jamesandlindsey-8687849

Autism, Siblings, and the Art of Unconditional Love: An Interview With Lindsey Nebeker

Lindsey Nebeker is one of our community’s most visible activists, speaking out on topics ranging from autism and dating in Glamour magazine, to the need for more safety and support measures for individuals with autism at a recent Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting. Lindsey was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, and began to speak around age four. She grew up in Tokyo, Japan with her younger brother James, who shares the same diagnosis but faces more challenges. She recently spoke with TPGA about her experience growing up as one of two siblings with autism. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How old are you, where do you invest your greatest energies, and when did you first receive your autism diagnosis? I am a pianist/songwriter, photographer, public speaker, and advocate currently residing in the Washington, DC metro area. As a woman in my late twenties, I have…

Why I’m Wearing Black

Corina Lynn Becker nostereotypeshere.blogspot.com April is an emotionally charged month for me, April 1st especially. Up to grade six, it was because I dreaded April Fool’s Day, a day dedicated to pulling pranks I did not enjoy. However, in grade seven, I was given more reason to not like the day. On his 77th birthday, my Grandpa had a massive stroke. The damage was severe enough that any operation would just leave him in a vegetative state. It was decided that Grandpa, a man dedicated to his work as a minister, would not be happy in such a state. So we just sat there for three days, waiting for him to die. On April 1st, at 8:30 AM, Grandpa passed away. It was the first time I experienced the loss of close relative. To me, it was losing a huge chunk of my foundational support. I had always assumed he…

My Child Has Autism…

Kelly V. Russell http://2006housewife.blogspot.com My child has autism … and I, as his mother, have never felt so isolated in my life. My son has severe speech delays. This is why he doesn’t talk to you. Why don’t you speak to him? My son perceives the world in a unique manner. This is why he plays with toys in an abnormal way. Why don’t you play with him? My son has difficulty understanding social cues. This is why he avoids eye contact. Why do you stare at him like he’s an animal in a zoo? …Or even worse, ignore him, as if he’s not a human being. Being his mother does not make me a saint, though sometimes I feel like a martyr. His condition does not mean that God entrusted me with a special blessing. Autism means he was born with a formidable glitch in his hardware … a…

Getting to Know Your New Neighborhood: Reaching Out and Building a Network

Susan Walton www.discoveringfamilyfun.com It’s important to realize that you cannot cope with this new element of your life alone. And you shouldn’t try. There is help out there for you, for your child, and for your family, and you should take advantage of it. In addition to uncovering the services and agencies that offer assistance, you want to find and keep the friends and professionals who will sustain you. And conversely, you may need to minimize your exposure to the people, feelings, and obstacles that drag you down. First and foremost, your best allies are other parents who have a child on the spectrum. You can find existing parent networks through local support groups, parent clubs, assistance agencies, and online forums like Yahoo Groups. Joining those groups is a great way to get started. To find out if there is a Yahoo Group for parents of children with autism in…

What I Want People to Know

Corina Lynn Becker nostereotypeshere.blogspot.com In my time browsing the online community, I often get asked about my story, what it’s like to be a late-diagnosed autistic and what I want people to know. This is rather odd, because I’m not in the habit of showing off my scars, but there are some things that I think that I can talk about. I want to be very honest with you. I am an adult living on social assistance, in a shared accommodation run by a non-profit housing organization. Despite being highly educated, I find it difficult to find and maintain a job on my own, and I’m not even sure that I ever will. I struggle to survive with few to no supports, mostly my family and the little that some organizations have been able to provide. It is, at times, very and extremely hard. There is a lot to remember,…

Identifying and Avoiding Autism Cults

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.squidalicious.com www.canisitwithyou.org www.blogher.com/blog/shannon-des-roches-rosa A child’s autism diagnosis can mess with parents’ heads. Media portrayals of children with autism and their adult spectrum-mates dwell almost exclusively on negatives and challenges, so when a parent is told that their child is autistic, they are usually incredibly upset. It doesn’t help when doctors lack the bedside manner to soften the emotional impact of their diagnoses, or have no information about contemporary autism therapies and resources. When that happens, parents are both freaked out and flapping in the wind. Their child’s doctor was supposed to give them answers and guidance, but instead upended their lives, then shoved them out the door. No one can explain why they have a child with autism, and they know nothing about autism. They are emotionally reeling, angry with the medical establishment, and hungry for any information that will help their child. Most parents start…