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The World Is Such a Loud Place And It Seldom Stops Talking

Photo © dan_giles | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: A red lit-up mute button featuring a crossed-out microphone symbol.] Alex Earhart autisticallyalex.com Hearing is the sense that gives me the most trouble to the point that I often wish I had a mute button for the world around me. Sometimes I even wonder what it would be like to have a cochlear implant that I could detach when sound was just too overpowering. The world is such a loud place and it seldom stops talking. Some days are better than others. Sometimes my brain does a better job at filtering sounds toward the back of my mind, but most days the sound comes at me all at once in a jumble of confusing, overwhelming chaos. Each sound jockeys for position at the front of my mind as each insists I pay close attention to its deafening shouts. It’s an exhausting…

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International Day of the Stim: The Worry Stone

Photo © the author [image: Close up of fingertips grasping a worn black pottery shard.] Hannah King mystinkybackpack.blogspot.ca September 17, 2018 is International Day of the Stim! For more articles and information, see dayofthestim.blogspot.com. I found this old piece of pottery at the beach. It’s been worn smooth from the waves, and it fits perfectly in my hand. My thumb rub it over and over and over and over—it feels great. My thumbs are major in my stimming, always have been. I think one reason my thumb stims survived the years of stim-suppression I underwent at school and home is that I could stim—surreptitiously—with my thumbs. It was easy to tuck my hand into the folds of a cardigan sweater and reach for the nubby underside of a button, or to slide my thumbs and fingers quietly along the coolness beneath a school desk. And while I loved to glide…

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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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The New Sesame Street Julia Doll: An Autistic Review

Kris Guin queerability.tumblr.com Update August 6, 2019: The author no longer supports Sesame Street’s “See Amazing” project because of their promotion of Autism Speaks. Please also note the following insights from Cal Montgomery: If you have a Julia doll, be gentle with her. She is just now learning that Big Bird thinks the world would be a better place if she weren’t in it. It is an ugly shock whenever you find out the people you love feel that way. And a lot of people love Big Bird. — Cal Montgomery (@Cal__Montgomery) August 6, 2019 The new Julia toy! Photo courtesy Kris Guin [image: Stuffed “Julia” doll with orange hair, green eyes, yellow skin, big happy mouth, pink dress, green pants, and black shoes.] Sesame Street is a staple in children’s television, and has used its platform to educate children about topics that need to be talked about and that children…

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Elizabeth Bartmess Interviewed on autchat, Autistic Community, and Autism in Fiction

Elizabeth Bartmess runs the autistics-and-cousins autchat discussions on Twitter, and also writes and critiques autism-themed fiction. We talked with Bartmess about why autchat matters, sometimes in surprising ways, and also about why “‘Autistic character learns empathy’ is the character arc I most wish would go away.” Elizabeth Bartmess [image: photo of a white person with short light brown hair and glasses, smiling.] Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism: Tell us about autchat. What is it, exactly?  Elizabeth Bartmess: Autchat is a Twitter hashtag by and for autistic people and “autistic cousins”—people who have similar experiences due to other disabilities like hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, ADHD, etc. We welcome people whether they are formally diagnosed, self-diagnosed, or wondering whether they might be autistic or similar. We have weekly hour-long chats on our experiences, with topics such as  accommodations, burnout, and sexuality. During a chat, the moderator asks 4-5 questions and participants answer them.…

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Tuned Into Acceptance: An Autistic Teen and His YouTube Channel

TPGA is observing Autism Acceptance Month by featuring accounts from autistic people about the differences accommodations (or lack thereof) make in their lives. Today’s story is from Henny Kupferstein, about how her own autistic insights helped her guide her friend Ethan into creating videos that demonstrate his autistic perspectives, as well as accommodations that work for him. Henny Kupferstein www.hennyk.com Ethan loves watching the Super Nanny show. When he re-enacts the scenes of whining children, he is testing if other caregivers will respond in the expected manner as in the show. While behaviorists call this ‘scripting,’ interweaving his reality with the show allows him to predict how people might respond, based on what happened on TV. When others refuse to play along and insert themselves into the story, the ambiguity triggers a stress response in the face of the unknown. Ethan’s iPhone offers a unique glimpse into the way he…

Autism: When the Right Message Goes Mainstream

Jennifer Byde Myers jennyalice.com We want April — Autism Acceptance Month — to matter, to help further acceptance and understanding of autistic experiences, happiness, and rights for autistic people of all ages and abilities. We will be publishing Autism Acceptance posts and pictures all month long. -TPGA Editors When we first started Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (TPGA), our goal was to put, all in one place, the best information from autistics, parents of autistic children, and the professionals who serve our communities. We always felt it was key to deliver this information with frankness and with honesty, especially regarding autistic struggles, and challenges with aspects of education and parenting. We did not want to seek pity, or place blame. Instead, we sought to highlight neurodiversity as part of the fabric of humanity, part of what it means to be human. We wanted to present a variety of perspectives about…