Language & Autism: What You Say Matters

Autistic blogger Paddy-Joe Moran wrote this excellent piece on the impact of language, especially when used by health care professionals. To demonstrate understanding & empathy as well as change the overall autism conversation to a more accepting one, check out his tips
(And if your initial urge is to correct my lack of person-first language, please check out the link!) 

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/social-life-blog/2015/feb/11/language-autism-social-care-professionals

Reasonable Goals On The Spectrum

One of my all-time favorite autistic bloggers has posted more wise words, this time on the nature of reasonable v. unreasonable IEP goals for kids on the spectrum. The whole thing is definitely worth a read, as she points out that much of what is expected from autistic children couldn't be managed by autistic adults. What is needed are not arbitrary, neurotypical goal posts, but rather goals in service of actual accomplishment.

What makes a goal unreasonable? Here are some patterns that I identified:

  1. Unreasonable goals prioritize “normalization” or compliance over objectives that benefit the student (like having a means of communication).
  2. Unreasonable goals don’t recognize autistic body language and socialization preferences as valid.
  3. Unreasonable goals don’t acknowledge as a valid and accommodate the student’s areas of disability.
  4. Unreasonable goals demand more from a young student than the average autistic adult is capable of.

http://musingsofanaspie.com/2014/11/13/unreasonable-goals/#more-2471

10 Things To Know: Autism & Romantic Relationships

"A lack of social skills does not mean a lack of interest in socializing."

This excellent blog post from a 21 year-old awareness-raising Aspie in Yorkshire, who provides 10 very important insights to keep in mind when it comes to romantic relationships on the autism spectrum

 

http://seeingdoubleautismawareness.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/ten-things-i-wish-everyone-knew-about-autism-and-romantic-relationships/

"High-Functioning" & "Low-Functioning" Aren't So Functional Labels

Dani Alexis, aka the Autistic Academic, writes a to-the-point essay on the problematic nature of "functioning" labels with regard to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Words are powerful & these particular adjectives have a tendency to betray the humanity of those they are meant to describe.

 

"I have heard 'high-functioning' used to mean many things, from 'has an IQ several standard deviations among the mean' to 'has a job' to 'talks.'  

But I have never, not once, heard 'low-functioning' to mean anything but 'hopeless tragedy.'  And I have never heard either of these labels deployed to mean anything but 'still not quite, you know…one of us.'

 

http://autisticacademic.com/2014/08/12/why-this-high-functioning-autistic-really-wishes-youd-shut-up-about-high-functioning-autistics/

What Neurodiversity Is NOT

Excellent & thoughtful blog post by this neurotypical mom of an autistic daughter. Excerpt:

"I thought that being a card-carrying proponent of neurodiversity meant not helping my kid to mitigate the challenges that autism presents for her.

I was wrong. It means redirecting the fight.

Neurodiversity means changing the definition of success. It means prizing self-actualization over self-camouflage. It means accepting how integral autism is to one’s identity, one’s understanding of themselves and the world around them. Autism is a Pervasive development disorder - embracing it means understanding that there is no aspect of life that it does not touch. It is the filter through which one experiences and interacts with the world.

Acceptance means no longer setting ourselves and our children up for failure by grading their a-typical progress in relation to someone else’s typical development. It means no longer trying to eradicate the thing that is such a huge part of who they are and instead working to make it less disabling. That’s the heart of this really – accepting autism as a fundamental part of our kids and then working with them to leverage its gifts and mitigate its challenges."


http://adiaryofamom.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/what-neurodiversity-isnt/


BONUS: She also shares her well-thought-out POV on the problematic nature of person-first language here.