“I have to be realistic about the community that I am nurturing in, and the community for my children and for the parents that I help, as a Black autistic woman.”
Why parents of autistic kids need to be cautious and thoughtful about the therapies they consider for their children.
Jenny Mai Phan is an Asian American autistic autism researcher, an Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) member, and the mother of four children, two of whom are autistic.
Parents should tell their children they are autistic in ways that help them understand and feel good about who they are.
At a time when there remains widespread confusion about autism and developmental disability, it is imperative that responsible platforms make a more serious effort to educate the public and to more regularly share valid, up-to-date information.
This idea that people with intellectual disabilities cannot learn is a very dangerous idea and it leads to us being harmed. I think it is important to autistics with intellectual disabilities that we get the support to learn.
The term “profound autism” is not very useful to parents like me, or autistic people like my son. Instead, parents need connection with the communities who understand our kids’ high-support traits, like the disability and non-speaking communities—in addition to the wider autistic community.
Please, avoid this deceptively heartwarming tale. It mostly only models how to make questionable choices as a parent of an autistic child, and that can only hurt autistic children.
I truly do not know why some parents don’t want to listen to autistic adults. There is so much good autism information for parents from autistic adults, and so much of it is freely available, and yet the parents choose not to know.
All humans deserve to be able to do energy budgeting in ways that make sense for us, and I hope to see the day when support for autistic people toward this end is considered a matter of basic ethics and decency.