autism is extremely misunderstood — there are many successful autistic people who are brilliant and thriving, but their autism is ignored and erased. so, here’s something autistic people can use for positivity, and non-autistic people can use as a tool for understanding autism better

here’s a list of some famous autistic people:

  • dan aykroyd
  • satoshi tajiri (creator of pokemon)
  • dan harmon (creator of the show community)
  • adam young (owl city)
  • vincent d’onofrio
  • susan boyle
  • daryl hannah
  • temple grandin
  • hikari ōe (composer)
  • courtney love
  • stanley kubrick

and here are some famous historical people from before autism was studied, who are theorized to be autistic/have been posthumously diagnosed as autistic through their writings and the writings of others about them:

  • albert einstein
  • mozart
  • isaac newton
  • charles darwin
  • emily dickinson
  • nikola tesla
  • abraham lincoln
  • tom wiggins (most famous piano player of the 1800s and a blind former slave)

and here’s a list of some canonical autistic characters (autism is mentioned in the story and/or the writer or actor has confirmed that the character is autistic) that aren’t harmful or inaccurate portrayals:

  • abed nadir (community) — said repeatedly on the show and by the show’s creator dan harmon, who is also autistic
  • spencer reid (criminal minds) — said repeatedly in interviews by the actor and hinted at on the show later on
  • temperance brennan (bones) — said in interviews by the actress and the character was written to be autistic
  • rich purnell (the martian) — said by the author of the book
  • sonya cross (the bridge) — said repeatedly in interviews by the actress, and the show’s producers hired an autism expert (an autistic person) to help create this character
  • rebecca blithely (strange empire) — said repeatedly in interviews by the show’s creator; written to be autistic but takes place before autism was studied/named
  • alternate universe!astrid (fringe) — said in interviews by the actress
  • lisbeth salander (the millenium trilogy) — mentioned in the book
  • special mention: mike warren (graceland) — said on the show that he was diagnosed with ADHD as a child (autism is often misdiagnosed as ADHD and the two are very often comorbid), and he’s referred to as a “savant”
  • special mention: wilson fisk (daredevil) and robert goren (law and order criminal intent) — both played by autistic actor vincent d’onofrio and have autistic traits
  • plus here’s a list of autistic characters, but i have no idea if they’re good/accurate portrayals or not 

(non-autistic people are welcomed and encouraged to reblog)
Anti-Vaxx Group Wants to Know Why Study They Funded Shows No Link Between Vaccines and Autism
There are two things that non-profit group Safe Minds—committed to “ending the autism epidemic”—doesn’t understand: First, that there is absolutely no link between vaccines and autism. Second, how research works.
By Mark Shrayber

Anti-vaxxer’s help fund a study on the safety of Vaccines trying to find a link to autism; study finds no link between vaccines and autism (or any negative effect); Anti-vaxxers get mad and try to discredit the study.

What gets me about the anti self-DX crowd is the consistent argument that the professionals spend years learning about this stuff, which is why they know more.

Except… they don’t.

Do you really think that every doctor spends years learning about every single disease, disorder, or whatever? They would literally never graduate. Ask any psych student how much time they spent actually learning about something like autism. Like, the actual number of concrete hours they spent studying autism.

I promise you by the time I am done with my psych degree, I will have spent way, way, more time on understanding autism on my own then I ever did in class, and that’s if I take a class specifically for developmental disorder. And way, way, way, more time understanding my autism in particular than I ever did learning about it in school.

My top 10 tips for neurodiverse students!

1: Set yourself alarms and reminders for yourself on your phone. e.g at 8am it’ll go off and say ‘you need to read X journal today’ or ‘essay due next tuesday’

2. Make a checklist of everything you need in order to study, e.g textbooks, pens etc. When you leave your house for uni, make sure you’ve ticked everything on your list so you haven’t forgotten anything.

3. Find somewhere quiet to work, if your house/flat is too noisy, head to the library or other study areas. Many universities and colleges have accessable rooms to students with learning differences and disabilities, make use of them!

4. Apply for DSA! It is such a huge help. - DSA is disabled students allowance. (UK ONLY) It is a government funded benefit that enables us access to things such as mental health support, free laptop with learning assisting software, printing credits, book credits etc.

5. Listen to music. I find listening to classical music helps me study, and keeps me relaxed while i am reading/writing. It also helps me to block out distractions.

6. Take breaks! If you are getting stressed because you are losing your focus or there’s too much sensory stimuli around you, take a break and come back to it later.

7. Nourish your body. Remember to eat and drink!

8. E-mail your lecturers if you are stuck, trust me they like it when you ask them for help, don’t sit in silence. I am well respected in my college at Uni because I struggle, yet go to the lecturer when I need help, and they are always happy to point me in the right direction.

9. Forgive yourself, we all make mistakes.

10. Schedule ahead, sometimes tasks take us longer than someone neurotypical, allow yourself extra time to do things e.g reading, or getting to an appointment/meeting.

I hope this helps!

Colouring books for adults and for charity?!? Sign us up.
Tumblr user Cyrilliart has created a thirty page cartoon 1D colouring book, each being sold via Etsy for about 20 Euros. The book entitled 'I Study Colours' will donate four dollars from each purchased to both Niall's and Liam's charity drives between the months of August and September. Doctors without Borders and Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland…

Today on ‘just vaccinate your fucking children already’ news: 

Childhood vaccines are safe. Seriously.

By Jen Christensen and Nadia Kounang, CNN

(CNN) – Children should get vaccinated against preventable and potentially deadly diseases. Period.

That’s what a project that screened more than 20,000 scientific titles and 67 papers on vaccine safety concludes this week. The review appears in the latest edition of the medical journal Pediatrics.

The evidence strongly suggests that side effects from vaccines are incredibly rare, the study authors said. They found no ties between vaccines and the rising number of children with autism, as a small but vocal group of anti-vaccine activists, including actors Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carey, have said.

(Retracted autism study an 'elaborate fraud’)

The review also found no link between vaccines and childhood leukemia, something that was suggested inearlier studies.

The researchers found that some vaccines did cause a few adverse effects but it was only for a tiny fraction of the population.

There was evidence that the meningococcal vaccine can lead to anaphylaxis – a severe, whole-body allergic reaction – in children allergic to ingredients in the vaccine. Other studies found the MMR vaccine was linked to seizures.

“Vaccines, like any other medication, aren’t 100% risk free,” said Dr. Ari Brown an Austin, Texas-based pediatrician and author of the popular book “Baby 411,” who was not involved with the study.

“You have a sore arm, redness at the injection site. Those are the things we see commonly. Fortunately the serious adverse effects is extremely rare.”

Brown said parents ask her how safe vaccines are all the time. Some patients also ask if they should delay or stagger the vaccinations. She counsels against that practice. She said the younger the child, the more danger these diseases present.

“By delaying the vaccines you’re putting your child at risk,” Brown said.

(Study: Don’t delay measles vaccine)

The positive effects of vaccines dramatically outweigh the bad, experts said.

An editorial accompanying the study calls vaccines “one of the most successful public health achievements of the 20th century.”

Because of vaccines, many diseases that plagued children for centuries have all but been eliminated.

“There were good reasons that these diseases were targeted for vaccine development since they are so life-threatening,” said Dr. Carrie Byington, vice-chair for research in the University of Utah’s pediatrics department, and the new chair for the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on infectious diseases.

Millions of Americans live longer on average because of the protection vaccines provide. Life expectancy has gone up in the United States by more than 30 years. Infant mortality decreased from 100 deaths per 1000 to 7 between the 1900s and 2000. 

read more from CNN (also links to study findings are in parentheses throughout the text)

also CNN link, goes to article and video, video starts on it’s own so be careful.

ok I just saw a study talking about how they found out female mice sing ultrasonically during courtship and it said ‘this could help us understand autism’ how the fuck?? it didn’t even explain how. what kind of stretch is this
Autism study finds early intervention has lasting effects
Some autism symptoms reduced in children six years after their parents receive communications training.


John Constantino, a child psychiatrist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, says that the results are “monumentally important”, because there has been little evidence showing that interventions for autism at an early stage are effective — even though researchers already broadly endorse the idea. “It is a rare long-term randomized controlled trial in a field in which there exists almost no data of this kind,” he says.


More than 1% of US children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, a condition in which their ability to communicate is impaired. There is no treatment that has been definitively shown to address the core symptoms of autism, says Green.


The therapy, however, was aimed at their parents. Training was tailored to each family: twice a month for six months, parents watched videos of their interactions with their children. A therapist paused the video periodically to discuss methods that parents could use to better engage their children and bolster their communication skills.


The data are sufficient to support wider use of similar interventions, says Green. “We think this could be and should be part of an overall provision for children with autism.”

Excerpts above are from the article, emphasis mine. An actual long term study of an early intervention that uses 30min of planned activities a day and therapy that targets the communication skills of the the parents, not the autistic child.

Read The Study Itself Here

It’s almost like there are ways to help autistic children with early intervention that isn’t abusive and put the burden on the child to conform to neurotypical standards…

As Foucault pointed out with respect to the construction of mental illness, the discourse of psychiatry was essentially a monologue, established on the basis of the enforced silences of those ‘madmen’ who were being spoken about. Similarly, in the representations of autism produced within medico-therapeutic fields, the person labeled autistic rarely has a voice. Instead, it is the expert who speaks from a position of authority in academic journals and other organizational literature. Yet, counter-figurations have begun to flourish. People with autism are rejecting dominant discourses, figuring autism as neurodiversity, not pathology. In so doing, they open up spaces for valued social identities and alternative embodiments.

Childhood immunization rates plummeted in parts of Europe and the U.K. after a 1998 study falsely claimed that the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella was linked to autism.

That study has since been found to be fraudulent. But fears about vaccine safety have stuck around in Europe and here in the U.S.

Viruses and bacteria have taken full advantage of the immunization gaps.

In 2011, France reported a massive measles outbreak with nearly 15,000 cases. Only the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Somalia suffered larger measles outbreaks that year.

In 2012, the U.K. reported more than 2,000 measles cases, the largest number since 1994.

Here in the U.S., the prevalence of whooping cough shot up in 2012 to nearly 50,000 cases.


From NPR

If you willingly don’t vaccinate your child, you are a fucking public health hazard and a terrible parent.
Disabled not disordered: autism and the social model

I’ve often come across Autistic people who say, ‘I don’t see it as a disability.’ And then there are people who say they suffer from autism because they can’t get a job or they’ve been bullied. In …

This is about autism and the social model of disability.  If you have not heard about that, maybe read this.  It may give you words to articulate things you understand viscerally about your experience.  This is not something they teach in schools, at least not American public schools, with the possible exception of some colleges and universities, though it is certainly worth knowing.


Max Headroom: Andrew Wakefield denies autism study fraud

The autism/vaccine guy speaks out: In recent weeks, Andrew Wakefield’s name, already synonymous with a questionable autism study from over a decade ago, has been dragged through the mud further amid reports that the report is an elaborate fraud. He still stands behind his study, claims the reporting of Brian Deer was completely, utterly wrong, and emphasizes that he did not personally profit off the study as reported. Credit to Alisyn Camerota, who hits him pretty hard with questions the whole way through. It’s weird that this interview isn’t getting much attention at the moment. (Note: He said he was going to upload some proof to his blog, but we see absolutely nothing new there.)

I’m going to rant for a minute here, because this is important. 

I’ve always watched the anti-vaccination movement with a very wary eye, watched the leaps in logic and blatant denial of public health. Those are infuriating enough as a normal thinking person, the refusal to believe that vaccines are safe, that they don’t cause autism, that the study declaring such is the height of academic fraud, etc. 

But what’s worried me the most is the resurgence of typical childhood diseases that were all but eradicated due to vaccines — namely, pertussis (whooping cough). 

I’m not vaccinated against it. Neither is my sister.

As children, when my sister received the first part of her DPT (diptheria/pertussis/tetanus) vaccines, she had such a severe reaction to it that they were too afraid to give her the remaining two. They didn’t even try with me. It wasn’t much of a concern in the late 80s, because who got whooping cough anymore? Every kid on the block, in our school was vaccinated. All of our parents were. Everyone was. It was a standard thing. My sister and I couldn’t be, but there were enough people around us who had been vaccinated to keep us safe. 

But thanks to the anti-vax movement and parents believing scare tactics and misinformation, whooping cough is back. The number of cases in the US in 2012 was at its highest since 1955 (CDC), at the same time that the number of parents opting out of vaccinations has risen. This is not a case of “correlation does not equal causation” — a prophetic 1998 study by The Lancet (the same medical journal that first published and then retracted the infamous Wakefield study) draws a direct correlation between populations with a lowered use of the pertussis vaccine (including cases where a national “debate” has sparked over vaccine safety) and incidence of outbreaks. 

I’ve worried for the past few years about my own community. Everyone vaccinated when I was little, but what about now? How many parents, often well-meaning and well-intentioned, were now opting out? 

I got my answer when my uncle was diagnosed with whooping cough this week. 

The past few days have been something of a scramble in my family as we try to make sure we’re all covered. But there’s that old visceral terror, that the walls have been breached, that the herd immunity that was supposed to keep me safe against something I couldn’t fight has failed. 

I suppose I’m luckier now. I’m in my late 20s and in excellent health. 

But what if this had all happened 25 years ago? What if this had happened when my sister and I were two, three years old and couldn’t be vaccinated? 

What happens to the three-year-olds in our community now? 




Another Reminder Of Why We Need Vaccines: Worst Measles Outbreak In Decades Hits California

Another Reminder Of Why We Need Vaccines: Worst Measles Outbreak In Decades Hits California

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Measles outbreaks in Southern California have health officials worried. Why are parents still falling for the debunked vaccination/autism link?

It’s been almost a decade since Andrew Wakefield revealed his bogus study concluding vaccines cause autism. That study — which was the result of falsified data — has since been discredited. But not before it got the “anti-vax” movement…

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