Resource Hubs That Prioritize Autistic Voices

There is plenty of information about autism available online. This website attempts to aggregate information from a variety of autistic sources. Some organizations that place autistic individuals at the forefront of the public conversation about autism are listed below. Ollibean “Our content is centered on full inclusion and acceptance, disability pride and culture, neurodiversity, parents…

Voices From the Spectrum #45: A.J. Mahari on the Stigma of Asperger’s Syndrome

A.J. Mahari is a counselor, life coach, mental health and personal development coach, and author on the spectrum. A.J. was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 40 and manages the website aspergeradults.ca, which seeks to talk about not only her own experience and insights as an adult with Asperger’s, but also call attention to the gender differences in females and males with AS. This week A.J. shared some of her experiences as a counselor to other individuals with Asperger’s, the stigma of autism, and how to advocate for people on the spectrum.

 

Ways to Connect with the Autistic Community

Engaging with individuals on the spectrum should be a foundational part of any parent’s plan to support their autistic child. It’s relatively easy and comfortable to access resources from doctors, therapists, and other parents of children on the spectrum. Communicating with or accessing resources from people who are #actuallyautistic is sometimes, unfortunately, an afterthought; however, there is plenty of information easily available from autistic sources for anyone interested.

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.

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

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).

April is Autism Acceptance Month

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.

Lisa Jo Rudy on Making Museums Autism-Friendly

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.

He Doesn’t Look Autistic to Me

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“.

Voices From the Spectrum #29: Anthony Ianni on Bullying

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.