More autistics than ever are sharing online.

We are researchers, doctors, lawyers, writers, purveyors of every kind of awesomeness.

Go to your preferred media (books, audio, social media platforms, etc.) and search for #ActuallyAutistic to find autistic-created content – we are everywhere!

Like, subscribe, watch, listen, learn, and absorb!

Some Tips:

  • Get a feel for what it means to be autistic across ages, genders, ethnicities, work status, abilities. Even with so many differences, we have a shared culture and sense of being.
  • Look for autistics who communicate in different ways: Through writing, signing, media, art.
  • Every autistic is an individual. We don’t always share the same ideas or sensitivities, we don’t always get along, we don’t always agree. (Human beings, am I right?)
  • Be humble, respect the space, listen. (Even more carefully if you’re not autistic yourself.)

From the Therapist Neurodiversity Collective
https://therapistndc.org/education/?fbclid=IwAR2bbw38zu8mK-fOzNTTbsgnNcTM5-OAmbwxOiHgen1XCGTci7DGpftbQU8

Aspie Quizrdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php

Resources for Universities from the Neurodiversity Hub
neurodiversityhub.org/resources-for-universities

spectrumnews.org/

Intersectionality
“Intersectionality is a metaphor for understanding the ways that multiple forms of inequality or disadvantage sometimes compound themselves and create obstacles that often are not
understood within conventional ways of thinking.”

Kimberlé Crenshaw: What is Intersectionality?

Double Empathy
Milton, D. E. (2012). On the ontological status of autism: The ‘double empathy problem.’
kar.kent.ac.uk/62639/1/Double%20empathy%20problem.pdf

Crompton C.J., Sharp M., Axbey H., Fletcher-Watson S., Flynn E.G. and Ropar D. (2020). Neurotype-Matching, but Not Being Autistic, Influences Self and Observer Ratings of Interpersonal Rapport.
researchgate.net/publication/345701942_Neurotype-Matching_but_Not_Being_Autistic_Influences_Self_and_Observer_Ratings_of_Interpersonal_Rapport

The Eight Spectrum Approach
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jpc.14176

Silberman, Steve (2015). Neurotribes, The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently. Crows Nest Australia: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978 1 76011 362 9

Higashida, Naoki, 1992- author. (2013). The reason I jump : the inner voice of a thirteen-year-old boy with autism. Toronto :Knopf Canada.

Singer J, (1998) Odd People In: The Birth of Community Amongst People on the Autism Spectrum: A personal exploration of a New Social Movement based on Neurological Diversity. An Honours Thesis presented to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, the University of Technology, Sydney, 1998.

Te Reo Hāpai: The Language of Enrichment. Developed by interpreter and expert Keri Opai in 2017 for the Aotearoa Health and Disability sector, takiwātanga is part of an entire glossary of Te Reo Māori. For the full glossary, go to tereohapai.nz

Autistic Life Span Studies
edition.cnn.com/2017/03/21/health/autism-injury-deaths-study/index.htm

www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/am/autistic-people-are-dying-twice-the-rate/10849046

cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/premature-mortality-in-autism-spectrum-disorder/4C9260DB64DFC29AF945D32D1C15E8F2

Fly Senses
didyouknowstuff.com/houseflies-find-sugar-with-their-feet-which-are-10-million-times-more-sensitive-than-human-tongues

Underemployment in Autistics
abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4428.0Main%20Features52012

bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-018-1645-7

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3362908/

journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244019862725

journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2396941518804407

Quiet Hour
countdown.co.nz/news-and-media-releases/2019/october/countdown-s-low-sensory-quiet-hour-to-be-offered-nationwide

https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/116812407/countdown-quiet-hour-officially-rolls-out-across-new-zealand

APAC 2019
altogetherautism.org.nz/blueprint-for-autistic-world-domination/

ABA research – this epic resource was compiled by Max Shinske
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mhj_7filLX9N7qsSAfG33Mu-PmUwCR5rpfCpOQTemaY/mobilebasic?fbclid=IwAR3gW43g6-KjpVWG94enAMp-pSb7nPTRezw9INrIwum2yOJLcjZcfl9QkkM

More on PBS (Positive Behaviour Support)
https://amase.org.uk/pbs/?fbclid=IwAR3h7H3ztnprplValjvZyXw8ddRCDAVttph6uqTPXfb8ACWa_HEX-zPREXo

ABA Advice for Parents
Written by John Greally, Remutaka, Aotearoa. Posted to the Autism Inclusivity online group in December 2023. This is an Autistic-led group for parents and caregivers of Autistic children to ask questions of Autistic adults. https://www.facebook.com/groups/autisminclusivity

    • Truth
      ABA is perhaps a $25 billion industry with the murkiest of props, strategies, lawyers, propagandists, claims, statistics, variations, modernisings, window-dressings, and self-referencing ‘studies’.
      Most autistics here would be fortunate to have $50 to push back with.
      We have to rely on the truth being told by the truthful.
    • Harm
      Most children subjected to ABA will at least develop in several ways that are not healthy, no matter how great the parent’s praise of ABA or how many regrets they express.
      At worse, trauma will result, usually lifelong. That’s inevitable when a child who lives a vast internal life surveys all of what is happening to them consciously and unconsciously, all they must stop and replace with something from others, and comes to realise they are being asked to die and be replaced by another non-autistic, and therefore acceptable, wanted person.
      (I will stop that part of the conversation here, as it so hurts to type more about that right now. Some fellow autistic who is brave and less fragile might, below).
    • ABA reactions
      A child who is subjected to ABA might either seem to ‘worsen’, take flight, fight, bite (I love the biters!) … or actually seem to surrender and fawn, even ‘love’ their 40-hour trained registered behavioural technician.
      To ‘worsen’ means to innately know we are being suffocated, to rebel in so many brilliant and resourceful ways, almost always without any idea why we struggle and demonstrate in so many ways.
      To fawn is to succumb.
      “GOOD JOB JOHNNY!” “HIGH FIVE.” “WAY TO GO – EXTINGUISH YOU!”
    • Path back
      What if the path back from ABA begins with a deep realisation and deeper apology, a lifetime or countering, with the exact same costs and number of hours to undo the harm as ABA took and cost? Or more?
      There is precious little written on the subject of undoing ABA, that I know of.
    • Undoing
      From what I have seen, the undoing of ABA requires mindful applications of attention to:
      1. Access, a child free to get what they need themself when they want it without permission, as a natural prerogative.
      2. ABA teaches them ‘stop being autistic’, not ‘accept you are autistic and can yourself get what you need to support who you are’.
      3. Agency, a child free to decide so very much themself and eventually without encouragement or permissioning, as a natural right to behold.
        ABA teaches them to suppress their needs and preferences for the sake of others, to align with others foreign expectations, to succumb.
      4. Identity, a child free to express themself, say who they are, live their way of being alone and/or with others similar or appropriate to them, a natural connection.
      5. ABA teaches them they are defective and must stay away from neurodivergents in order to avoid re-infection, the return of ‘extinguished’ behaviours, the return of self.
      6. Movement, a child free to look where they wish, look directionally at what they want, stim and more, travel alone in their actions, stand and sit as they please, droop or dress as they want, rise and colour as they choose, bodily able to demonstrate human freedom, a natural necessity.
      7. ABA breaks this soul, and strives for conformity, utilitarian usefulness for others, passing, normality, camouflage, indistinguishment, stifling.
      8. Equality, a child free to know that they are equally human and equal to all other humans, irrepressible and inestimable in value, free of the darkness served by words defect, disorder, damaged.
        ABA teaches them so much of who they are is to be suppressed, or people will see them as damaged, secondary, unacceptable.
    • Assistance
      I think informed and natural autistics can help undo ABA, including connection with autistic child peers unharmed by ABA, who experience neuro-affirmative parenting first-hand.
      Secondly, all neuro-affirming therapists, especially those who focus on EXPRESSION: music, movement, dance, drama, equine, and physical therapists. Immense training lies in the subtle wonders they work, money well-spent, hope rekindled.
      Parents who invest alone or together in new healthy parenting dynamics are obviously part of the equation — inevitably the foundation of any recovery.
      The biggest tasks still lie with you.

 

https://autisticadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/AutismSpeaksFlyer2020.pdf

 

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Instead of the above try these:
From the Therapist Neurodiversity Collective
https://therapistndc.org/education/?fbclid=IwAR2bbw38zu8mK-fOzNTTbsgnNcTM5-OAmbwxOiHgen1XCGTci7DGpftbQU8

Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
autisticadvocacy.org

Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN)
awnnetwork.org

Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)
sabeusa.org

Documentary: ante-natal screening. Happiness, joy, and success cannot be predicted. So how should we decide human value, or the shape of our world?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN4p_GoKSOo&ab_channel=Factual

Jolene’s Articles

• My Toastmasters journey: https://www.toastmasters.org/Find-a-Club/28675344-neurodiverse-leadership-toastmasters

• Neurodivergent communication: https://www.toastmasters.org/magazine/magazine-issues/2023/may/my-autistic-identity

The Neurodiversity Toastmasters Club

“Even though we love to scare ourselves,” says autistic Toastmaster Lauren Stull, “fear of the unknown is one of the most natural fears.” Lauren, a member of Spectrum Speakers Gavel Club in Irvine, California, is improving her speaking skills along with her confidence, “The world is just easier to engage in when things make sense.”

That certainly includes many Toastmasters. For example, Thomas Iland, DTM, is autistic, as well as a Toastmasters International Accredited Speaker, a TEDx speaker, and a member of
Neurodiverse Leadership Toastmasters, a global online club chartered in New York City. In 2014, he was at a crossroads, deciding whether or not to leave his accounting career and become a full-time consultant. Joining Toastmasters not only made his career decision easy, but also became key to his personal growth. “I really enjoy the structure of meetings and the community created by the Toastmasters experience. I’ve found it to be a very enlightening and uplifting place to get me through the thick and thin times in my life, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic” he says.

As President and Sponsor at the Neurodiverse Leadership Toastmasters Club, Jenny Liu DTM is proud to be co-creating a neuroinclusive environment. “We’re using human-centered design and parliamentary procedure with a mix of neurotypical and neurodivergent professionals to grow more effective leaders who enable the neurominority voice to be heard using different, but equally valid, social languages. We celebrate what we can achieve collectively when we complement each other’s talents.”

• Neurodiversity Toastmasters Club – join from anywhere in the world, meet and learn from other neurodivergents https://neurodiverse.toastmastersclubs.org/

Important:
Know that you are already awesome. Truly. You’re good. As is. You don’t have to look a certain way, communicate a certain way, or be a certain way.

I’ve been a Toastmaster longer than I’ve been almost anything. My club was the place I grew up, made life-long connections, and learned way more than the communication training I signed up for. And even though I was terrified to go Every. Single. Week. It was a safe, happy space, and it felt good (especially on the way home when it was done :)).

I’m so grateful I am able to speak. But I mostly use my communication training to let people know that autistic people don’t need communication training (see the Double Empathy Problem). Because you know what? I wish I didn’t spend so much energy learning something because I thought I was broken. I pressured myself into learning to speak because I believed I was less-than if I couldn’t. I believed the school reports, the performance reviews, the off-hand comments, “You should speak up more” “Jolene is bright but needs to participate in discussions” “Jolene needs to contribute verbally” “You’re too quiet” without them. I believed I needed to be able to speak to make a difference. I wish someone had told me: Take on challenges because they make you feel good or strong. Study subjects you are passionate about. Because it is fun. Not to be worthy, productive, or loved.

There are actually very few “have tos” in life. Choosing to upskill, grow, learn, or change because you want to is THE BEST! Knowing that you can take on challenges and that there are tools and people to support you is soooo good, but it’s also your call. And if you want to? Try new things, stretch your comfort zone, learn public speaking. And know that you can always change your mind.

Amplifying Autistic Voices

I’m so excited to be supporting a California State University research study into the impact of a Toastmasters program on autistic youth. Funded by The Organization for Autism Research, the researchers are working with neurodivergent members (and even entire clubs with a neurodivergent focus) in the two-year study. Their project, called Amplifying Autistic Voices, was inspired by my TEDx talk. It’s expected to boost existing anecdotal evidence with science-based empirical evidence, showcasing the benefits of a Toastmasters environment for neurodivergent brains.

• Amplifying Autistic Voices. California State University, Fullerton 2021.
Principal Investigator(s): Yasamin Bolourian, Ph.D. and Sasha Zeedyk, Ph.D.

Learn more here https://researchautism.org/evaluating-the-value-of-a-toastmasters-program/

Are you in Taranaki?

https://www.autismconnex.org.nz

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