Acknowledging Autism in the Family

By Caroline Hearst

01 Sep 2020

There was an item on Woman’s Hour in July, ostensibly about late diagnosis of autism.  It was about a woman whose mother experienced mental illness and anxiety and finally came across a psychiatrist who, looking through the notes, realised she might be autistic.  Finally the interviewer said that of course she didn’t want to alarm people that anyone who might be anxious needs to get a diagnosis of autism. Unfortunately for many people the idea of…

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Why I no longer support research into autism

By Caroline Hearst

14 May 2018

When I initially discovered I'm autistic I became an enthusiastic informal student of autism  As well as reading all there was to read (you could do that then!) going to talks and conferences and meeting other autistic people  I became a serial volunteer as a subject of research studies, because I believed that research would benefit autistic people. Gradually my perception of the territory changed and I came to suspect that autism is seen as…

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Counter terrorism campaign, a risk for autistics

By Panda Mery

28 Oct 2017

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) ran a counter-terrorism campaign for the travel industry this summer. It features a video titled How To Identify and Respond to Suspicious Behaviour that basically advises that atypical behaviour is suspicious and should be reported, i.e., autistics – and other neurodivergents – are suspect. This campaign is problematic as it highlights that autistic behaviour should attract attention from police and security personnel. We, autistics, tend to have our idiosyncratic behaviours everywhere we…

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Opposing camps in autism?

By Caroline Hearst

01 Sep 2017

This year at Autscape autistic activist Martijn Decker gave a presentation entitled "Pick a side: the dilemma of being an autistic parent" which examined the unfortunate fact that sometimes (often?) parents of autistic children are considered in opposition to autistic adults. Earlier in the year many people told me to listen to iPM on Radio 4 saying it was moving and parents are giving "the other side" of the autism story. I read the article on the BBC website and started to listen…

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Nothing about us without (more of) us.

By Caroline Hearst

02 Aug 2017

Last night I watched "Against the Law", a BBC drama documentary (I'm not sure if that is the technical term. It was a "from a true story" drama interspersed with footage of interviews with men speaking about real experiences). I was struck by the fact that Peter Wildeblood was the only openly gay man who spoke to the Wolfenden committee whose report led to the decrimalisation of gay male sex between consenting adults over 21…

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Callous change to Asperger United distribution

By Dinah Murray

15 Jun 2017

​I'm beginning to hear rumours about Asperger United (AU) which I really hope aren't true. Can the National Autistic Society (NAS) really be giving up the paper version? Surely they wouldn't do that to its devoted readers without at least some consultation? Not everybody has Internet, and even those that are online a lot may still strongly prefer paper. What about options such as asking people who can afford it to contribute to the AU pot and…

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A guide for police officers and staff

By Panda Mery

05 Jun 2017

This author has contributed to the new Autism: a guide for police officers and staff published by the National Autistic Society. The document contains simple dos and don’ts when interacting with autistic suspects, victims of crime and witnesses. It is a useful guide, however it would have benefitted from more autistic input such as case studies from detained autistics as well as the two from police forces.The example interview question in the following extract from p.…

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Grinker’s neurotypical arithmetic

By Panda Mery

28 Mar 2017

Professor Roy Richard Grinker gave a lecture titled ‘The Changing Values of Autism: From Disease to Citizenship in Late Capitalism’’ in London last month. One of his slides, on the ‘Prevalence and access to services’, featured two boxes side by side, each with differently distributed dots in them. ​It is available at 43’29’’ in the video of his lecture: ​With this slide on, Prof. Grinker commented: In each of these boxes we have 80 dots. Same number.…

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Are surveys fair to autistics?

By Panda Mery

29 Nov 2016

The National Autistic Society (NAS) ran a survey about terminology between December 2013 and February 2014, which informed its campaigning and led to the publication of the article Which terms should be used to describe autism? in Autism Journal in 2015.​As part of an otherwise frustrating dialogue with the NAS, Carol Povey, Director of its Centre for Autism, shared some of the processed anonymised data from this data as used internally by the NAS. A partial set of the…

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Recommended blogs

Jorik Mol‘s blog explores the experience of being autistic during the pandemic.

Musings of an Aspie by Cynthia Kim, author of Nerdy Shy and Socially Inappropriate and other autism appropriate books.

Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg wrote brilliant blog posts dispelling the myth that autistic people lack empathy.

Judy Endow is an autistic mother and educator whose blog offers interesting and helpful insight into autistic functioning, including social functioning.

Paul Isaacs’ blog describes Paul’s various sensory experiences.

Radical Neurodivergence Speaking is a diary-type blog.

The Autism Advantage explores how autistic people approach decision-making and problem-solving, and whether we behave in a way that’s more in line with the classic economic model as a Homo Autisticus.

autistic families international aims to create change in families and communities by educating, encouraging, advocating, and upholding the rights of autistic parents, children and young people.

Actually Autistic Blogs List is an attempt at a comprehensive directory of autistic blogs written in English. It may help you discover some interesting blogs you weren’t aware of.

 

 

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