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Outings, Travel, and Autism

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.squidalicious.com www.canisitwithyou.org www.blogher.com/blog/shannon-des-roches-rosa We are adamant about taking Leo on as many excursions as we can, to stores, movies, restaurants, parks, and other destinations. He is an able-bodied and energetic boy, and he likes a good adventure as long as we respect the limits of his tolerance. Also, we want Leo to be a boy-about-town so he gets used to being part of our community, and our community gets used to him. Outings aren’t always easy. But I have no intention of leaving Leelo home when we might succeed. I do not care if other people think he behaves strangely or makes funny noises; as long as he is not harming or interrupting anyone, we carry on with heads raised, meeting stranger’s stares with confident and unapologetic smiles that I will admit to having practiced in the bathroom mirror. Here are some of the tactics that…

Identifying and Avoiding Autism Cults

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.squidalicious.com www.canisitwithyou.org www.blogher.com/blog/shannon-des-roches-rosa A child’s autism diagnosis can mess with parents’ heads. Media portrayals of children with autism and their adult spectrum-mates dwell almost exclusively on negatives and challenges, so when a parent is told that their child is autistic, they are usually incredibly upset. It doesn’t help when doctors lack the bedside manner to soften the emotional impact of their diagnoses, or have no information about contemporary autism therapies and resources. When that happens, parents are both freaked out and flapping in the wind. Their child’s doctor was supposed to give them answers and guidance, but instead upended their lives, then shoved them out the door. No one can explain why they have a child with autism, and they know nothing about autism. They are emotionally reeling, angry with the medical establishment, and hungry for any information that will help their child. Most parents start…

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

A Community Book and Blog Project  The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (TPGA) is the book and website we wish had been available when our children with autism were first diagnosed. We want to help people with autism and their families make sense of the bewildering array of available autism treatments and options, and determine which are worth their time, money, and energy. Think of us as a little bit of Snopes for the autism community — trusted, accurate, and friendly. Our essays will cover informed approaches to autism and autism treatments, as well as the personal experiences of people with autism and their families. Our attitude is cautionary yet loving — we’re  honest, but we’re not interested in negativity. We envision TPGA as a community-based effort, with the very best writing on evidence-based approaches to autism from autistics, family members, and professionals. If you have something to say about…