Welcome!

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

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

Blogging while disabled: A quick cross-post from my social media

I woke up this morning. This may not, in fact, sound like much of a surprise. I am obviously not in a coma, so technically speaking I wake up every morning. However, to give you some idea of what I mean, let me detail how I woke up yesterday. Yesterday, after drifting in and out… Continue reading Blogging while disabled: A quick cross-post from my social media

Rosy glasses?

Many non-autistic parents of autistic children complain that people who are pro-neurodiversity put an unrealistic positive spin on life with autism. They say we ignore the struggles, the pain, and the unhappiness experienced by both parent and child. I think this complaint oversimplifies the neurodiversity approach. I think it's possible to acknowledge struggles without making… Continue reading Rosy glasses?

Behavior diagrams and flow charts

I often think of things from the perspective of a scientist or engineer trying to solve a problem. It can help bridge the gap between different communication styles, such as autistic and non-autistic, in a way that respects both. Here is an example: Autistic children are often taught to look up and make eye contact… Continue reading Behavior diagrams and flow charts

Don’t Mistake Inability for Not Understanding

I am having trouble using language lately, so this will be short. We talk about presuming competence, or intelligence, or potential, in autistic people. But that doesn't mean the person can always act on their understanding. Someone who struggles with OCD knows that it isn't necessary or even healthy to wash their hands 100 times… Continue reading Don’t Mistake Inability for Not Understanding