Flash Blog: Autism is Not a Crime

Please share to break the stigma.

Gretchen Leary (McIntire)

Dear Autism Community,

Considering the recent sad tragedy and the false media stigma that seems to be rising up – I want to ask you to join me in doing a flash blog tomorrow using hashtag #Aspergers & #Autismisnotacrime so we can find each other’s posts.

Although I cannot host everyone’s blog posts on my page, if you email me your blog post I will tweet it out. (Authorleary @ gmail dot com)

I’ve never led one before but I feel compelled to help clarify this false stigma that the media has placed on our community.

Will you join me and write a blog post about the most positive way that ASD has affected you? Please post it tomorrow to show the world that this stigma is wrong and our community is nothing to be afraid of.

Best,
Gretchen Leary

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Debunking the violence myth (again!)

Aspergers: Through My Eyes

As I’m sure many of you will have seen on the news, particularly those of you who live in the United States, there has been a recent horrific drive by shooting rampage in Isla Vista, California which took place on Friday. The perpetrator of this awful crime was Elliot Rodger, a 22 year old student at the University of California Santa Barbara Campus. Elliot killed himself after being apprehended by the police. There are several news articles I have read on the case and I have linked to a few of these below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-27562917

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/25/elliot-rodger-suspect-california-mass-murder-shooting-stabbing

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/california-driveby-shootings-seven-dead-after-gunman-goes-on-rampage-in-santa-barbara-9430598.html

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isla-vista-rampage/california-shooting-suspect-elliot-rodgers-life-rage-resentment-n113996

Elliot Rodger had Aspergers Syndrome. This fact has been paraded around the Internet in every news article relating to the case. To me, the fact he had Aspergers is not at all relevant to the fact that he killed six people and injured a further seven in a calculated and premeditated murder spree…

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Confidence Strategies that Work by Karla Fisher (Karla’s ASD Page – Facebook)

After reading an incredibly awful “article” (on a popular psychology website) that was supposed to be helpful to people on the spectrum regarding employment issues (it was the complete opposite), I was moved to link to a resource that offers true value. [I refuse to link to the article, it was THAT bad.]

Confidence Strategies that Work

Per her facebook page Bio: “BIO: Karla Fisher is a 49 year old Senior Program Manager/Engineering Manger at Intel Corp. She has worked in the high tech field for more than 20 years and is still passionate about her job. She has two grown children and lives on 40 acres (alone) in a small town outside of Portland Oregon. Karla is also on the Autism Spectrum.”

http://asdculture.wikispaces.com/

Other noteworthy facts re. the creator of these and other fantastic resources: 

– Regular teacher to doctors, teachers and other professionals on ASD.
– Advocate for ASD Teens.
– Founded Portland’s first ASD adult/teen mentor program.
– 2012 Volunteer of the year Oregon Mega Conference on Disabilities

 

A Call for Accountability

This post is a must read for every person that has ANY connection to autism at all. I think it’s especially important for professionals involved in treatment disciplines, fundraising, education, etc. The internet has given us an important gift – access to the thoughts, feelings and experiences of autistic people of all ages, walks of life, abilities. We need to listen.

Chavisory's Notebook

To Autism Speaks and its supporters, for Autism Acceptance Day~

There’s a conversation that plays out over and over again, in the wake of the release of a PSA, press release, blog post, or video, painting autism in conventionally negative and dehumanizing terms.

Autistic people object that those descriptions do not fairly reflect the realities or value of our lives.  That while, yes, often it is hard, that’s not all our lives are.  That characterizations of “epidemic,” “tsunami,” or “national catastrophe” devalue our lives, and that we suffer when attacks on “autism” fall on us.  Which they do, always, because autism is not separable from us.  That we might wish some things were easier, but those issues need to be addressed with the complexity and nuance that they truly require to understand.

And invariably, someone will make the excuse that such rhetoric is necessary to raise awareness, to…

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Behavior is Communication: Are You Listening?

“Behavior is communication – dig deeper” may be a more effective catchphrase to embrace. We NT’s make assumptions about autistic behaviors – actually, any behaviors. Assumptions aren’t usually the best way to go…

Musings of an Aspie

Behavior is communication.

This has become a catchphrase in the autism community. And for good reason. It’s certainly true.

A child runs from a store and experts assure the frustrated parent that behavior is communication.

A parent asks for advice about why their recently diagnosed child bursts into tears at bathtime and experienced parents nod in sympathy. “Behavior is communication,” they say.

A child refuses to eat anything but raw carrots and pancakes and the child’s occupational therapist isn’t the least bit surprised. Behavior is communication.

A child flaps at a wind-up toy that’s stopped moving and the experts . . . somberly intone that the child doesn’t know how to communicate . . . that he isn’t aware of the adults around him and is “trapped in his own world”, unable to share his joy with others.

An adult walks away from an autism researcher who is treating him as…

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The Dreaded IEP Meeting

A wonderful, sad, hopeful piece about expectations, judgments, and overcoming it all. The comments should be read as well, as they are also thought-provoking.

Emma's Hope Book

Those annual IEP (Individualized Education Plans) meetings all parents of children with “special needs” attend are something I used to dread.  Meant to ensure our children are given the supports and accommodations they need, I went to our first meeting with eager anticipation.  This was where, I thought, we would be able to work with a team of people all of whom had the same goal for our child – getting and giving her the best supports and accommodations available so that she could flourish.

What quickly became apparent however was that this was when her team would write a series of bullet points describing all that was wrong with her.  All the ways in which she fell short, all the ways she demonstrated how incapable she was, were described in detail, documented and added to her growing file.  This was the time, once a year, when I would sit and listen to that itemization, fighting…

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