention.” There is no research or evidence to support this claim.  Despite this, NOIT marketers earned nearly $150,000 promoting the product on Kickstarter, even as members of the ADHD and autistic community reached out to Kickstarter, asking it to remove the product from its platform and calling it a torture device. A petition…

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Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine While Autistic

Photo © VCUCNS | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: A person wearing a black tank top getting a vaccine injection in their shoulder.] by Kate On Monday, February 15, I was lucky enough to get my first dose of the new Moderna vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. I say lucky, but in reality, it was a matter of various privileges, such as race, class, and education, all combined with the fact that I moved into a certain type of housing last summer. I had been communicating with a staff member for my local health department about something else related to the pandemic, and when the subject of vaccines came up, this person told me that I qualified and I should make an appointment right then. So I did: CVS, a local pharmacy chain, had just been allocated a large number of vaccines, so it was fairly easy for me at that…