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In Silence and in Sound: Autistics Do Not Benefit From Presumptions of Deficit

Photo: Ian Chen | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: Close-up black-and-white photo of a young East Asian child, with one finger over their lips in a position indicating “hush.”] Maxfield Sparrow unstrangemind.com When an academic writes accurately about aspects of autistic lived experience, some people grumble. “All they needed to do was ask me and I would have told them,” some will say. “We’ve known this for years but they act like it’s a shocking new revelation,” others might add. I, however, rejoice. Formal confirmation of autistic common knowledge is exactly the kind of research we need out there. I am so happy when an academic paper states the obvious (at least obvious to us autistics) because it means there is finally an information source that “the system” will respect. Do I wish people would actually listen to actual autistics? Most definitely, I do. But until we manage to shift…

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Voices for Vaccines: A Giving Tuesday Org to Support

We’re grateful to our friends at Voices for Vaccines for helping us bust vaccine-autism myths while supporting autistic people. We’re also grateful for their tireless work in making sure the anti-vaccine voice is not the default parent voice broadcast during conversations about immunization. Tomorrow, December 2, they are asking for our help in getting pro-vaccine voices heard by gathering 1,000 donors who are willing to put their money where their anti-disease opinion is and give to VFV as part of their Giving Tuesday drive. TPGA is happy to support Voices for Vaccines and to take these simple steps to help spread the word to 1,000 potential donors for tomorrow! Here’s how you can help: 1) Join the Facebook event and invite friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/666509686779809/ 2) Visit VFV on Giving Tuesday and donate any amount, great or small. www.voicesforvaccines.org/support 3) Share this video widely with friends, family, and colleagues: Thank you for…

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Busting Anti-Vaccine Myths While Supporting Autistic People

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.Squidalicious.com Yesterday I was given the opportunity to head a “Let’s Talk About Autism” discussion for the excellent organization Voices for Vaccines, in order to help vaccine advocates understand how anti-vaccine information can be hurtful to the autistic community, and with the hope that better understanding about autism as part of pro-vaccine messaging will help spread acceptance of autistic people like my son Leo. If you missed the discussion, which was followed by a Q&A, one option is to listen to the Voices for Vaccines “Let’s Talk About Autism” recording. Another is to read the simultaneous conversation on Twitter, which Liz Ditz kindly Storified. Or you could read the below version of the talk I gave, though the live version include some improvisation. This transcript also does not include the Q&A session, though its highlights are covered in Liz’s Storify post. —- I’ve been writing about autism…

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Advocating for TPGA Principles at the UCSF Developmental Disabilities Conference

One week ago, TPGA editors Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Byde Myers, Emily Willingham, and Carol Greenburg spoke as a group at the University of San Francisco’s Developmental Disabilities Conference. It was an honor and a privilege to talk with a group of (mostly) professionals about how we use the power of social media to support our principles and TPGA’s mission, including autism acceptance and civil rights for people with disabilities, evidence-based approaches to autism supports and research, and debunking autism myths and misinformation. TPGA editrixes, post-UCSF session Shannon, who opened the discussion, is TPGA’s senior editor, and the parent of an autistic child. Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (TPGA) is a book, a blog, and a community. We aim to support autistic people and their families, counter negative media messages and autism stigma, and provide positive autism attitude role models. We created TPGA in 2010 to be the resource…