Social Skills for Everyone by Erin Human

Erin Human is an Autistic artist and married mother of two who creates infographics and neurodiversity-themed designs. She sells work on Redbubble in addition to working as the Art Director for the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN). She has created a wonderful illustrated guide on making friends and getting along with people who are different. A description of the guide is reprinted here with her permission. The full guide is also accessible in our resources section.

Lists of Autistic Representation in Literature

Autistic representation in literature is growing, but all portrayals are not universally favorable. There are many different ways autistic people live, so no one representation should be accepted as truth. Other controversy arises when one portrayal is so narrow that it leads to damaging misconceptions. This is a complex issue, but increasing the amount of autistic portrayals and greater exposure to autistic-authored literature featuring autistic characters should at least get our society moving in the right direction.

Autistic and in Love: 3 Simple Guidelines for Parents

Autistic romantic relationships may look different than neurotypical ones. The best way to understand how autistic individuals can create successful romantic relationships is talking and listening to autistic people who have been in them. This article offers a simple overview for parents of three fundamental principles to remember regarding autistic involvement in romantic relationships and cites additional relationship resources for further reading.

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.

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.

Autism Interview #74: 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. …