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On “Energy Budgeting” and Acknowledging Internal Autistic Realities

Photo courtesy the author. [image: Photo of Anne Corwin, as a child of about 7 years old with pale skin  and dark hair with bangs. She is sitting on a tree branch while leaning against the trunk and looking into the distance.] By Anne Corwin Too many of us (autistic people) grow up knowing only how to run on momentum, and operate in a depleted state much of the time without even realizing it… until we “crash,” leaving us and everyone around us asking, “what happened?!” Regardless of whether we are put through formal ABA programs as kids—or even whether or not we’re accurately diagnosed as children—autistic folks often end up learning the polar opposite of “energy budgeting.” This is partly due to a defect in how our society at large operates, of course—but that’s a whole other gigantic discussion beyond the scope of this article. There are still things…

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The Problem With Autistic Communication Is Non-Autistic People: A Conversation With Dr. Catherine Crompton

Dr. Catherine Crompton is doing ground-breaking research on autistic social dynamics and communication, so we were thrilled to interview Dr. Crompton about her work on Information Transfer between Autistic and Neurotypical People during INSAR 2019. We were fascinated (and gratified) to learn about her findings that when there are communication disconnects between the two groups, it tends to be a mutual hiccup rather than an autistic-specific problem. Shannon Rosa of Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (TPGA): I’m speaking with Dr. Catherine Crompton from the University of Edinburgh. Catherine is working on a project that examines whether performance on cultural transmission tasks varies, depending on the diagnostic status of the social partner, which basically, if you want to summarize that in layman’s terms? Dr. Crompton: It means that we’re looking at how autistic people interact with other people, whether that is different, depending on whether the person they’re interacting with is also…

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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…