IMFAR: Now With More Autistic Priorities! TPGA’s 2017 Conference Report

Shannon Des Roches Rosa  Senior Editor, TPGA Welcome to IMFAR 2017! [image: three white autistic folks: Corina Becker, Steven Kapp, & Carol Greenburg, posing by the “Welcome to IMFAR 2017” sign.] We have been reporting from IMFAR, the annual International Meeting for Autism Research, since 2011. This year we provided general live coverage via Twitter, with select roundups including the Press Conference, and highlights from sessions such as Autism and Aging, Understanding Barriers to Autism Diagnoses for Children from Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups in the U.S., Mental Health Crises in Autistic Youth, and Autism and Sexuality. We also co-hosted the #AutIMFAR chat with autistic and autism research community members. While the research presented at IMFAR continues to be varied in scope, and is still too disproportionately skewed towards prenatal, infant, and early childhood findings, our takeaway is that the 2017 meeting in San Francisco had the biggest increase in neurodiversity-oriented content and attendees we’ve seen so far.…


2012 at Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

2012 was an eventful year at Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism: Our book drew much acclaim, three new editors joined our team, we featured more than 30 profiles of Autistic kids and adults for April’s Slice of Life series, we went to the International Meeting for Autism Research in Toronto, our Facebook community hit and surpassed 10,000 members while remaining a nexus for thoughtful autism news and conversation, and we were cited and our editors were interviewed frequently — especially whenever autism made headlines. We also continued to publish thought-provoking and educational essays and interviews on this site, and all enjoyed and learned from the ensuing discussions. The 15 TPGA posts (with excerpts) below were 2012’s most popular — meaning hotly debated and/or praised — and give a sense of what we in the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism community had on our minds these past twelve months. Thank you…

2011: The TPGA Year In Review

Liz Ditz What a year! We published 189 posts from 114 authors, many new to Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. The complete list is below the fold. We branched out. I started to categorize the blog posts using the section headings from the book, and realized a lot of the posts didn’t exactly fit. We published a lot more posts by autistics, and more on adult issues in autism. Advocacy wasn’t a heading in the book, but was a big subject this year, and into the future. Technology and research were also covered with more posts than in previous years. Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism went to, and reported on, conferences: the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, Hacking Autism’s App Hackathon, UCSF’s Developmental Disabilities Conference, and BlogHer.  In terms of virtual events, we observed Autism Awareness Month by posting daily, and promoted and…

TPGA’s Mission Explained, on

During IMFAR, HealthCentral’s Jeremy Shane inteviewed TPGA editor Shannon Des Roches Rosa about the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. Shannon talks about why we created TPGA, how our site and forthcoming book provide the “crash course” parents of kids with new autism diagnoses need (and which doesn’t currently exist), as well as the importance of finding positive role models, community, and information as soon as possible after an autism diagnosis. Jeremy also interviewed Shannon about Accepting Your Child’s Diagnosis, and on iPads & Learning Devices for Teaching Kids With Autism.