Today is a very big Autism News post! Partly because I procrastinated harder than usual, but also because there is genuinely a lot of autism stuff in the news, especially as we gear up for the Awareness/Acceptance Month of April.
Since everyone is lighting it up different colors for autism right now, we should probably start with Real Social Skills’ post on what autism awareness means to them.
There was a lot in the news lately about euthanasia, murder, death in general, and other medical problems for disabled people. Everything in this section has a TW for these and related topics.
Meanwhile, autistic self-advocate John Elder Robison wrote a book about his experiences with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.
- Here is a post by Robison about his book, and on the difference between “having feelings” and “reading social cues”
- Sonia Boue lists objections that many autistic people are raising to the promotion of TMS in Robison’s book
- This interview with Robison responds to some of these objections, and goes into more depth on Robison’s feelings about the potential risks and drawbacks of TMS.
Posts about adult diagnosis:
Pan-disability posts for the SFF crowd!
Other pan-disability posts:
- Erin Human on why she says “disabled”, not “special needs”
- Feminist Aspie on food policing
- Clarissa Krikpe on community living for people with high-support/ developmental disabilities. (Note: There is a lot of parent-centric language in this article, but if you can deal with that, it has some pretty interesting information.)
- Karen Hitselberger on why the “How Do You See Me?” campaign doesn’t work
Posts about books, writing, and media:
Events in the actual news:
- For the first time, a U.S. court ruled that it was illegal to pay disabled workers less than minimum wage in sheltered workshops.
- Shannon des Roches Rosa on Hillary Clinton’s autism plan
- Kayden Clarke, an autistic self-advocate whose video about a support dog went viral, joins the long list of autistic people killed by police.
A few weeks ago, Elizabeth Bartmess wrote the best post on autistic representation I have ever seen. In academia, we would call this a “survey paper”: it lists and categorizes all the most common problems with autistic characters in fiction (along with links to book reviews that show each of the problems in action), then links to non-fiction articles explaining why each one is a problem, what real-life problems and narratives it connects to, and what we would like to see instead. It’s geared towards writers of YA/MG fiction, so the examples are drawn from YA, but every single point is a thing that crops up in fiction for adults as well.
I am not joking when I say this is REQUIRED READING. From now on, whenever someone asks me how to write an autistic character without failing, I am linking them to this post FIRST.
Here are some other good posts on How To Do Activism:
There was a protest called #CrippingTheMighty recently against a site called The Mighty, which aggregates disability-related content in sometimes problematic ways (inspiration porn, “warrior moms”, etc). Here is an overview of #CrippingTheMighty (with more links!) by Savannah Lodgson-Breakstone.
- Dani Alexis Ryskamp on why The Mighty should also be paying its writers
- Although The Mighty has had issues for some time, a lot of the talk in #CrippingTheMighty was triggered by a specific problematic post. Shannon des Roches Rosa and others at the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism have a very important point here about that post’s author, who is autistic herself and has apologized.
Some book news to start us off this news cycle!
The CDC recently revised its estimates of autism prevalence to 1 in 45, which is a higher prevalence than the previous estimate after a long period of prevalence estimates continuing to rise.
An ABA therapist published an article on a site called Autism Daily Newscast about “perks kids with autism get from bullying”. The article, rightfully, got a lot of critical responses from autistic people who had experienced bullying as children. Here are some good ones:
Here’s some pan-disability stuff:
This autistic linkspam episode has some links that should have gone in the last one except I forgot to check my feed reader again before posting. 😛 I blame the post-LARP brain that I had that day. Anyway, here are more links.
- Last news post I linked to a petition about Sharon Joy Kochmeister. Here’s Evil Autie explaining some complications to that case that I didn’t know about [TW abuse]
- Also here’s a follow-up to Dani and Emma’s post about imposing behaviourism on oneself [TW more abuse]
Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of buzz about a book called NeuroTribes. It’s by an NT author who has extensively researched the history of autistic community and activism.
- Here’s a review of NeuroTribes by Patricia George-Zwicker
- The author, Steve Silberman, also wrote an op-ed critical of Autism Speaks in the L.A. times.
- Autism Speaks responded to NeuroTribes and the op-ed, calling Silberman “divisive” and calling for unity. There has been a lot of critique by autistic people of what exactly Autism Speaks means by “unity”. Here are some examples:
June 18 was Autistic Pride Day. Nobody ever tells me these things until it’s the actual day. Here is an Autistic Pride Day message from Ari Ne’eman and ASAN!
Lately Dani Alexis Ryskamp has been making all sorts of really excellent posts so I’m just going to lump them all together awkwardly into one part of the list.
Here are some long but really interesting academic type posts:
Some potentially sad/upsetting social issues posts:
Wow. So much happened during/after Autism Month, I’ve been having trouble keeping up with it all! But here is your vaguely-sorta-monthly-ish dose of autism stuff that has happened online.
Since it’s Acceptance Month (to many of us), here is some acceptance stuff:
An autistic 11-year-old named Kayleb Moon-Robinson was arrested and charged with felony assault for knocking over a trash can and struggling against a policeman.
Disability in Kidlit’s Autism On the Page event was very cool. And VERY relevant to my interests.
Other stuff in the actual, newspaper-y news:
Today is Autism Awareness Day or Autism Acceptance Day, depending on who you ask. It’s also Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month, for the same reasons.
Some posts about acceptance, in keeping with the theme of the month:
Some posts about ableism and advocacy:
Some posts about ableism in other contexts:
Also! Posts about autism in books, which is Relevant To Our Interests here:
Today, the Sad Things come first, because March 1 was the official Day of Mourning for disabled people who are killed by their caregivers. Vigils were held in many cities, mostly in the US but also in a variety of other countries.
- For those of you not sure what happens at a disability day of mourning vigil, here is a detailed description of one from Vancouver
- A eulogy by Ari Ne’eman
- Kerima Cevik on the role social media plays in this violence
- Zoe Gross on copycat crimes
- ASAN has an Anti-Filicide Toolkit here
- Lisa D., who maintains the Autism Memorial LJ, has opened a Memorial Annex as a side project – this lists other disabled crime victims she comes across in her autism-related research.
With recent measles outbreaks in the US and Canada, there has been even more talk about vaccines than usual.
April is coming up, and in many places April is Autism Awareness Month. Here is a post by Kerima Cevik about reclaiming the month from Autism Speaks
Some posts on the benefits (and pitfalls) of diagnostic labels:
Some stuff about stories and media:
In “what is it like to be autistic” news: