Returning to my metaphor, do we really want a world in which everyone travels down the same, middle valley? Do we want everyone to end up living in the same city? No. Do we want a world with no autistic people? No. But do we want a world, not only where everyone is valued, but also everyone has a chance to succeed and be happy, on their own terms? Yes.

anonymous asked:

You know, I have Asperger's Syndrome, and I would love for there to be a cure. I've lived for 28 years with this disorder, and it's caused me so much physical and emotional pain and discomfort. Do you really not care at all about that? Do you just want to keep pretending that those of us who hate having Asperger's Syndrome don't matter? Where the hell is your compassion?

ok lmao since you’re harassing me until i answer this here we go

I have also been in in intense pain and comfort every day of my life! However i think its sad that you’ve believed the lies they’ve fed you, your pain is not a result of you being you, it is a result of the world being built to hurt you and deny you access, it is a result of an ableist society

I sympathise with people hating who they are, we are trained from birth to hate being Autistic, to despise ourselves, its a key part of ableism, but that doesn;t mean its right

where is my compassion? its focused on all the Autistic people killed and abused in the name of a cure, the ones who have been electrocuted and poisoned and beaten because the parents desperately want them to stop being Autistic. Cure rhetoric aids this abuse

Also it literally cannot be cured, hoping for a cure is fruitless, asd is a neurotype that is intrinsic to who we are, theres a reason these people advocate for testing in the womb, the only way they can get rid of autism is to make sure Autistic people aren;t born

THIS !!!
Because the Expansion of the five Senses is totally possible…

OKAY LISTEN UP

Light it up blue is april 2nd.

Light it up blue is sponsored/made by autism $peaks.

A$ is a horrible organization and does much more harm than good for autistic people.

Instead of light it up blue, please do walk in red.  It’s the exact same thing, just wear red instead of blue.  It’s an awareness thing that is 100000x better than light it up blue because it isn’t tied to one single organization, especially a$.

Please, do not support light it up blue.

Whatever you do, do not, please.

//—Edit—\

I’ve been asked for sources for me saying A$ is a horrible organization quite a few times.  It’s been asked both nicely and rudely, but since it’s being asked, here’s the sources I’ve been giving them.  You can look on Google and find plenty more.  The #actuallyautistic tag is super helpful when it comes to answering your questions as well, but please don’t tag something with it unless you actually are!  Just message someone from the tag if you have questions, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to assist if you ask kindly.

https://thecaffeinatedautistic.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/why-i-am-against-autism-speaks-and-you-should-be-too-2/

http://emmashopebook.com/2013/11/13/whats-wrong-with-autism-speaks/

http://thautcast.com/drupal5/content/whats-still-wrong-autism-speaks

//—Edit2—\

April 2nd has passed but Autism Acceptance Month is still the ENTIRE MONTH OF APRIL.  Keep spreading the love, keep accepting us for who we are, keep it up!

2

These images are meant for teachers, to help them understand the sensory issues that their autistic students may be dealing with, and to give them tips on helping their students manage these issues in the classroom. However, I think these could also be useful if you need to explain your sensory issues to other people, and to give them tips on how they can help you in general.

Please click the images to see them better.

(Source)

Liesel, Mod.

6

Months later, I’m finally ready to talk about the realizations that were, at first, pretty unwelcome. I mean, no one really wants the stigma that comes along with any sort of disorder or condition, but it also really, really helps to have a name for the overflowing bag of quirks that you didn’t realize were actually all interconnected. It’s relieving in that way!

Researching for days and days, reading tons of blog posts about the different ways symptoms manifested, it all made me realize the autism spectrum is a lot broader than the public’s stereotyped view allows for. I mean, I “knew” this, but I didn’t really understand it until I read about it in depth for hours and hours. When I finally talked to my husband about it, I was crying even though I wasn’t sad, and he told me that he kind of knew for a long time, but didn’t think it was worth mentioning. “How did you know?!” was all I could think, but of course… he lives with me, his two siblings are on the far end of the spectrum, and he’s pretty perceptive. I don’t really think I would have believed him if he’d told me before I was ready to hear, anyway. Which is probably why he didn’t say something.

I was really annoyed to learn about the under-diagnoses in cis women, mostly because I ended up realizing that the standards are usually set for cis men, specifically. There are a lot more things to be said about that, but I suppose it’s neither here nor there.

One of my big fears in talking about this to anyone was anyone at all thinking it an “excuse” for anything I say or do. To me, it’s kind of like… something that helps me categorize my thoughts and understand which ones aren’t what most people are thinking, and it helps me understand a lot of big communication problems I’ve faced. It offered me a lot of relief in that way! It was like… “finally, this makes sense, the way these people explain it, this is exactly how I think!” - and it made me so happy to be able to relate to someone else’s thought process!

I don’t want to sit here and list off the dozens upon dozens of tiny realizations I had, or things that I thought were “normal” actually being quirks, but I do want to say that I’m really glad I figured this out sooner rather than later.

And man, people ask me all the time how I’m able to work so much and focus on things… but you know, that’s kind of… all my brain lets me do… work and focus on the 2 things I’m interested in… and it’s what I’m happy doing!

I’m really glad I was able to shatter the limited view I had in my head of things related to ASD stuff; I just don’t really know what else to say other than I really didn’t realize the specifics, so I hope this comic might encourage people to do some research for themselves about it. (Sorry, this isn’t like an educational post or anything as much as it’s me trying to express how I felt about figuring it out!)

Please forgive me if I’ve worded anything badly, as well. I don’t really know how to talk about this very well yet, but I’m trying.

Hello Tumblr people. This is me. I have Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I am absolutely terrified to make this post, which is why it needs to be done. #NoShameDay is a very cool thing and I want to help end the stigma. 

While my disability isn’t physically visible and I am now able to pass as neurotypical, it still affects my life. I am aware of the ways I think and process things differently and I face unique challenges pretty much every day. Yet, only my absolute closest friends know.

I was diagnosed at 3 years old and have undergone tons of therapies to help me function. I am now 22 years old and about to graduate from one of the top 20 universities in the US and will continue on to get my master’s degree. I have an amazing group of friends and an active social life. Funny how when I was first diagnosed, the doctor told my mom to put me in an institution and I would “never be normal.”

I get so ticked off when neurotypicals say that people with autism can’t function in society or don’t have empathy or can’t be smart and if they are smart they are just savants in one thing. I function fine (some social anxiety, but loads of other people have that too), I am filled to the brim with empathy (all I want to do is help people), and screw you I’m brilliant. I just think differently than you do. Different isn’t bad, it’s just different.

ASD is a very misunderstood disorder. It is also very “trendy” to talk about, which really doesn’t help resolve the misunderstandings tbh. 

Like it’s recently been trendy to use autism as the big bad monster in the closet that can be caused by vaccines or eating wrong or whatever unscientific ableist nonsense they want to preach. As though autism is worse than death. It’s offensive. I have been living with ASD for 22 years and I am doing great. 

I welcome anyone who has any questions. Sometimes people with ASD have difficulty speaking for themselves; I am fortunate to have a voice, so I intend to use it.

Happy No Shame Day! I love all of you brave people out there who shared your stories. I also love y’all who are still working up to sharing what makes you unique. You are all beautiful souls. <3 

Autism isn’t something a person has, or a “shell” that a person is trapped inside. There’s no normal child hidden behind the autism. Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person–and if it were possible, the person you’d have left would not be the same person you started with.
—  Jim Sinclair, Don’t Mourn For Us

I just want to remind all the Autistic people out there that you matter so fucking much, you are not a burden, you are not a waste of space, you are not a fault in the human race

You deserve to be here, you deserve to be respected and loved and listened to, you deserve more

Never let anyone tell you the world would be better off without you, never let anyone tell you that your mind is at fault for what they do to you, never let anyone tell you that the future of the human race doesn;t include you

all my love

How to provide pelvic exams for people on the autism spectrum

ASD, or autism spectrum disorder “is a neurological variation that occurs in about one percent of the population and is classified as a developmental disability.” (source)  While all autistic people have variations in personality and character traits just like all humans, this is an abbreviated list of some common characteristics typical of autism (click here for the full article):

  • Heightened sensitivity to sensory input (light, touch, noise, etc)
  • Non-standard ways of learning and approaching problem solving.
  • Deeply focused thinking and passionate interests in specific subjects
  • Atypical, sometimes repetitive, movement
  • Need for consistency, routine, and order.
  • Difficulties in understanding and expressing language as used in typical communication, both verbal and non-verbal.
  • Difficulties in understanding and expressing typical social interaction.

Read more about autism here & here.

Making accommodations for people with ASD:

  • Tropical fish tank in waiting room
  • Incandescent instead of florescent lighting
  • Low volume calming music
  • Attention to the temperature of both the waiting room & exam room
  • Lower ringer volume of office telephones
  • Weighted blankets available in waiting room & exam room
  • Pillows for the exam table
  • Offer tours of the clinic ahead of time
  • Close windows & cover them with blinds as the patient requests.
  • Offer a face/eye mask to pts having difficulty with visual stimulation

Taking a history:

  • Don’t assume that autistic folks don’t have sex or are asexual.  Many autistic people, all throughout the spectrum, have sex in varying ways and need and want your guidance to do it safely and comfortably.
  • Ask questions neutrally and specifically.  For some people questions like, “Are you sexually active?” are simply too vague and the patient will not be able to answer you.  Explain what you mean without being condescending and treating the patient like a child.  For example try, “Do you have sex?”  If that’s too vague, specify, “Do you have sex where someone puts their fingers or penis or sex toys inside of your vagina?  Do you use vibrators or stimulation on your clitoris by yourself or with a partner?”  Etc.
  • Don’t judge.  If the patient is having a hard time or not able to respond, ask what you can do to make it easier for them.  Be prepared to move slowly and explain things more than once.
  • Discuss with the patient ahead of time how they want to undertake the exam.  If they’d rather listen to music/focus on something else during the exam, let them do so and work quietly.  Agree on a code word or physical sensation ahead of time (such as tapping the knee) to let them know that you need their attention because you have a question or request.

Making the exam more comfortable:

  • If possible, schedule a longer time slot.
  • Establish a code word or non-verbal indicator for the pt to use at any point if they want to stop or take a break
  • Talk about sensory preferences before you start the exam.  For example, some people find the sensation of lubricant intolerable, while others find the sensation of not using it uncomfortable.  Discuss temperature and materials.   If you have access to more than one type of speculum, ask the pt if they’d prefer  metal or plastic.
  • Explain everything before you do it: “I will now be inserting an instrument called a speculum to open up the vagina.  This instrument is made of metal (or plastic), and you may feel the muscles in that area stretching.  This is being done so it will be easier for me to be able to see that your cervix, ovaries uterus & vagina are normal.  Now you will feel a slight twinge.  This should not hurt.  I am using a plastic brush to collect cells to test in the lab to make sure your cervix is healthy.”
  • Provide clear, written out instructions on how your pt can obtain their test results.  Explain ahead of time possible side effects of the test (“you might have some spotting or cramping after the exam, this is normal and healthy.  However, if the bleeding…..”).

Sources for the above material HERE and HERE.

Side note: if it seems like too much to completely re-do your clinic for the few autistic patients you see, consider that all patients will be soothed and appreciate an ASD-friendly atmosphere, whether or not they realize that’s what it is.

Shades of Slander

…Okay, so, the Autism Spectrum is legitimately a thing and there are a lot of people out there who just don’t seem to get it.

Some equate the word “spectrum” with the concept of a scale, which is not what that word means. I guess they’re thinking of a line that runs the gamut of shades from red through to violet. Thing is, hearing the word spectrum should instead be conjuring an image of a colour wheel…

ID: Image shows six icons; the apple pinwheel, the adobe colour wheel, red-green-blue and magenta-yellow-cyan Venn diagrams, the ASAN logo and a colour spectrum.

The whole point of using “spectrum” is that it’s an alternative to the out-dated practice of ranking autistics on a line from high to low functioning, verbal to non-verbal, or any other irrelevant criteria.

The very idea of the “Autistic Spectrum” is that our neurotype can’t be defined by a one-dimensional range from black to white with grey in the middle - there are a vast multitude of hues where any given autistic person can be situated on any given day. Much like the wavelengths of light and colour which we all see differently, each autistic person is a variation of the same theme, always in flux, constantly changing and evolving, every individual experience bringing new depth to the chromatic masterpiece that is Autism.

ID: Image shows a rainbow cloud composed of handfuls gulal, or multi-coloured powder dyes that have been thrown into the air by a large group of people who are celebrating Holi (glimpses of these people are visible within the flying colours). Photo credit to ‘White Massif,’ an event management company in Bangalore. http://whitemassif.com/7-awesome-holi-party-ideas/

Some fail to grasp the importance of a spectrum that unites us all because they are blinded by a sense of belonging (and simple stubbornness); there are many who don’t want to let go of an identity they finally fit into perfectly. I get that, and anyone is totally free to identify however they want – on their own time…It’s really not cool to dismiss those of us who find functioning labels hurtful.

Anyone who is aware of the harm caused by the negative connotations associated with such language shouldn’t propagate the use of terminology that segregates their own people and promotes ableist ideals.

The following links are good perspectives on why functioning labels are bad:

http://bit.ly/AWNLAS

http://bit.ly/EHBEDFL

http://bit.ly/AHSHFS

http://bit.ly/NWOFLAS

So, basically, it would be really helpful towards achieving equality, acceptance and equal rights if the entire Autistic Community could agree to ditch the old labels and settle on a new term that’s prismatically, kaleidoscopically inclusive.

That’s the spectrum.

ID: Image shows two circular spectrums. The first is split into eight sections of different colours with the saturation on a gradient towards white in the centre. The second shows the word 'spectrum’ fit into the aforementioned sections of the same circle. Instead of a gradient, the second image has the letters each in one of eight colours and the space behind them in the opposite colour.

If we separate ourselves into different classifications of autistic, whether that’s using functioning labels or adamantly sticking with “Asperger’s,” it is guaranteed to encourage the kind of ableist behaviour that will allow others to use our differences to maintain a caste system based on their own arbitrary values.

Like I said, people should call themselves whatever they want on their own time, be whoever they want to be… but please, everyone – stop condoning practices which help to put the rest of us into boxes we’ve had no hand in creating and have no desire to be trapped by.

Yes, everyone is entitled to their own identity, but no; being autistic does not give any one person a free pass to trivialize the discrimination that others have experienced. And, F.Y.I., that’s exactly what many are doing when they insist on using functioning labels or person-first language.

ID: This diagram shows the same circular spectrum as in the first of the pair of colour wheels in the previous image. Added to it around the outside of the spectrum in blocky lettering are eight section titles and within each slice of the circle is text that indicates a sliding scale from one state to another (two words or terms with an arrow between them).

The eight sections are as follows:

Emotional Sensitivities = empathetic > stoic

Physical Sensitivities = sensitive > stalwart

Physical Conditions = tough > tender

Motor Skills = dynamic > static

Disability = prolific > expendable

Neurological Conditions = impulsive > compulsive

Communication = articulate > expressive

Filtering & Processing = perceptive > perplexed

Note: The above image is a visual representation of how different hues can be related to different types of autistic qualities. It displays only eight categories with a straightforward scale attached to each which by no means covers every autistic experience. The idea is that any person can simultaneously be in many places within the spectrum and that each point of reference is constantly fluctuating. This is just an example of how the spectrum can be seen.

Autism is neurological. It’s irreversible and immutable.

We are autistic; we are autism.

It’s not possible to separate a person from the essential aspects of their being and personality. Yes, autism can be hard and disabling, but it also has a myriad of multi-faceted benefits. Those two sides of it cannot be separated either.

No one is with their autism anymore than they are with homosexuality or heterosexuality. No one is with their autism anymore than they are with their gender or nationality or religion or political beliefs.

I am an agnostic living with astigmatism. Note the difference.

ID: The last image shows a line of circles that each contain a small section of one of six abstract paintings. Each one is different but all of them show a spectrum of colour.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I can’t disagree with that, but this is about more than how we all take our eggs in the morning; it’s not a debate between scrambled and sunny-side-up (or nothing at all because eggs are sensory minefields) – it’s about a whole diverse group of people who have been oppressed and pigeonholed for centuries.

This is about human rights. This is about respect.

Don’t let prejudice lead to violence. Read and share the #DDoM2015 list of names. Understand why we, as a community, must concur on a palette which encompasses all of our needs.

Together we can shift the winds of change towards acceptance and understanding, and away from analyzing and evaluating the functionality and worth of other human beings like we’re specimens in a lab.

Instead of examining and ranking each person by the potential for remuneration, let’s opt to value each other for the uniquely colourful creatures we are. Humanity is a spectrum, our planet is a spectrum, the whole universe is a spectrum; autism is a spectrum.

Let’s embrace the rainbow.

Helping Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

According to the National Center for Children in Povery (NCCP) “One in 10 youth has serious mental health problems that are severe enough to impair how they function at home, school, or in the community.” There are no two children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or any disorder that aff…

http://www.socialworkhelper.com/2015/03/30/helping-children-autism-spectrum-disorder/?Social+Work+Helper

shared via Social Work Helper

Across a mere ten-year period — 1993-2003 — statistics from the U.S. Department of Education revealed a 657% increase in the nationwide rate of autism. Autism rates have not increased. That is a myth. Rather, broadening the definition of autism allowed more people to be diagnosed. And at the same time, families became more educated about what “autism” is, and became more open to having their children diagnosed. About 1 in 68 children will be born with autism spectrum disorder.

  • Allistic people:High functioning Autistics are not allowed an opinion on Autism because they don't understand the ~true suffering~ of it
  • Allistic people:Low Functioning Autistics are also not allowed an opinion on Autism because they are confused and can't be trusted to know whats best for them
  • Allistic people:Oh man, so who should speak for Autistic people?
  • Allistic people:...
  • Allistic people:Omg.....its me.....I am the true voice for Autistic people. I will now devote my life to telling Autistic people to shut the hell up whilst I tell them how much I want to eradicate them
  • Allistic People:I am an angel, a brave warrior of justice, the true champion of the weak and voiceless