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Autistic Commonality and the Illusion of “Quirky”

Emily Paige Ballou chavisory.wordpress.com Some people insist on describing the autistic spectrum as ranging from the non-speaking and very profoundly disabled, to the “just quirky.” Or, during discussions about the need for acceptance and accommodation, the same people might tell autistic self-advocates, “That may be fine for autistic people like you who are just quirky, but you’re not like my child.” Some of those same people even insist that autistic people who are “just quirky” should probably have a different label than ‘autism’ altogether. Meanwhile research shows “camoflauging” influences autistic suicidality [image: Screenshot of a tweet. The icon and user name are blurred. The tweet reads, “If u can”disguise” your autism then imo u cannot possibly have autism. #NeedRealDiagnoses #SuckItGroupingEveryoneUnderOneLabel #FocusOnObjectiveReality”] But I actually wouldn’t mind if the word “quirky” were to disappear entirely from autism discussions, and take with it the dismissive and simplistic idea that autism is a…

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Interview: Christa Dahlstrom of Flummox and Friends

Flummox and Friends creator Christa Dahlstrom recently sent out the following tweet: “People of Twitter: I am engaged in the making of a TELEVISION PROGRAMME for NERD YOUTH and I REQUIRE YOUR ASSISTANCE.” We recommend you heed her rallying cry and hop over to the Flummox and Friends Kickstarter page — Christa and her crew are poised to deliver a smart, sassy, infinitely engaging and very necessary show for kids who are, well, flummoxed by social dynamics. We talked to Christa last week about  why Flummox and Friends needs to happen and how it will change the world when it does. Tell us what Flummox and Friends will be like. The show is a live-action comedy, along the lines of a contemporary television comedy rather than an instructional video or typical kids’ educational show. The main focus of the show is Professor Gideon T. Flummox of Flummox Labs and his…