On Not Passing, Failing to Pass, and Social Skills

Michael Scott Monje Jr. mmonjejr.blogspot.com Think Inclusive had a very interesting guest blog about passing, the pressure to do so, and the choice not to last week. I loved it. It was exactly as confrontational as it needed to be, refusing to pull punches about important issues. Around the same time I found that, I also ran across Stuart Duncan’s post, where he talks about the issues revolving around “getting fixed” by therapists. As I considered the points being made in both posts, something started to eat at me, and I didn’t quite know what my problem was, at least not until I found this article over on Brenda Rothman’s Mama Be Good on how the autism narrative gets framed. Then it all fell into place. Rather than rehashing her argument, I’d like you to just go read it. Go ahead. It doesn’t take long. Okay. Now, here’s the thing:…

img_7814-2152349

Autism, Siblings, and Fairness

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.Squidalicious.com www.ThinkingAutismGuide.com Update: I now know there is such a thing as competing access needs, and that this article is not entirely fair to Leo’s siblings. Please see our 2018 article Understanding Competing Accessibility Needs for more context. -SR Photo ¬© Shannon Des Roches Rosa [image: Young white teen girl whispering into her brother’s ear. They are seated on a picnic table in a park, surrounded by family reunion attendees all wearing light blue t-shirts.] Thirteen-year-old Iz is a wonderful big sister to Leo, who is just 21 months her junior. This photo is of the two of them at a family reunion earlier this month; she’s letting Leo know that the group photos won’t take that long, explaining that if he can just sit for one more minute, then he can go back to the playground, and that he’s being particularly awesome and patient (which…

To Young Autistic Males: You Are Awesome

Gen Eric I know you, but I don’t know you. I’m not you, but we have more in common than you may think. For one thing, we are both Autistic. For another, we’re both male; though you may identify as mostly male, or partly male, or a combination of male and female, or neither whatsoever and that’s awesome either way. Just like your autism, that’s part of what makes you you, and you are awesome. There’s something you need to understand from the outset. A lot of what’s happened in your life, a lot of difficulties you’ve encountered and things that others may have objected to, they aren’t your fault. All this time you were running on a radically different OS than your peers, and no one ever told you. You were expected to be just like the others and, when you couldn’t do that, you were told it was…

6387278413_64431786ec-4981244

My Autistic Son’s Joyful, Successful Disneyland Trip

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.squidalicious.com As many of us are planning summer excursions, here are the whys and hows of one autistic boy’s successful trip to Disneyland. Look, I grew up in Anaheim. Disneyland’s fireworks exploded over our house every summer night, and I played Dopey the Dwarf in the Main Street Electrical Parade. I couldn’t be more blas√© about the house of Mouse, so if you told me that my former workplace would one day make me happy enough to cry, I’d have scoffed. But crying with happiness is exactly what happened during my autistic son Leo’s birthday trip to Disneyland — he had two full days of pure joy that melted my cold, hard, meh-filled heart. For my son, it really was a Magic Kingdom. Photo of Leo by his uncle Mike Des Roches Leo hadn’t been to Disneyland since 2004 because the interim years were challenging ones…

leo_swing_cu-3013623

Let Me Stim, Let Me Stim, Let Me Stim

The holidays are upon us, and that means hanging with folks who might need a nudge or a gentle reminder about holiday kindness and accommodation for autistic kids and adults, on being nice about understanding autistic behaviors versus assuming naughtiness. One thing we’ll be seeing in our house as my son adjusts to an atypical schedule is stimming. Lots of stimming. Some of Leo’s stimming needs redirecting, but most of it is functional and self-soothing. Our friends and family get why Leo stims and what he needs, they have his back; Leo will be fine, we’ll be fine. But if you or your child need stimming functionality backup or want to help understand why stimming doesn’t just matter but can be very necessary, I suggest citing Zoe’s About Stimming, or Julia Bascom’s The Obsessive Joy of Autism. Or, you could just sing folks this song, which I came up with…