An Argument Against Pathologizing Autism – What Others Had to Say

An important read – this quote (among others) resonated with me: “Blind people, Deaf people, and many other disabled people get the services and accommodations they need without being labeled as having mental disorders. We don’t have to call autism a disorder or a disease to acknowledge that Autistic people are disabled and can require accommodations.”

Emma's Hope Book

In yesterday’s blog post I asked for thoughts regarding the pathologizing language that dominates most conversations about autism and those who are Autistic.   I received some terrific responses both here, through email and on Emma’s Hope Book Facebook page.  I also asked Emma for her thoughts, which she very patiently gave me and generously said I could post here.

Emma wrote, “Deciding autism is a medical condition eases the minds of those who profit from it.”

A couple of great links were sent to things that have been written on the topic or related topics.  This, from the Zur Institute entitled:  DSM: Diagnosing for Status and Money, focusses on the DSM and argues, “Historically, many clinicians have been unaware that the DSM is more political than scientific, that there is little agreement among professionals regarding the meaning of vaguely defined terms, and that it includes only scant…

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I knew how to read long before I could speak.

I knew how to read long before I could speak.

This post is beautiful, and so true. I have a sister who taught 3rd grade for 35 years before retiring. She was doing things that were considered “ground-breaking” a long time ago – like letting the kids with ADD sit in, next to, on, half in their chairs so they could work (as long as they didn’t bother or weren’t in anyone’s way). For the kids who couldn’t get started on a writing assignment, she’d let them dictate a couple of sentences to her, and then off they’d go, able to write with ease. She was their champion. She was a teacher. Teachers that “get it” are such a treasure!

Easing the Transition to a New Grade/Teacher – A Resource

Every little bit helps when your child is starting a new grade. For a special needs child, it’s that much more important to build a good relationship and equip the teacher with information and support. This link is a helpful tool for any parent.

Walkin' on the edge

I found this letter online last year and thought it was a wonderful resource. I sent it to a retired teacher friend (35 years of 3rd grade), who thought it was fantastic and wished it was something every parent would do. I put it together for my son and sent it in to his new teacher, as well as his speech and OT providers at the school. They appreciated it very much. His teacher, who had not had much experience with a student on the spectrum, told me it helped her a lot – especially with the eye-contact “thing”. Because she had and read this, she took the time to really watch when he didn’t appear to be listening. She saw that though the eye contact/APPEARANCE of attention wasn’t there, that the attention was. It really helped. I hope it can help others.


A Letter To My Teacher – 15 Things About…

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I’m Not Sick: A rant about neurotypical privilege.

A lot of really good points here. As a non-autistic person, I do my best to be aware of all of these things. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. The attitude of “the way I am is the best way for all to be” has been a destructive path over and over again. So when we discover we’re on that path, instead of insisting it’s the place to be, we need to see where we are and then change directions.