screen2bshot2b2021-11-302bat2b7-42-012bpm-7023051

UC Davis Neurodiversity Summit 2021: Debate on the Neurodiversity Movement, with Shannon Rosa and Matthew Belmonte

Earlier this month, our senior editor Shannon Rosa was invited to participate in the 2021 UC Davis Neurodiversity Summit, on a panel debating the role of the Neurodiversity Movement in supporting and including autistic people with intellectual and communication disabilities. The panel was moderated by Dr. Susan Rivera and also included Dr. Matthew Belmonte, a neuroscientist and autism researcher. The two panelists agreed more than they disagreed, as you can see by either watching the video or reading the full debate transcript below.  The full conference included autistic people with intellectual disabilities and/or who communicate via AAC, on panels such as a Discussion on Experiences of Discrimination and Stigma, and Autism, Communication and Agency, and is worth your time.  [image: Headshot photos of Shannon Rosa, a white woman with red hair and glasses, and Matthew Belmonte, a white man with Picard hair and a beard, next to their short bios.]…

About That Study on “Preventing” Autism Diagnoses, and How Autism Researchers Can Do Better

Source: Wikimedia Commons [image: Photo of a smiling Black toddler with curly black hair up in puffs, sitting in a  Black adult’s lap, while a smiling medical professional interacts with them.] Patrick Dwyer, MA Lucas Harrington, PsyD Ava Gurba, BS  Last month, researchers in Australia led by Andrew Whitehouse published a new study: a trial of a “pre-emptive” intervention for infants assessed to have an elevated likelihood of later developing autism.  Internet furor immediately ensued, with some headlines proclaiming that the new intervention could prevent as many as two-thirds of autism diagnoses. Many neurodiversity advocates were naturally horrified by these ominous headlines, but was the media portrayal accurate? What were the researchers trying to do? The researchers who conducted the study claimed that it “chershes neurodiversity”: that instead of being about suppressing autism, the intervention aimed to help the caregivers of these possibly-neurodivergent babies better understand their children and adapt…

p5qssluorkaaeu1bhkbs7q-6502040

INSAR 2019: Yet Useful Research and Autistic Representation Persisted

Shannon Rosa Senior Editor The TPGA team attends INSAR, the annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research, annually and has done so for eight years. We participate as journalists covering important autism research for our community, and also from our combined personal investments as parents of high-support autistic teens, autistic self-advocates, and autism professionals.  I found INSAR 2019 to be the most progressive annual INSAR meeting since I first started attending in 2011, going by TPGA’s priorities of spotlighting research addressing the health and well being of existing autistic people, centering improved autistic quality of life as an optimal outcome, and increasing and acknowledging participation of autistic people themselves. I also appreciate seeing an increasing emphasis on autistic people and their families’ day-to-day under-recognized concerns, including co-occurring conditions like GI issues and sleep disturbances, practical considerations of transitions to adulthood, suicidality and other mental health matters, physical activity,…