“I have to be realistic about the community that I am nurturing in, and the community for my children and for the parents that I help, as a Black autistic woman.”
Why parents of autistic kids need to be cautious and thoughtful about the therapies they consider for their children.
Jenny Mai Phan is an Asian American autistic autism researcher, an Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) member, and the mother of four children, two of whom are autistic.
We talked with epidemiologist Dr. Rene Najera about the state of COVID vaccines, masks, and trusted sources for pandemic information—as well as why he doesn’t like to use the word “booster.”
The term “profound autism” is not very useful to parents like me, or autistic people like my son. Instead, parents need connection with the communities who understand our kids’ high-support traits, like the disability and non-speaking communities—in addition to the wider autistic community.
Please, avoid this deceptively heartwarming tale. It mostly only models how to make questionable choices as a parent of an autistic child, and that can only hurt autistic children.
I truly do not know why some parents don’t want to listen to autistic adults. There is so much good autism information for parents from autistic adults, and so much of it is freely available, and yet the parents choose not to know.
“I like to remind people that health departments and institutions are not just the buildings: There’s mothers and fathers and uncles and aunts and brothers and sisters working there. And we have people who we care about, people who are from all walks of life. And we are doing it for them as well.”
If early intervention professionals truly want to serve autistic children, then they need to transition to better ways to guide our autistic kids, ways that don’t crush those children’s spirits and hearts.
An autistic young person has the right to have an active and willing agency in the process of deciding who to befriend, what boundaries should be set on such friendships and who they are just not comfortable with.