Welcome, new readers. Your support is greatly appreciated. Please be advised that, due to the way my brain functions, my typical pattern of online presence consists of 1-5 days of intense activity, followed by weeks or even months offline. I am trying to learn to engage on a more regular basis, but my disabilities don't… Continue reading Welcome!

Things that need saying

This blog is where I write primarily about disability rights, drawing both from my job as a caregiver and from my own experiences as a person with chronic illness. I  have a BS in psychology, with a concentration in cognitive and neuro psych. Since graduation, I have worked as a psychology research assistant, tutor, and as… Continue reading Things that need saying

What’s Wrong With “Better” ABA?

This is a preliminary post. There are a bunch of references I need to add, and plenty of examples and stories I could share. But I want to get the basics down now, while they're on my mind. There are a gazillion critiques of ABA out there, largely from adult autistic people, and some from… Continue reading What’s Wrong With “Better” ABA?

On Disability, Suffering, and Euthanasia

Are there people whose level of disability places them into a category beyond hope? It's easy to think the answer depends on the answers to some other questions. What about that theoretical person I mentioned who has no neocortex, no possibility of conscious thought? Is it our mind that makes us human? Our genes? A thing called a soul that some people believe we have and others don't? But eventually I realized this line of questioning was the wrong approach entirely. It's not a matter of finding that dividing line between human and not human, worthwhile and hopeless, valuable and expendable. The minute you allow yourself to think that way, you've missed the point. You get hung up wondering where that dividing line is rather than seeking a solution that would make it moot.

More Challenged Than Challenging, part 1

We can't make aggression disappear completely, but we can make it less likely, less frequent, and less intense. Over the years, we've done a lot to make my client's life more orderly and predictable. As a result, he's generally a happier and calmer person, and slower to anger than he used to be. He is still someone with limitations that frustrate him unbearably at times, and he doesn't have as much emotional maturity as most people his age. But he is also much less prone to violence than he used to be. I think that's definitely worth the effort!

Words, words, words

Musings first, then the part about words. ******* In my typical way, I have suddenly gotten back into heavily using this blog after months of barely remembering that it exists. It always takes me a while just to remember how to post stuff and where my profile is and what various icons mean and things… Continue reading Words, words, words

Stop Pathologizing Autistic Play

A topic came up in an autism support group I frequent. A mother said that her son's Early Intervention therapist was trying to get him to stop "repetitive play," and play more the way typical children do. The mom didn't see any harm in repetitive play, but the therapist claimed her son was doing the… Continue reading Stop Pathologizing Autistic Play

Playfulness Yields Insights

A lot of my time with "Euterpe," a young woman with developmental delays and a strong speech impediment, is spent on vocal play. That might be the formal term for it anyway: we're just playing around, and it's largely a matter of me trying to keep her entertained, which takes some doing. [Note: my code… Continue reading Playfulness Yields Insights