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 #83: 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.

Moving forward while glancing back…

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.

Parents often ask with concern why when their child has made a gain of some kind in development do they seem to reverse in others?

As an Autistic I can tell you that if your child has, for instance, become toilet trained recently, they may revert to a previous special interest or sensory seeking behavior for comfort and reassurance.

There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, it makes perfect sense, any progress is still a change even if it is good. More recognized is the regression Autistic’s display if there has been a traumatic experience.

How We Approach Reducing Meltdowns with a Variation Budget

The following article was written by writer and public autistic advocate Jamie Knight. Many autistic individuals speak of the fatigue they experience navigating a neurotypically-dominant society on a daily basis and the stress sudden changes can cause. In this post, Jamie offers a unique representation of how he handles the stress that comes with the inevitable changes and unpredictability of life. This post was originally published on his blog Spaced Out & Smiling on July 6, 2017 and is reprinted here with his permission.

Why Educating Autistic Children About Sexual Safety Matters

The following article is written by Madison Cannon Beresford and is published here with his permission. Madison is writer, autistic advocate, PhD clinician, husband, and father of three boys, one of whom is also on the autism spectrum. Madison enjoys working to support autistic individuals and their families through emotional and practical care as a family counselor. He is a contributor to The Mighty and works with The Autistic Cooperative, running the blog “Embracing Atypical.” His article addresses the way autistics fit into the #metoo movement and the need to provide a safe education to those in the autistic community.

Autism Interview #73: Austin Shinn on Advocacy in Childhood, College, and Beyond

Austin Shinn is an author, editor, film buff, husband, father, and advocate for individuals diagnosed with autism. Austin is diagnosed with Aspergers and blogs mostly about his life with perspectives on autism, disability, and advocacy at A Flickering Life. He is also the author of A Flickering Life: A Memoir of Autism, which chronicles his struggle to live life no different than anyone else. This week he shared some specific supports and advocacy strategies that resonated with him in childhood, his college years, and adulthood, and offered advocacy advice for parents and caregivers of other autistics. …

I Look Back At My Parents and Wonder: How Did They Miss Me?

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

I look around at my life now and I see a wife and children, who I love beyond imagining and I think to myself “If there was something wrong, something out of the ordinary, would I see it, would I miss it?”

Then I look back at my parents and wonder: how did they miss me?

Addressing the Fear of an Autism Diagnosis

This article is written by Annabelle Short, a mother with Asperger’s and an advocate for children with special needs. Annabelle Short works with several organizations to provide families with the best resources for raising and educating a special needs child. When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. She also loves sewing and making crafts with her two children.