As a Chartered Psychologist, child development researcher and author in the autism/ASD field, I frequently meet misperceptions of neurodiversity in relation to programmes for autism and health recovery. Somehow or other the belief has developed that to offer such help to an individual on the autistic spectrum is to deny their neurodiversity. In this blog I suggest a new way of looking at this subject…
I hope that my journey in vision therapy will serve not only as a roadmap for people with mild autism to find their way out of the labyrinth of disability but as something that can provide clues to help those with more severe autism find their way to a life more fully lived.
When discussing autism—especially on the internet and in the media—there are way too many people who recklessly engage in false dichotomy. It’s a kind of extremism that gets us nowhere…I can say with 100% certainty that while I seek treatments for my child with autism, my acceptance of him is unconditional.
With the celebratory tone of autism awareness month, it’s easy to overlook common aspects of the autistic experience that no reasonable person would salute. To achieve a meaningful level of autism awareness, one that benefits all autistic individuals, we need to tell the stories that are hard to hear.
What is wrong with The Labour Party’s “Autism Neurodiversity Manifesto” and autism identity politics?
Recently in the UK, a “Neurodiversity Manifesto” has been shared by the Labour Party. It has five key principles, each of them lacking in nuance, unreflective of the lived experiences, and ignoring research data.
My memories of Jake playback on a snowy loop, a well-worn tape of sweet memories, always ending with the same tragic scene. But he lives on in my mind, inspiring me to move forward in my life while anchoring me to a brief time of companionship, freedom and happiness…I honour his memory by advocating for the rights of those like my little brother.
The Thinking Autism conference blends the opportunity to quench my thirst for autism knowledge, attend accessible social events where I can meet those unique individuals I have built a friendship with online, and the necessary support from dedicated members of the Thinking Autism team, all of whom have a lifetime of first-hand autism experience.
Today has been a day filled with anxiety and excitement in equal measure for this autistic humanoid. Driven by a love of puppetry, my interest in all things autism and a passion for the humble locomotive, I’ve broken my usually ironclad routine to make the 350 mile round trip to see All In a Row. For the uninitiated, it’s the somewhat controversial theatrical production featuring the severely autistic Laurence and his dysfunctional family…