Autism Interview #60: Michael John Carley on the Current State of Autism

Michael John Carley is an internationally-recognized autistic author, speaker, and public advocate. He is the founder and first Executive Director of GRASP, the largest organization in the world comprised of adults on the autism spectrum. He’s also the former United Nations Representative of Veterans for Peace, Inc. He’s been featured in many national publications and media outlets and has written several books on autism. This week he shared his perspective on the current state of autism in America, some of the differences between his experiences and those of his autistic son, as well as advocacy tips for parents.

How to Hide Your Autism

This article was written by autistic advocate Kieran Rose and was originally published on autismawareness.com and his website The Autistic Advocate. It is reprinted here with his permission.

If you are the parent of an Autistic child, I’m going to introduce you to a concept that’s going to scare the pants off of you:  Your child is going to grow up to be me:

I am an Autistic adult.

Some people are of the belief that Autism can be grown out, or that with the right support and interventions, Autism can be cured or lessened.

If you’re one of those people, then I’m about to blow your minds with a second concept: Nobody grows out of Autism and a child cannot be trained out of it.  We just get better at hiding it.

7 Reasons Why the Neurodiversity Movement Matters to Parents

neurodiversity for parents

How invested are you in the neurodiversity movement? The societal shift to treat autism (along with a variety of atypical neurological conditions) as a difference rather than a disease has improved autism acceptance, thereby potentially improving the quality of life for individuals on the spectrum. But it would be a mistake to think this movement is only for autistic people. Parents too have several important reasons to embrace neurodiversity.

Love on the Spectrum: 5 Considerations Regarding Spectrum Romance

This is a reposting of an article originally published on this site February 14, 2017.

Valentine’s Day can mean cute cards and fun (or stressful) holiday parties for young kids as well as bring a mixed bag of emotions for teens and adults on the spectrum. There has been a lot of media buzz about autism and relationships recently, even more so since the release of the documentary Autism in Love. Here are some suggestions from people on the spectrum about things to consider around Valentine’s Day or with romantic relationships.

My Path to Proper Formal Autism Diagnosis–Anlor Davin

The article below was written by autistic author Anlor Davin. It was originally published on her website and is reprinted here with her permission.  Anlor Davin grew up on the West Coast of France and immigrated to the United States in her 20s. She has written about some of her experiences growing up undiagnosed in her memoir Being Seen. She also shared shared some of her experience as an autistic French immigrant to the United States in a recent interview for this blog. In this article, Anlor sheds light on the difficulty of living without a diagnosis and how we can support others with autism throughout their lives.

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.

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.

Don’t Perpetuate Ableism This Halloween

Are you participating in any Halloween activities that stigmatize individuals on the spectrum? Like all holidays, there are a variety of social activities and traditions that may be exclusionary or unwelcome to autistic individuals. (See this previous post for ways to make Halloween more inclusive for autistics). However, even more disappointing are the rituals and social activities people participate in that contribute to the stigma of those on the spectrum. Some of these traditions are so entrenched in our culture that many are unaware of their damaging connotations. This article examines the playful and harmful aspects of Halloween so interested readers can ensure they are celebrating the holiday appropriately and not contributing to ableist stigmas.