Too Noisy

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 story is from Kathryn Hedges, about how noisy environments can disrupt her ability to process and function. Kathryn Hedges www.khedges.com I don’t fit the autistic stereotypes people learn from “autism awareness” campaigns: I’m an adult female who can converse with you (most of the time) and live independently with fewer supports than the average non-autistic person. (At least based on the number of times a week people tell me their friends or family did XYZ for them so why don’t I ask mine for help.) I’ve worked hard as an adult to learn social skills, which helps hide my autism and give me a veneer of “high functioning” over my interior “low functioning” with sensory issues and emotional regulation. One of the most disabling aspects of…

Building the Plane as We’re Flying It

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 story is from Sara Luterman, about the “frequent adjustments” that are necessary for her to be properly accommodated at her workplace. Sara Luterman www.nosmag.org The statistics around autism and employment can be incredibly discouraging. Forty-two percent of autistic people in their twenties — people like me — are unemployed, even though only 26% of overall young disabled people are out of work. This might seem counter-intuitive. After all, if someone can do well in college or even graduate school, surely they should be able to do well once they join the workforce? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Like many of my autistic peers, I have struggled to keep a job. I was fired from the first full-time job I ever had after just two weeks:…

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Not Accepted

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 story is from Mandy Klein, about how it feels when one’s ability to function fluctuates, but is not recognized or accommodated. Mandy Klein talesfromanautismfamily.blogspot.ca I am autistic, with the old label of Asperger’s, if that makes any difference — though it shouldn’t.  Speaking to communicate is not something I am good at. When my anxiety is bad and/or I am in public — especially in a group — my speaking ability is pretty much zero. I had a most horrible experience in a group specifically for autistic people to learn mindfulness. It was at an agency that is “aware” of autism, as they are an agency that specifically provides services to autistics. Are they an agency that is accepting of autistics? Not so much. The agency…

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Autism Acceptance Month 2016 at TPGA: Calling All Accommodations

Flickr photo by Laura Wechsler. Creative Commons License. [Image: East Asian person wearing blue headphones, seen through the door window on a NYC subway car.] At TPGA, April is Autism Acceptance Month. In keeping with (and quoting from) The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network’s Autism Acceptance Month project: “April is Autism Acceptance Month. During Autism Acceptance Month, we focus on sharing positive, respectful, and accurate information about autism and autistic people.  “Autism Acceptance Month promotes acceptance and celebration of autistic people as family members, friends, classmates, co-workers, and community members making valuable contributions to our world. Autism is a natural variation of the human experience, and we can all create a world which values, includes, and celebrates all kinds of minds. “In a nutshell, Autism Acceptance Month is about treating autistic people with respect, listening to what we have to say about ourselves, and making us welcome in the world.” For Autism Acceptance Month…