To Raise Up An Advocate

Every person needs to be a self advocate. Every single one of us. As parents, we need to do our best to make sure our kids eventually don’t need us. Even our special needs kids need us to support them and teach them to learn the skills to need us as little as possible.

Cracked Mirror in Shalott

In the fall, I attended an all-grantees meeting in Harrisburg, PA. I was there as a board member of Self Advocates United as 1, a disability self advocacy group which centers people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Every one of our board members has a developmental and/or intellectual disability. I do other work with the group, but my purpose that weekend was in my role as a board member. I wasn’t well for about half the meeting, but towards the end I was approached by the woman who administers our grant. She asked me a question that I’m finally well enough to answer: how do we keep bringing in new youth? Did I have any unique ideas?

I told her I didn’t know if I had any unique ideas about bringing in youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities right now. There is a lot of organizing out there around…

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I have a dream…

(Trigger warning-violence against disabled/links)

Last night I reminded my almost 7 year old that he didn’t have school today. When he asked why, I told him it was Martin Luther King’s birthday, and he had the day off to recognize Dr. King. To the next “why” I replied, because he was someone who fought for equal rights. “Why did someone shoot him?” he asked Continue reading

Playlist: All across the autism spectrum

Great information and perspectives. Enjoy!

TED Blog

June 18th is Autistic Pride Day, a day to celebrate the neurodiversity of people on the autism spectrum. Too often, autistic people are viewed as only autistic, and it’s seen strictly as a disorder. As always, the full picture isn’t drawn in black and white: it’s complex, full of grays. At TED, scores of speakers have plumbed the depths of not only what autism is and why it develops, but also what it offers. Here’s a look at some of them:

Faith Jegede: What I’ve learned from my autistic brothers
TED@London
Jegede explains how her two autistic brothers are “bypassed and misunderstood” by most people, who don’t understand (and don’t make an effort to understand) who her brothers are and the ways in which they’re unique. To Jegede, they’re incredible: “I cast my mind back to the things that they’ve taught me about individuality and communication and love, and I…

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Autism Speaks Sounds the Fear

Autism Speaks Sounds the Fear

We need knowledge. We need support. We need awareness, acceptance, and RESPECT. These things don’t come from fear. They come from knowledge and respect, and from listening to the experiences of AUTISTIC individuals. It’s not all about the parents. Until Autism Speaks stops using fear to motivate, and starts respecting autistic voices, they will end up doing more harm than good.

(This does not refer to those who volunteer or work locally for AS, who love and respect autistic individuals and have nothing to do with the message of fear, but rather the top-down messaging and behavior.)