Autism Interview #51: Brent White on Autism Advocacy

Brent White is autistic, dyslexic and multiply neurodivergent. He designs and directs adult programs for neurodivergent young adults for a non-profit in Berkeley, California. Programs include an adult transition program for the he designed for the Berkeley Unified School District. Brent White is a grassroots researcher, scholar and advocate. This week he shared some insight for non-autistic parents and other autism advocates who are trying to support their loved ones in the most respectful and meaningful ways.

Autism Interview #50: Roy Dias on Aspergers and Fatherhood

Roy Dias teaches English as a second language at a school in Portugal where he lives with his wife and two sons. He and his two sons are all diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. In addition to teaching and caring for his family, he writes fiction to promote autism understanding and acceptance, including the Aspean series. This week he shared his experience publishing his series and raising two sons on the spectrum.

Why I Can’t Call Myself an Ally (and Neither Can You)

autism ally

It’s a point of contention between some people on the spectrum and neurotypical autism advocates. How we advocate really is just as (if not more) important the intention to simply advocate at all. In particular, let’s explore the right to identify as an autism ally and the traits needed to genuinely support those on the spectrum. Not everyone who calls themselves one is really on the side of autistics. In any disagreement, a dose of humility and introspection is needed if anyone is expected to learn anything or if any progress will be made (See my previous post: The Roles and Responsibilities of the Neurotypical Autism Advocate). This week I’m asking neurotypical parents to review why autism advocacy issues exist and consider ways to improve their efforts. The more I read and listen to people on the spectrum, the more I learn about better ways to support and accept them. Let’s listen to autistic advocates and be open to change.

Autism Interview #49: Paula Sanchez on Autistic Identity

Paula Sanchez spent 18 years supporting adults in the criminal justice system before leaving her job to pursue a PhD program in autism. Both she and her son are on the autism spectrum, and she blogs about her experiences at https://autisticmotherland.com/. This week Paula shared her experience developing an autistic identity after 40 and how people can best support and advocate their loved ones on the spectrum.

Planning an Autism-Friendly Halloween

autism-friendly halloween

This post was originally published on October 4, 2016.

Halloween is a fun holiday to celebrate for both children and adults, and there are plenty of ways to help children on the spectrum enjoy this time of year. Some children may find it exciting to dress up and participate in spooky-themed activities while others are frightened by the new sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of this holiday. This article offers some ideas for planning an autism-friendly Halloween to help your autistic child or family member fully appreciate this fun holiday.

Don’t Perpetuate Ableism This Halloween

Are you participating in any Halloween activities that stigmatize individuals on the spectrum? Like all holidays, there are a variety of social activities and traditions that may be exclusionary or unwelcome to autistic individuals. (See this previous post for ways to make Halloween more inclusive for autistics). However, even more disappointing are the rituals and social activities people participate in that contribute to the stigma of those on the spectrum. Some of these traditions are so entrenched in our culture that many are unaware of their damaging connotations. This article examines the playful and harmful aspects of Halloween so interested readers can ensure they are celebrating the holiday appropriately and not contributing to ableist stigmas.

Understanding Autism

Unicode

The following article was originally published on http://franklludwig.com/ by Frank L. Ludwig. It offers a careful analysis and explanation of a variety of autistic behaviors in an effort to help neurotypicals better understand, support, and accept people on the spectrum. It’s a great read for parents, families, and educators of autistic children and adults. It is reprinted here with the author’s permission.

Autism Interview #47: Frank Ludwig on Autism Appreciation

Frank L. Ludwig is an Irish author of several short stories, plays, essays, and poems. He writes about autism appreciation, among other topics and believes “Autism is not only a natural but an indispensable part of human neurological diversity.” This week Frank shared with us his experience receiving a late diagnosis, and advice on how to not only respect individuals on the spectrum, but learn to appreciate the autism’s presence in society.

Autism Interview #46 Part 2: Courtney Johnson on Autism Advocacy

Courtney Johnson is a writer, public speaker, and Chemistry Ph.D Candidate on the autism spectrum. Courtney manages the website AutismAchiever.com, where her goal is to share information she has learned through her varied life experiences to help individuals on the spectrum reach their full potential. Last week Courtney shared some of her personal experiences growing up on the spectrum. This week she discusses her advocacy work and how parents can best advocate for their children.