Ari Ne’eman at the Syracuse University Neurodiversity Symposium, Part 2

Three weeks ago, Syracuse University hosted its first regional Neurodiversity Sypmosium, with Ari Ne’eman as the keynote speaker. Mr. Ne’eman is President and co-founder of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, as well as a presidential appointee to the National Council on Disability. He spoke both fiercely and wittily about both neurodiversity and self-advocacy in the past, present, and future. TPGA is publishing a series of excerpts from Mr. Ne’eman’s talk. This is part two. Part one was published one week ago, and focuses on the history of the disability rights movement. Part two centers on power and perception, about how “…in the autism world, what autism is — and what we should do about it — is very much under conflict.” TPGA was given an audio copy of Mr. Ne’eman’s talk by journalist Steve Silberman, who is currently researching a book about neurodiversity. Thank you, Steve. A couple of years ago,…

Ari Ne’eman at the Syracuse University Neurodiversity Symposium, Part 1

Two weeks ago, Syracuse University hosted its first regional Neurodiversity Sypmosium, with Ari Ne’eman as the keynote speaker. Mr. Ne’eman is President and co-founder of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, as well as a presidential appointee to the National Council on Disability. He spoke both fiercely and wittily about both neurodiversity and self-advocacy in the past, present, and future. TPGA was given an audio copy of Mr. Ne’eman’s talk by neurodiversity-immersed journalist Steve Silberman, who said it needed to be shared. This will be the first of three posts covering the talk; this excerpt focuses on Mr. Ne’eman’s coverage of the history of the neurodiversity, self-advocacy, and disability rights movements as civil rights movements, as well as “…the peculiar concept that people with autism could be a minority group like any other.” — I see this symposium not only as the beginning of a process that’s being going on some time…

Coming Out: Autism in College

Kerry Magro KerryMagro.com Kerry was recently featured in a story that ran in the Orlando Sentinel and the L.A. Times which shared his transition to college life and the skills he gained there as he became a self-advocate. He has since graduated from Seton Hall.                       -The Editors Hello, my name is Kerry Magro and I have autism. I just recently learned about The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism from a truly outstanding individual, Laura Shumaker, who is a remarkable advocate for those of us who are on the spectrum.  Once I looked at the website, and read some of the essays, I knew I was hooked.  Regardless of what I took from the essays, I wanted to help in any way I possibly could. This gave me the idea of posting one of my own personal works about coming out about being on the spectrum. Below you will find…

An Interview with Carol Greenburg, Autism Women’s Network Regional Director

I met Carol Greenburg last summer at the BlogHer conference in New York. Her confidence, humor, and commentary made her instantly appealing, but her kindness, fierce intelligence, and advocacy skills make knowing her both a luxury and a necessity. She is the executive director of Brooklyn Special Needs Consulting, and serves as the East Coast Regional Director of the Autism Women’s Network. She joined the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism’s editorial board in January, where she adds her depth of knowledge as an advocate, parent of a special needs child, and an adult on the spectrum. ~Jennifer I’ve joked with you before that you really “have it all.” You’re an adult with Asperger’s syndrome, the mother of an autistic child, and an advocate in the autism community. Do you have trouble switching hats? Do you compartmentalize?  I try to compartmentalize. I think that’s the only way to really do it.…

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Shifting Focus: Eight Facts About Autism the Media Is Not Covering

Holly Robinson Peete www.hollyrod.org Over the years many parents have reached out to me for emotional support after their child was diagnosed with autism. I particularly remember getting Jenny McCarthy’s phone call shortly after her son’s diagnosis. Like most moms and dads, she needed to connect with somebody who knew first hand the swift gut-kick of this difficult diagnosis, somebody who had been in the trenches for seven years already.  We cried. We cussed. We even managed to laugh. We spoke for eight hours. She was naturally frustrated with the lack of answers about autism. I was there for her as I’d be for any parent, and I told her she was blessed to get such an early diagnosis. Her passion was palpable and I could tell she was going to grab autism by the horns, making it her mission and focus. I knew she’d help spread autism awareness like…

We Fight the Fights That are Worth Fighting

Elise, A.K.A. aspergers2mom asd2mom.blogspot.com  Fifteen years ago, my oldest son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified). At the time, we had no idea what kind of future he would have — if he would have at a future at all. Autism was not even a word on anyone’s lips at the time; no one was talking about it and no one was even acknowledging the epidemic that it was becoming. Luckily, I had a cousin whose son had been diagnosed years earlier and I called him for some advice. The best thing that he ever said to me and what I pass on to others is: Do not project the future for your child. Take each day, each moment if necessary, and do what needs to be done at that time. Then one day you will look back and see how far your child has come.…