New Book Coming Soon!

I have some exciting news to share! My incomparable writing partner, Dr. Jennifer Elizabeth Brunton, and I are clawing our way to the finish line of our second book, which focuses on advice for teens and young adults transitioning to adulthood. The book will be tentatively titled The #ActuallyAutistic Guide to Building Independence: Practical, Step-By-Step…

Are We Really Friends?

“I want to find friends who really want to hang out with me. Not just people who are nice, but people who make me feel like an integral part of their group.” Parents, teachers, and administrators teach kindness and inclusion in formal and informal ways. They encourage social interactions via playdates and birthday invites extended…


Hello! I just wanted to offer a quick update here to say I am taking a brief break from publishing interviews. I’m trying to catch up on other projects, including finishing work on new advocacy book to be released in February (more to come!) and beginning research on another related project. I am still collecting…

PDA Life Hacks

Jo Richardson is a parent advocate and author from the UK. Richardson blogs at Different Not Deficient on a variety of different topics related to parenting, mental health, autism, and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA). Last week she shared how PDA affects her daily life and how others can recognize and support others with PDA tendencies. The article below was originally published on her blog on December 6, 2019. It is reposted here with her permission.

Autism and the Fourth of July

autism and the fourth of july

The 4th of July can be complicated for people both on and off the spectrum. As a teenager in the summer, I worked in a seasonal store my aunt managed that sold fireworks. I remember the excitement of customers purchasing explosives sure to fuel spectacular shows. The 4th of July was always fun and just a little bit bit dangerous (My cousin burned his hand badly enough one year to land him in the hospital and justify all my mom’s warnings about firework safety). No matter where we celebrated, cookouts and quality time with friends and family were always a part of the holiday. Now that I’ve grown older and had kids, the holiday brings a mixed bag of feelings. Loud fireworks after bedtime outside of whatever celebration we are participating in are not welcome. The 4th of July also presents unique challenges for individuals on the spectrum. Despite these challenges, there are ways to accommodate for a safer and more enjoyable holiday. This begins with learning about auditory sensitivities and how they impact people.

Prenatal Screening for Autism

prenatal screening for autism

If a prenatal test existed to screen your child for autism, would you have it performed? Should sperm banks be allowed to screen embryos for an increased potential for autism? These questions explore the modern ethical dilemma of disability and eugenics, a controversy our society has grappled with for decades. This topic recently surfaced in the autism community after Ari Ne’eman, President and co-founder of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, wrote an article for the Guardian revealing that Britain’s largest sperm bank was screening embryos for autism. Prenatal screening for autism is problematic due to the variation of symptoms on the spectrum, and the ethical implications of eliminating a group of people from the human gene pool.