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Autism and Self-Injury: Talking With Dr. Rachel Moseley at INSAR 2019

Dr. Rachel Moseley and Carol Greenburg [image: Photos of two smiling white women wearing glasses posing together. Left, Rachel Moseley has shoulder-length light brown hair. Right, Carol Greenburg’s hair is in a platinum bob.] Content note: This interview discusses self-injury and suicidal behavior. Oftentimes the most rewarding findings at INSAR, the annual meeting for the International Society for Autism Research, emerge during the pre-conference sessions. We went to the 2019 pre-conference on autism and mental health and were impressed by Dr. Rachel Moseley’s presentation on self-injury in autistic people without intellectual disability—and are grateful that Dr. Moseley was able to make time to talk with TPGA editors Carol Greenburg and Shannon Rosa about her research. Shannon Rosa: Dr. Moseley, can you first tell us a little bit about yourself, and your background and affiliations? Dr. Moseley: I’m a researcher at Bournemouth University. I did all my studying and my PhD…

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Why Do So Many Autistic People Flap Our Hands?

Maxfield Sparrow unstrangemind.com [image: rainbow colored hands in silhouette, upraised and reaching out with joy.] The saying goes, “if you’ve met one Autistic person, you’ve met one Autistic person.” That was really hammered home for me today as I watched a short video in which an Autistic man explains why Autistic people flap our hands … and pretty much nothing he said matched up with my own experience. A few of the things he said even bothered me. My intention is not to erase what he said, however. His view of why he used to flap his hands is just as valid as my view of why I still flap my hands. There are many ways of being Autistic. (Since the video was not captioned, I took the time to make a transcript of it for those who can’t hear or understand it. That was fortunate as the original video…

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Autism and Biowearables: An interview with Matthew Goodwin at IMFAR 2017

Carol Greenburg and Matthew Goodwin at the IMFAR 2017 Press Conference [image: White woman with short platinum hair and glasses posing with a taller white man with a shaved head and goatee.] Northeastern University researcher Matthew Goodwin gave an IMFAR 2017 keynote speech about his work on “Wearable Sensor-Based Physiological and Physical Activity Biomarkers for Use in Laboratory and Naturalistic Environments to Assess Arousal and Repetitive Motor Movements in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism’s Carol Greenburg and Shannon Rosa, and Autism Women’s Network’s Corina Becker, spoke to Goodwin after the IMFAR press conference, about the real-life applications of his work, and how they can benefit autistic people. Carol Greenburg: What constitutes a behavior, insofar as it’s something that needs to be mitigated? A behavior like flapping or other “stims” may mean something different to the person who’s doing the intervention, as opposed to the autistic person themselves.…

Fish Out of Water

Lydia Wayman autisticspeaks.wordpress.com I take in a gulp of air and shut my eyes tight before I plunge beneath the surface. One, two, three… It starts to feel like my brain is tingling from the inside. Four, five, six… I’m not counting in seconds, not in minutes, but in hours. Seven, eight, nine… I search for anyone, anything who will ground me through my ever-increasing internal chaos. Ten! When given the cue, I cannot break the surface fast enough, gasping for breath. I’ve done this thousands of times, and yet, after twenty-five years of daily descents, I am no more sure that I will survive the next one. —- I’m really not a writer.  Writers have readers.  I write because it’s the only way for me to get from one day to the next without semi-spontaneous internal combustion taking effect. I’m not a writer.  I’m a processor of the world, an organizer…