Challenging Kickstarter’s Support of a “Torture Device”: Interview With Advocate Rory McCarthy

Anne Borden King The NOIT device in use [image: Screen capture from a video, showing the back of a person’s neck with a small buzzing device attached with a gel pack or some such.] The NOIT product was first flagged by Rory McCarthy, an advocate in the ADHD and autistic communities. The device is attached to the base of a child’s neck with glue. It stays attached to the child throughout the day, emitting loud beeps every eight seconds. Its marketers claim that this “Natural Orientation Inducing Tool (NOIT)” is a “tool to create and maintain focused attention.” There is no research or evidence to support this claim. Despite this, NOIT marketers earned nearly $150,000 promoting the product on Kickstarter, even as members of the ADHD and autistic community reached out to Kickstarter, asking it to remove the product from its platform and calling it a torture device. A petition…


“Zoom Fatigue”: A Taste of The Autistic Experience

Photo © Sybren Stüvel | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: Frustrated white person at a computer keyboard. Their hands are on their head covering their hair, and they are wearing glasses.] Maxfield Sparrow Like many folks, I had not heard of Zoom before the pandemic. My friends in IT tell me they were using it for work meetings before much of the United States went into self-quarantine, shelter in place, lockdown, or whatever you want to call the “social distancing” we were urged to observe to help slow the spread of the virus. One bonus for me of the way things have shifted during the pandemic is that I’ve been able to join small groups of people from whom I’m genuinely geographically isolated. For the holy season, I celebrated in community with a Lodge in Sacramento. My friend, Smash Ford, invited me to attend a meeting of the Non-Binary Union…


Harriet: A Neurodivergent Film Review

Source: Focus Features [image: Poster for the movie Harriet. A glowing orange-brown background features three Black people, one man and two women, in 19th century clothing. The woman in the center is wearing a wide-brimmed hat and has an unapologetic expression. Below them is a smaller photo of the center woman, in profile holding up at pistol. All-caps white text below her reads, “Harriet”] Maxfield Sparrow The movie Harriet (2019) is 125 minutes (two hours and five minutes) long. —- The first thing I noticed about the film Harriet was that the showing was sold out. I was eager to see the film and was simultaneously irritated and grateful that I couldn’t get a ticket. Irritated, because it meant buying a ticket for a later showing and finding a way to kill time for a couple of hours. Grateful because Harriet’s story is one everyone should know. Harriet…

An iPad screen with the app Speak for Yourself, and a list of animals in the message bar: "banana, cookie, cat, dog..."

OK, So We have AAC: Now What?

Think of your goal less about “doing it right” and more about “getting comfortable with AAC.” I’ve seen fear of being wrong all too often lead to no modeling. And I promise some modeling, modeling with mistakes, modeling slowly, all of it is better than no modeling.