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Why Everyone Should Read The ABCs of Autism Acceptance

Patricia George www.persnicketypatricia.ca The ABCs of Autism Acceptance [image: Book cover, with white text reading “The ABCs of Autism Acceptance” on a background of multicolored representations of letters of the Roman alphabet, above black text on a white background, reading, “by Sparrow Rose Jones.”] I’ve been an avid reader my whole life, so when I was asked to review The ABCs of Autism Acceptance by Maxfield Sparrow, and saw that it was “only” 152 pages, I thought, “this won’t take long to read, so sure, I’d love to!” 

I was wrong. This is the largest 152-page book I’ve ever read. In fact, I wrote more notes for this book than I did for a 500-plus page book I reviewed in 2015.

 The book’s title is straight-forward: Maxfield uses the Roman alphabet as a way to educate the reader about autism acceptance from an autistic person’s point of view, while interlacing…

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Electroconvulsive Therapy and Autism: Caution Advised

Shannon Des Roches Rosa  Photo © Skyseeker, on Flickr. Creative Commons license. [image: lightning striking a cityscape, at night.] Spectrum News recently published How ‘Shock Therapy’ is Saving Some Children with Autism. The article was also published in The Atlantic. Like many of you, my initial reaction was “WTF.” Which, to be fair, was in part primed by the the misinformation spread by existing autism and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) proponents. But I am always worried about articles about “treatments” for autistic people who self-injure, because of the focus on treatments rather than sourcing out causes. So here’s what I think you should know about reading articles like this, and about ECT and autism in general. Spectrum is dedicated to covering developing autism science, and articles of interest to the autism science and research communities. Ideally, those readers already understand that there is very little research into autism and ECT, that…

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Five Ways to A Brighter Future for Autistic People

TPGA is observing Autism Acceptance Month by featuring accounts from autistic people about the differences accommodations (or lack thereof) make in their lives. Today, British autistic filmmaker and author Carly Jones outlines her “Top five understandings previous Autistic generations did not have, that the next Autistic generation must have as standard.” Carly Jones www.facebook.com/olley.edwards Carly and her family [image: A laughing white woman with long dark hair, lying on a striped blanket with her three children.]  1) See autism as a real disability Disability is not a dirty word, though it feels that way to some — we are all too often encouraged to see disability as “less than” “inferior,” or “disadvantaged.” I see disability as someone having a different experience of the world than is “typical.” Although Theory of Mind (lack of pre-installed knowledge that other people’s thoughts, wants, and agendas may differ from one’s own) is noted as…

Disability: Considering Insider vs. Outsider Perspectives

Amanda Forest Vivian adeepercountry.blogspot.com This post was originally included in our 2011 Dialogues series. But we think it deserves separate attention, and are republishing it with the author’s permission.  —- This is just a theory, so be gentle. But I think a lot of problems between non-disabled people and disabled people might have to do with the fact that for most born-disabled people, their disability is ego-syntonic (integrated with their self-image). One! Ego-dystonic is an psych term for an aspect of a person that doesn’t fit their self-image. For example, if someone lost their legs in an accident, they would probably wake up the next day and see a body that didn’t seem to them like their real body. On the other hand, if someone is born without legs their disability is usually ego-syntonic, so they feel as attached to their body as anyone else.  They don’t feel the same…

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Busting Anti-Vaccine Myths While Supporting Autistic People

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.Squidalicious.com Yesterday I was given the opportunity to head a “Let’s Talk About Autism” discussion for the excellent organization Voices for Vaccines, in order to help vaccine advocates understand how anti-vaccine information can be hurtful to the autistic community, and with the hope that better understanding about autism as part of pro-vaccine messaging will help spread acceptance of autistic people like my son Leo. If you missed the discussion, which was followed by a Q&A, one option is to listen to the Voices for Vaccines “Let’s Talk About Autism” recording. Another is to read the simultaneous conversation on Twitter, which Liz Ditz kindly Storified. Or you could read the below version of the talk I gave, though the live version include some improvisation. This transcript also does not include the Q&A session, though its highlights are covered in Liz’s Storify post. —- I’ve been writing about autism…

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Best Autism Conference Ever: The UK National Autistic Society’s Professional Conference 2014

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.squidalicious.com I had no idea autism acceptance and understanding in the UK were so much more culturally ingrained than in the US. Granted, there is still much work to do, and government cutbacks in housing for people with disabilities continue, etc. But the disconnect was shocking. And, I was told, much of it had to do with the National Health Service covering autistic people’s needs as a matter of course. Families don’t need to worry about paying for autism services; they need to worry about getting their kids and family members and selves appropriate services. As a result, according an American parent friend who lives in Yorkshire, there is much less of the catastrophizing of autism than we see in the States. I witnessed these attitudes and approaches during the National Autistic Society‘s (NAS) Professional Conference 2014 in Harrogate. I saw an effective national autism organization…

I’m Not a Bad Parent … Right?

Deanne Shoyer www.smallbutkindamighty.wordpress.com   Deanne is the mother of gorgeous twin boys, five years old, who are both on the autism spectrum. I’ve read a number of blog posts where the writer describes the ways that strangers or relatives make them feel their parenting skills are inadequate. This post will not be adding to that number. It is about a struggle I’ve had in dealing with some challenging behaviours from Oliver. My reactions to those behaviours led me to conclude (at least initially) that I wasn’t being the best mother I could be. Oliver had been displaying some pretty aggressive behaviour towards Owen: pushing him hard enough so that he would fall over, kicking him (usually once Owen was on the floor) and pulling his hair. The worst incident happened when Oliver pushed Owen off a chair and Owen fell on his head. It got to the stage that Owen…