Why Don’t You Just Learn X?

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 Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone, about getting comfortable with asking for crucial accommodations — and setting one’s own boundaries about those supports. Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone crackedmirrorinshalott.wordpress.com When I first moved out, we didn’t realize that I needed the support that I do. I’ve talked about some of these things before on this blog, so I’m going to give each of them a paragraph. I understand general concepts around money management, but am unable to consistently apply it to my own life. (Example: I might need something but not get it, because I’m worried I won’t have enough money, even though it’s what the money is supposed to be there for.) Additionally, I have executive functioning issues that mean that making sure the right things happen at the right time…

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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

On The Edge of Gone: Corinne Duyvis on Post-Apocalyptic Autism Accommodations

TPGA is observing Autism Acceptance Month by featuring accounts from autistic people about the differences accommodations (or lack thereof) make in their lives. Today we’re interviewing autistic author Corinne Duyvis about her new science fiction novel On The Edge of Gone, in which a biracial, autistic, cat-loving teen girl is forced to fight for the accommodations she needs during a post-comet strike apocalypse — and if she’s going to make it on one of the spaceships that may be humanity’s only hopes for survival. [image description: Book Cover: Teen girl with her back to the camera, in front of an urban landscape with departing spaceships. Superimposed text reads “On The Edge of Gone, Corinne Duyvis.”] Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (TPGA): On The Edge of Gone’s main character is Denise, a Dutch autistic teen girl trying to survive what very well may be the end of the world. Dystopian narratives…

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Tuned Into Acceptance: An Autistic Teen and His YouTube Channel

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 Henny Kupferstein, about how her own autistic insights helped her guide her friend Ethan into creating videos that demonstrate his autistic perspectives, as well as accommodations that work for him. Henny Kupferstein www.hennyk.com Ethan loves watching the Super Nanny show. When he re-enacts the scenes of whining children, he is testing if other caregivers will respond in the expected manner as in the show. While behaviorists call this ‘scripting,’ interweaving his reality with the show allows him to predict how people might respond, based on what happened on TV. When others refuse to play along and insert themselves into the story, the ambiguity triggers a stress response in the face of the unknown. Ethan’s iPhone offers a unique glimpse into the way he…

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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Autism Acceptance: Don’t Be on the Wrong Side of History

Shannon Des Roches Rosa  www.squidalicious.com [image: White boy with short brown hair, seen from behind, walking on a stone path in a Japanese rock garden.] You don’t want to be on the wrong side of history, do you? That’s a particularly important question to ask yourself regarding autism acceptance. It’s important for you to accept, and then help other people understand, that autistic people like my son are your fellow human beings, with your same inalienable rights to live happy and pity-free lives. That whatever their needs and abilities, autistic people are not “less” than other people. You can start small with Autism Acceptance if you need to, start on the personal scale — taking the time to understand, for example, that my autistic son Leo doesn’t like restrictive shoes, and prefers Crocs — it’s a sensory thing. Why would I put him through the trauma of wearing other shoes?…

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I’ve Just Seen A Face

DeannaMC travelingmonkeys.org We want April — Autism Acceptance Month — to matter, to help further acceptance and understanding of autistic experiences, happiness, and rights for autistic people of all ages and abilities. We will be publishing Autism Acceptance posts and pictures all month long. -TPGA Editors I’ve just seen a face / I can’t forget the time or place / Where we just met This is not a sad story. Two months ago, a child psychologist confirmed what we had once denied but had long since come to know was true, and thus it was that “autism” became as commonplace a word in our house as “Netflix.” She’s just the girl for me / And I want all the world / To see we’ve met Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm mmm mmm She’s helping us plan quite the celebration; it will be Madeline-themed, down to a hat-shaped cake that she can’t…

Asperger’s Syndrome Meets Alpha Male Syndrome

M incipientturvy.blogspot.com We want April — Autism Acceptance Month — to matter, to help further acceptance and understanding of autistic experiences, happiness, and rights for autistic people of all ages and abilities. We will be publishing Autism Acceptance posts and pictures all month long. -TPGA Editors 7a.m., Monday morning. I make a rare appearance in the break room at work. I’m sipping coffee, trying to wake up. I’m standing in the corner hoping to avoid people, but a co-worker makes intentional eye contact and starts walking towards me. I think, “Why, god? Why?” I can’t remember his name or which department he’s from. The protective social mimicry kicks in. Co-worker: Dude, can you believe it? Me: Dude, I really can’t. I have no idea what he’s talking about. Co-worker: You know what I’m talking about … right? Me: Of course. You’re talking about … you know, what a surprise it…