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

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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.

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Understanding Autism: 10 Reasons Why You Should Prioritize Autistic People in the Conversation About Autism

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understanding autism

You’ll find several mentions on this website about the importance of prioritizing autistic individuals in the conversation about autism. But, like anyone, not all autistic people think and believe the same things, so why is this consultation useful? Is it necessary? Is it enough to steadfastly follow the advice of your child’s doctors and therapists? If you think this is enough, you’ll be missing the best piece of the picture to understanding autism (Notice I’m deliberately not using a puzzle piece analogy here for reasons described in this post.). And while it’s important for people to understand that people on spectrum do NOT exist solely to educate others about autism, there are nevertheless numerous autistics willing to share their knowledge in the hopes of better informing families and society about autism (and some make their living doing so). They write and speak regularly about their experiences.

Below are 10 reasons why you should engage with autistic individuals and include them in the conversation about autism (identifying symptoms, useful therapies, supports, describing personal experiences, and how it should be addressed in society).

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April is Autism Acceptance Month

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This is a reposting originally published on this blog last year.

April is autism awareness month and autism acceptance month. There are a variety of different ways people can celebrate this designation. I’ve written an earlier post on autism acceptance, so I thought I would take some time here to aggregate information available from people on the spectrum regarding their views on autism awareness month.

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Lisa Jo Rudy on Making Museums Autism-Friendly

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Lisa Jo Rudy

Lisa Jo Rudy is a writer, editor, and autism consultant. She provides consulting and presentations on community inclusion and education for museums, community groups, and parent groups. She developed the website autisminthemuseum.org, a hub of best practices and resources about how to make museums, zoos, aquariums, and other educational settings more inclusive for individuals on the spectrum and their families. This week she shared some of her background with museums, her perspective on their importance, and her mission to make them more accessible to individuals on the spectrum.

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He Doesn’t Look Autistic to Me

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The following post was originally published on the blog Life with Aspergers on March 4, 2017. It was written by Gavin Bollard and has been reprinted here with his permission.

 

He doesn’t look autistic to me… 

It’s a phrase that every parent of a child on the autism spectrum dreads. Apparently it’s meant as a compliment but in reality it’s a fairly impressive bit of “multiple insulting“.

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Voices From the Spectrum #29: Anthony Ianni on Bullying

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Anthony Ianni

Anthony Ianni is a National Motivational Speaker for the Relentless Tour to eradicate bullying, an initiative of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Anthony was diagnosed on the spectrum with Pervasive Developmental Disorder at the age of four and struggled with bullying throughout childhood. He rose above the low expectations of doctors and specialists to graduate from Michigan State University and play basketball for Tom Izzo during his time there. He was the first Division 1 Basketball player in NCAA History to be diagnosed with autism. This week Anthony shared some of what he has learned about bullying and autism advocacy.

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Voices From the Spectrum #26: Jennifer Brozek on Creating Neurodiverse Characters

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jenniferbrozek

Jennifer Brozek is an award winning editor/author, and freelance writer. Jennifer is the author of the award winning YA Battletech novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, the Bram Stoker nominated YA novel, Never Let Me Sleep, and Shadowrun novella, Doc Wagon 19. She has also written for the AAA MMO Aion and the award winning videogame, Shadowrun Returns.

Jennifer is also a Director-at-Large of SFWA, and an active member of HWA and IAMTW. You can read more about her at her blog or follow her on Twitter at @JenniferBrozek.

This week Jennifer shared her experience as an autistic writer and some of society’s misconceptions about autism.

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5 Ways to Commit to an Autism Acceptance Resolution

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This New Year let’s make a resolution to spread love and autism acceptance. Are you on board? Here are 5 ways to keep this commitment:

  1. Follow an autistic blog. Visit our blog reference page for links to several blogs written by autistic people.
  2. Make a contribution to ASAN. The autistic self advocacy network works to advance public policy to support individuals on the spectrum and improve general autism acceptance all over the world.
  3. Involve your child in therapy decisions as often as possible. Try to learn about the skills your child wants to develop and show them how to work towards those goals.
  4. Discuss autism and neurodiversity in a positive light. Discuss autism as a difference rather than a disorder. Emphasize the strengths and weaknesses of ALL people, including those both on and off the spectrum.
  5. Connect with your local autistic community–visit a talk or other event hosted by or featuring individuals on the spectrum. This is a good way to meet other people in your community and hear the issues they face on a daily basis.
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Voices From the Spectrum #25: Dinah Murray on Autism Research

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Dinah Murray is a British researcher, speaker, and campaigner for people with varied learning disabilities, including autism. Her work has been published in the journals Autism, Good Autism Practice, as well as a number of books and online publications. She is an international public speaker on autism. Her research interests include medication and quality of life impact, IT for nonverbal individuals, and the ethics of autism research.

This week Dinah shared with us some of her most meaningful research findings as well as how to promote a positive autistic identity.

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Autism Acceptance Holiday Gifts

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gifts-1622996_640

This week I’ve compiled some websites that sell autism acceptance and neurodiversity gear that could make great gifts this holiday season!

Many of these gifts have sayings or slogans on them that promote autism acceptance and challenge the status quo. I’ve included some examples with each link.

http://www.zazzle.com/neurodiversity+tshirts

“Respect the stim. Celebrate neurodiversity.”

“A world without autism is a world without me!”

“Cognitive dissident”

 

http://www.cafepress.com/+neurodiversity+gifts

“Autism. Different. Not less.”

“People, not puzzles”

“If at first you don’t succeed, perseverate.”

 

https://www.redbubble.com/shop/neurodiversity

“Neurowonderful”

“Neurodiversity is natural.”

“Compliance is not my goal.”

 

https://www.etsy.com/market/autism_acceptance

“Just keep stimming.”

“Autism is not a tragedy. Running out of chocolate is. And ignorance. But mostly the chocolate thing.”

“Neurodivergent”

 

http://www.cafepress.com/autismacceptance

“Acceptance is an action.”

“Inclusion is for everyone.”

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