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

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. Or you could read the below version of the talk I gave, though the live version include some improvisation.  I’ve been writing about autism at www.Squidalicious.com since 2003, when my son Leo was first diagnosed as autistic. I’m also a founding editor at Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, where we have a very active Facebook community, and a BlogHer contributing editor for…

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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…

April Is Autism Story Sharing Month on TPGA

April is Autism Awareness month. And every day during the month of April, TPGA would like to share an autism perspective: yours. As members of the autism community, we know that awareness is only a first step. Increased awareness brings opportunities to share our experiences and strive for what people with autism deserve: understanding, and acceptance. If you’d like to participate, please send us a short essay on one thing you want readers to know about autism — as it relates to you.  Share what you’ve experienced or witnessed. Tell readers about a formative experience; something joyful, or a brief moment of despair. Share your hopes, dreams, past, or future. Anecdotes laced with humor — however dark though not mean-spirited — are especially appreciated. You are welcome to submit a previously published item, or one you’d like to republish elsewhere. And if you feel self-conscious about your writing, please know…