Autism Interview #86: Gord Gates on Late Diagnosis, Marriage, and Advocacy

Gord Gates is a Canadian author, mental health counselor, and Autistic activist. Gates’ new book, Trauma, Stigma, and Autism: Developing Resilience and Loosening the Grip of Shame offers a unique framework for combating the psychological and emotional impact of stigma and creates a brighter path for anyone who’s been made to feel like an “outsider.” He says stigma is a form of trauma and shows how trauma in various forms can create difficult emotional challenges. He describes how autism can help us better manage these challenges as it provides insight into the nature of stigma and helps us counter the automatic reactions that often stigmatize others. This week he shares his experiences growing up without a diagnosis and how parents and educators can better support Autistic children and adults.

Autism Interview #85: Michael Gilberg on Special Education Advocacy

Michael Gilberg is a Special Education and Disability Rights Attorney from New York. Michael is passionate about helping others because he knows what it’s like to navigate life without the proper support, since he lived many years without a proper diagnosis. Michael says, “My life experience of having been where your child is drives my desire every day to fight for justice for children with disabilities and their families.” This week Michael shared some of his experiences working as a disability advocate for school-aged children.

Eye Contact..For The Recipients Validation Only

This article was written by Emma Dalmayne, an autistic advocate, activist, and writer from the UK. It was originally published on her website and is reprinted here with her permission.

Imagine if you will a quiet world, well ordered as long as everything has its place..

Imagine a warmth, cozy and comfortingly familiar. Your own warmth, just your own.

Now imagine headlights, bright and intrusive as in a winters night, burning and intense. They glare through the warmth and safety you have and push your eyes deep into their sockets until it’s unbearably painful.

Those headlights are someone’s eyes making intense eye contact with yours.

Autistic Christmas Readings

Merry Christmas to you and yours! I wish you the warmest, most joyful and blessed holiday season. My prayer for all readers is that you have an opportunity to experience peace and love in your homes and communities as the year comes to a close. May your sacrifices and struggles reap rewards and may you be blessed with love and acceptance.

As always, it’s best to gain insight into the autistic condition by listening to the voices of autistic people. Here are a selection of articles on Christmas that are authored by individuals on the spectrum.

Autism Interview #84: Mikhaela Ackerman on Advocating for the Autistic Perspective

Mikhaela Ackerman is an autistic writer and speaker. She blogs at Edge of the Playground where she shares resources for individuals on the spectrum and the families who support them. Mikhaela earned her Juris Doctorate in law in 2016 and plans to use her legal skills to advocate for others on the autism spectrum. This week she shared information about her advocacy work and how neurotypicals can be more aware and accommodating of sensory sensitivities.

Autism Interview #83 Part 2: Gillan Drew on Fatherhood and Autism Advocacy

Gillan Drew

This is Part 2 of our two-part interview with Gillan Drew, a British author and father of two. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at 28 and blogs about his life at Aspie Daddy. Gillan is also the author of An Adult with an Autism Diagnosis: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. This week he shared his thoughts on his role as a father and weighed in on some important advocacy considerations for parents of autistic children.

Autism Interview #83 Part 1: Gillan Drew on Late Diagnosis and Autistic Adulthood

Gillan Drew

Gillan Drew is a British author and father of two daughters. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at 28 and blogs about his life at Aspie Daddy. Gillan is the author of An Adult with an Autism Diagnosis: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. This is the first part of a two-part interview with him. This week he shared his experience grappling with a diagnosis later in life and offered advice for offering support to other autistic adults.