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I Don’t Use a Phone

TPGA is observing Autism Acceptance Month by featuring accounts from autistic people about the differences accommodations (or lack thereof) make in their lives. Today, Amanda Forest Vivian talks about why, no, she really can’t use a phone — and how reluctant other people can be to respect and accommodate her on this matter: Design by The Dusty Phoenix [image: White iPhone case with illustrated narwhal design.] Amanda Forest Vivian adeepercountry.blogspot.com I, an adult person, do not use a phone even though I can speak orally. In fact — and I’m really letting the team down here, according to a certain kind of motivational speaker — I can’t use a phone. If you’re anything like me, you have had the idea drummed into your head that you should never use the word “can’t” unless it is literally true — not just literally because there’s nothing figurative about my inability to use…

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Five Ways to A Brighter Future for Autistic People

TPGA is observing Autism Acceptance Month by featuring accounts from autistic people about the differences accommodations (or lack thereof) make in their lives. Today, British autistic filmmaker and author Carly Jones outlines her “Top five understandings previous Autistic generations did not have, that the next Autistic generation must have as standard.” Carly Jones www.facebook.com/olley.edwards Carly and her family [image: A laughing white woman with long dark hair, lying on a striped blanket with her three children.]  1) See autism as a real disability Disability is not a dirty word, though it feels that way to some — we are all too often encouraged to see disability as “less than” “inferior,” or “disadvantaged.” I see disability as someone having a different experience of the world than is “typical.” Although Theory of Mind (lack of pre-installed knowledge that other people’s thoughts, wants, and agendas may differ from one’s own) is noted as…

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How Can We All Do Better By Our Autistic Girls?

TPGA is observing Autism Acceptance Month by featuring accounts from autistic people about the differences accommodations (or lack thereof) make in their lives. Today, five women talk about about the under-recognition of autistic girls, the long- and short-term effects of going without supports and accommodations, and what autistic girls and actually need to succeed and be happy. Photo: Steven Depolo (Flickr) [image: Two smiling African-American girls, on a swing set.] Autism is different for girls, and not only because fewer girls than boys get autism diagnoses. Autistic women and girls tend to have different traits than autistic boys do, and are also socialized differently — leading to many of those girls being overlooked or misdiagnosed well into adulthood, plus leading most of their life without the supports that could have made their lives much easier. It gets even more complicated when autistic girls are also racial minorities, and/or from low-income…

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Sometimes Accommodations Aren’t Enough: Autism and Anxiety

TPGA is observing Autism Acceptance Month by featuring accounts from autistic people about the differences accommodations (or lack thereof) make in their lives. Today, John Elder Robison talks about why accommodation is important, yet may not be enough to help autistic people like him with co-occuring conditions such as anxiety. John Elder Robison jerobison.blogspot.com With April being Autism month, the folks at TPGA asked me to write about accommodations. How about anxiety, Shannon asked? Foolishly, I agreed. After thinking about the topic for hours, till smoke dribbled from my ears, I cannot conceive of any accommodation I could request around my anxiety. Photo © John Elder Robison [Image: Close up of water running over a rock in a stream.] For me, anxiety is one of the most disabling aspects of autism, and it’s with me — at least at a low level — most all the time. I am almost…

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When Chairs Are the Enemy

Photo © Just Dining Chairs  | Flickr / Creative Commons [Two taupe suede dining chair with blonde wood legs on a white background.] TPGA is observing Autism Acceptance Month by featuring accounts from autistic people about the differences accommodations (or lack thereof) make in their lives. Today’s example is from Aiyana Bailin, about how small accommodations changes, in this case choices regarding chairs, can have “huge results.” Aiyana Bailin restlesshands42.wordpress.com Once, at a convention of (mostly) autistic people, I observed a peculiar phenomenon. Chairs were arranged in a large circle, and perhaps 100 attendees gathered and sat. A handful of people, myself included, took their spot in the circle, but sat on the floor in front of their chair, rather than on the chair itself. This floor-sitting evoked no signs of disapproval; after all, most autistic people know that comfort doesn’t come in one-size-fits-all. But I’m used to people being…

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Under the Rainbow and On the Spectrum

TPGA is observing Autism Acceptance Month by featuring accounts from autistic people about the differences accommodations (or lack thereof) make in their lives. Today’s entry is a poem by Queerability founder Kris Guin, about embracing acceptance, the spectrums of intersectionality, and rejecting shame. [image: The international disability symbol, in white, on a rainbow-striped background.] Kris Guin queerability.tumblr.com Back and forth Back and forth Back and forth Back and forth Male and female Male and female Male and female Male and female One end of the spectrum To another Culture is made up of Stimming Stimming And Pride Pride in Gender Sexuality And disability Acronym LGBTQ Add D For Disability All parts of me Included Accepted Respected No fear No shame No hiding Safe Intersectionality Embrace it Honor it Celebrate it We are Here Queer And disabled