Notes About Learning Language

I just got finished reading this excellent article: http://www.assistiveware.com/are-our-assumptions-about-autism-and-aac-all-wrong Fortunately, I've only once seen a case where an autistic client's AAC was used in the horribly restrictive way that this article warns against. I have also been privileged to witness some wonderful AAC uses, and I'm in the process of learning how to encourage even… Continue reading Notes About Learning Language

Crossing the line: The Danger of Compliance

I… wow. Just wow. This is important.

Thirty Days of Autism

As Amy Sequenzia so eloquently states: “ABA is not only abusive to Autistic children, it makes ableism and abuse acceptable. “Experts” want 40 hours/week of this and parents who don’t comply can lose their children. ABA creates a culture of normalized abuse.”

~

The following is a guest post composed of a series of writings by Bernice Olivas, who has generously agreed to share her experience. Hers is a harrowing story, but one that illustrates the dangers of demanding compliance on so many levels – and it is a story that needs to be understood.

It’s been two years since Nebraska’s Child Protection Services threatened to take away her children because she refused to place them in full-time (40 hrs/week) compliance-based training.

She and her husband were never accused of abuse or neglect, the only reason CPS was involved with her family was because her children are autistic and some…

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Unlocked: The Lois Curtis Story

A good essay about an important event in the history of Disability Rights

Robin Rayne: A Southern Photojournalist's Notebook

A determined Georgia woman and her lawyer changed the landscape for thousands of institutionalized persons with developmental disabilities who yearn to live in their communities.

©Robin Nelson All rights reserved

Decatur, GA — Lois Curtis blew the chalk dust from her finished portrait and handed it to her young visitor. “That’s you!” beamed the 43 year-old self-taught artist. “I like to do pictures,” she exclaimed. Lois began sketching another face, of no one in particular, while humming a favorite tune to herself.

She might sketch a dozen pictures in an afternoon, or be content to write letters to friends, acquaintances, anyone for whom she might have an address. “Give me your address so I can write to you,” she said to her visitor as she reached for her ever-present cigarettes. “I like to write letters, too.”

Lois fills her days at the Peer Center in Decatur, a peer-run alternative…

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Celebrating Autistic Culture, Autistic People & Autistic Pride in April!

Yes!

Parenting Autistic Children With Love & Acceptance

Are you planning an Autism Acceptance Event this April?   Something that challenges traditional “awareness” by centering the voices and experiences of Autistic people?

PACLA wants to know about your event!  We want to put together a resource for others to be able to participate and contribute to events in their neighborhood or city, or online where anyone can participate!

To have your event listed on our blog, Facebook page and Twitter,  please send an e-mail with the details to:  lei.mydske@gmail.com

We’ve had enough “awareness”, let’s celebrate Autistic people this April with positive messages that embrace acceptance, inclusion and neurodiversity!

paclaeventsignalboost

Image: Red text in upper left corner reads:  Are you planning an Autism Acceptance Month Event?  PACLA wants to hear about it!  Red text in lower right corner reads: “We want to signal boost your Autism Acceptance Event onour blog!  Live events or  online events!  Any event that celebrates Autsitic culture, pride…

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Dangerous Assumptions

I work with kids of all ability levels. To me, they are all brilliant in some way, and I celebrate their every accomplishment.

There are the ones I know will go far, assuming no one breaks them too badly– the ones who show that “genius” streak already, in spite of language delays or motor skill difficulties.

There are the ones whose intelligence and potential I cannot judge at all.

And there are, at times, those I think will always need major support.

And I adore them all. I respect them all. They all deserve to be acknowledged as individuals and treated as real people. They deserve friends, fun, loving families. They deserve to have their preferences noted and their personalities appreciated. They deserve to be talked to, listened to (even if they can’t use words), read bedtime stories. They deserve to be dressed in nice clothing and taken out for treats. They deserve a turn at activities. They deserve the chance to try to do things themselves– over and over and over. They also deserve to have someone do things for them or assist them when needed.

Just Stimming...

There is this thing that happens sometimes.

Parent has an autistic child. Autistic child doesn’t speak, or their speech isn’t an accurate window into what they are thinking. Autistic child is presumed to be very significantly intellectually disabled.

Years later, a method of communication is found that works for the child, and it turns out that they are in fact very smart. Very smart! The parents are overjoyed. They begin talking about presuming competence, the least dangerous assumption, that not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say.

They are so, so excited.

And they start talking about all the incorrect assumptions they had. If we’d known, they say, we wouldn’t have done X. If we had known they could read, think, hear us.

And it’s a big problem, because the way they talk…..they think the problem was that they treated their child like…

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Suggested Questionnaire for Healthcare and Related Professionals – please share widely

[Update!! Those who want a tool similar to this can download one for free from http://autismandhealth.org/%5D I have heard many complaints from autistic people and other people with disabilities about their struggles in communicating with healthcare professionals, etc.. I propose a simple questionnaire for professionals to use. These would be standard intake questions, and the… Continue reading Suggested Questionnaire for Healthcare and Related Professionals – please share widely