Voices From the Spectrum #41: William Stillman on Autism and the God Connection

William Stillman

William Stillman, also known as “The Autism Whisperer” for his ability to connect with and interpret people on the spectrum, is a psychic and an award-winning author of multiple books, including Autism and the God Connection: Redefining the Autistic Experience Through Extraordinary Accounts of Spiritual Giftedness. This week he offered several resources for parents interested in learning more about the autistic connection to the spiritual world.

Autism and the Fourth of July

autism and the fourth of july

The 4th of July can be complicated for people both on and off the spectrum. As a teenager in the summer, I worked in a seasonal store my aunt managed that sold fireworks. I remember the excitement of customers purchasing explosives sure to fuel spectacular shows. The 4th of July was always fun and just a little bit bit dangerous (My cousin burned his hand badly enough one year to land him in the hospital and justify all my mom’s warnings about firework safety). No matter where we celebrated, cookouts and quality time with friends and family were always a part of the holiday. Now that I’ve grown older and had kids, the holiday brings a mixed bag of feelings. Loud fireworks after bedtime outside of whatever celebration we are participating in are not welcome. The 4th of July also presents unique challenges for individuals on the spectrum. Despite these challenges, there are ways to accommodate for a safer and more enjoyable holiday. This begins with learning about auditory sensitivities and how they impact people.

Voices From the Spectrum #40: Anna on “Invisible Autism”

Anna is an autistic blogger and advocate who blogs about a variety of topics related to autism at AnonlymouslyAutistic.net. This website is designed to inspire through the sharing of stories and experiences. Anna tells visitors, “Writing is therapy” and “Hopefully something that I have to share might be helpful to you in your life.” This week Anna shared some of the ways she addresses the specific challenges that come along with being an “invisible” autistic. 

Unconscious Patronization

Do you consider yourself an autism advocate? Are you advocating in ways that the autistic community would appreciate? How do you know? Reaching out to the autistic community takes a dose of humility, but that’s only the first step. To what degree and the manner in which we reach out is even more important. The basic seeds of advocacy must begin on a foundational respect for the humanity of individuals on the spectrum.

Voices From the Spectrum #39: Alix Generous on Autism Technology

Alix Generous

Alix Generous is a professional speaker, neuroscientist, author, tech consultant, and observational comedian. From 2013 to September 2016, she was the co-founder for Podium (formerly AutismSees), a social impact company that creates technology to help high functioning autistic millennials improve their presentation skills. In her 2015 TED talk, she comedically shares how tech improved her public speaking skills. This week she shared some of her personal experiences growing up on the autism spectrum and the current state of autism-related technology.

Voices From the Spectrum #38: Ada Hoffman on Autistic Characters

Ada Hoffman

Ada Hoffmann is a writer and computer science PhD student who has authored over 60 published speculative short stories and poems and six papers that she has presented at conferences around the world. Ada was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at the age of 13, and is passionate about autistic self-advocacy. Her Autistic Book Party review series is devoted to in-depth discussions of autism representation in speculative fiction. This week she shared some of her experience reading and writing about autistic characters and advocating for individuals on the spectrum.

Voices From the Spectrum #37: Kirsten Lindsmith on Oversimplification in Autism Advocacy

Kirsten Lindsmith is an author, artist, consultant, and autism advocate from New York City. After receiving an ASD diagnosis at the age of 19, she began co-hosting the online television show Autism Talk TV and speaking at conferences and events about her experience as a young woman on the spectrum. Kirsten has written columns for Wrong Planet and Autism After 16, and was profiled in The New York Times. Kirsten graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Vertebrate Ontogeny and Phylogeny. She currently works as a therapist in partnership with Melody of Autism, and as a consultant for behavioral and sensory needs.

This week Kirsten discussed the oversimplification in autism advocacy (classifying it as too positive or too negative), some common misconceptions, sensory sensitivities, and how families can become better allies to people on the spectrum.

Voices From the Spectrum #34: Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone on Autism Advocacy

Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone has led advocacy campaigns at national, state, and local levels. Savannah is an active member of and social media coordinator for ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) and board member and current vice president of the PA based SAU1 (Self Advocates United as 1). She blogs at Cracked Mirror in Shalott and writes for many other multi-contributor blogs. This week she shared some of her experience advocating for herself and others on the spectrum, offering practical ideas for parents and educators who want to support their children.