What the Autistic Community is Saying About Trump’s Tax Bill

autism and the tax bill

Congress has moved closer to turning President Trump’s tax bill into law with both the Senate and House passing different versions of it. Now a conference committee process begins where lawmakers from both sides attempt to reconcile their differences and create a mutually agreed-upon bill for the American people. One important debate will include handling a deduction that many Americans take for high medical expenses. This deduction is repealed by the House, but expanded by the Senate. Below is a brief summary of how the changes presented in the tax bill might affect disabled individuals and how the autistic community has reacted.

Autism Interview #52: Mark Kent on Asperger’s Syndrome and M.E.

Mark Kent is an autistic writer and married father of four. Mark lives with Aspergers and Myalgic Encephalopathy (M.E.) (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), a condition that makes everyday tasks challenging. Mark participates in a variety of research studies related to autism and M.E. and blogs about them at http://mark-kent.webs.com/ in order to help others improve awareness and understanding of people with disabilities. This week he shared some of his personal experiences as a father of four with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Learn From Autistics Giving Thanks

Even though I believe gratitude should be a conscious, calculated, and vocal daily exercise, this time of year serves as an outward reminder. Whereas most of society’s indulgences often distract us from a grateful disposition, the opposite often occurs during this time of year–radio hosts, news anchors, television shows, holiday movies, advertisements, store decorations, and everywhere else we turn seems to be a reminder of this feeling of gratitude we should all be exuding. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m offering my readers a list of things that are at the forefront of my conscious this year.

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.