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.
Trust that your autistic child can thrive alongside others, whether with spoken words, or not. Do not be afraid to tell the next salesperson, arriving with a false horror story about how your child will never achieve anything without their ‘Patented Treatment,’ that you have more confidence in your child than they do.
It’s important to avoid infantilising your teen or adult autistic offspring, meaning treating them as though they will always be a child—whether they’re five, fifteen or thirty-five.
Ellenby wrote in the first half of Autism Uncensored that she was Zack’s accommodation and he “rides” her. By the second half of the book it is becoming clear that she is riding Zack, using his autism for a social payout to herself.
We need more people to stand up and tell the world that exploiting your autistic child for “honesty” and profit is unacceptable, and that autistic people and their families deserve better than the constant barrage of misery and pain memoirs the publishing industry assumes to be our lot.
Food is an important part of life. Instead of using food as a “positive reinforcer,” or diets as part of a cure attempt, parents can use food and conversations about food to connect with their autistic children.
I am all about helping parents learn from my mistakes, so they don’t repeat my mistakes. Here are five bonks I made during the early years of parenting my autistic son, and how you can avoid repeating my fails.