I saw an advertisement today that was promoting a talk by an autism expert, a man who has an autistic son. A few days ago I saw a link to the website of an autism expert who is a psychologist and researcher. Last week I saw a short video explaining autism made by an autism expert who teaches about autism at a University. The week before I saw series of infographics made by an autism expert who is an author and counsellor to autistic people.
There is a fairly persistent belief I come across regularly that autistic people are antisocial. I think what people mean by “antisocial” is that the autistic person doesn’t socialise in ways that are considered typical so they assume that the person does not like to be around people, or is not “good” at it.
From June 2018 the New South Wales state government have signed over disability services funding to the federal government as part of the NDIS agreement and will no longer be funding disability advocacy.
I think it is funny, in an ironic way, that so many people try to tell us how to identify and refer to ourselves. They say we shouldn’t use identity first language when we say we are autistic. We should say we are people with autism because we are people first.
We all behave. We all use behaviour as a form of communication. We all have opinions about other peoples behaviour. We all make assumptions about what constitutes “good” and “bad” behaviour. In the context of disability support, behaviour is a much discussed topic, and very often the word “behaviour” is preceded by the word “challenging” or followed by the word “management”. More and more though, I want to precede or follow the word “behaviour” with the word “stigmatised”.
I reached two personal goals this month. I’m feeling pretty proud. As I’ve been patting myself on the back (figuratively) I’ve also been reflecting on how different my life looks and what the things are that have helped me get to a place where I could achieve these goals.
I was so excited this week when the kids came running to find me and said “there’s someone at the door with a weird parcel.” I knew exactly what it was and I knew they’d love it! I had ordered some things from Way of the Cactus- the worlds first online store sourcing ethically made sensory items. So I’m keen to tell you about the store, the things I bought and a great offer I have for you!
Every now and then I see a conversation in which someone (usually not autistic, but occasionally autistic) says that self diagnosis of autism is not okay. I’ve never dived into the conversation publicly before, because it’s a tough one to have and, to be honest, it’s exhausting defending yourself to people who’ve already made up their mind and don’t want to listen. But I do have some pretty strong thoughts about this, and I’m going to share them here.
As usual I’m coming into the discussion “late”. The conversation about inclusion of autistic students in our nations classrooms has been at the forefront of all my social media feeds this week, and I’ve been sitting here, swinging between trying to take it all in and trying to avoid it.