The “Help! This autistic kid is aggressive!” Flow Chart

Yay – resources!!

Nature in the City


When I’m contacted for advice concerning an aggressive kid, these are my questions and suggestions. People  often assume I am anti-medication, or that because I hate ABA, I am completely against all behavioral strategies. I am not. Yet I do believe they are last resort options . This picture is cruddy so – here is a  Link to non picture version (uncertain as to how accessible this site is)

Don’t tell me these options cannot be made available, all you’ll get is the unimpressed Scully look.


Reader “Ekie” makes an excellent point in the comments:  “I love this, but I would just add one more box: is the person in pain from something? Before you do psychiatric medications, get a full medical work-up, examine teeth for cavities, x-ray for constipation, etc.”

It’s important to make sure pain/illness isn’t causing added stress/disorientation that can lead to anger/aggression.

I’m going to edit this to add the suggestion, as…

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Rape Culture – Cover Your Eyes

Not autism related – but a difficult, yet important read.

While you were sleeping


Rape culture is when I was six, and my brother punched my two front teeth out. Instead of reprimanding him, my mother said “Stefanie, what did you do to provoke him?” When my only defense was my mother whispering in my ear, “Honey, ignore him. Don’t rile him up. He just wants a reaction.” As if it was my sole purpose, the reason six-year-old me existed, was to not rile up my brother. It’s starts when we’re six, and ends when we grow up assuming the natural state of a man is a predator, and I must walk on eggshells, as to not “rile him up.” Right, mom?

Rape culture is when through casual dinner conversation, my father says that women who get raped are asking for it. He says, “I see them on the streets of New York City, with their short skirts and heavy makeup. Asking for it.”…

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Why Are There So Many More Disabled People Now?


A common refrain that is often espoused these days by the able-bodied is, “Why are there so many more disabled children today than when I was growing up?” To many, the seeming “epidemic” levels of disabilities such as autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, and so on is frighteningly high. Looking to answers such as an abundance of pesticides, vaccines, ultrasounds, “chemicals” and other culprits is increasingly common as people search for an answer. When someone says it is due to better diagnosis or a broadening of diagnostic criteria, people like prominent ableist Jenny McCarthy respond:

“All you have to do is find a schoolteacher or principal and ask them that question. They would say they’ve never seen so much ADHD, autism, OCD as in the past. I think we’re over diagnosing it by maybe 1%. Now you look around and there are five shadows — kids with disabilities — in every class.”

I have…

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Why I Left ABA

Very, very important.

Socially Anxious Advocate

Trigger Warning: ABA, ableism, institutionalized child abuse

[Image Description: A bright red door with a brass knob and a faded mail slit. To its left, there is a long, dark windowpane with some decoration and smudges. The door itself has chips in its paint and markings on it, despite the bright color. It is closed, possibly locked.]

When I first became an ABA Therapist, I was thrilled. I was actually going to use my psych degree, get paid more than minimum wage, and above all, make a positive difference in Autistic children’s lives. Or at least, that’s what I thought.

Now I look back, and the year I spent working in ABA is my single greatest regret.

When I left, it wasn’t a decision I made overnight. It was a long, difficult process, full of denial and confusion. I don’t enjoy talking about it because I did so many wrong things that…

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Bookworm: Autism’s False Prophets

Facts, Science, Information, understanding, acceptance – what REALLY makes autistic lives better.

Aspie Catholic


“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”–attributed to Winston Churchill and Mark Twain.
There is one issue related to autism that I have avoided: the anti-vaccine movement’s erroneous claim that vaccines cause autism. I avoided the issue because I feel it’s a dead horse issue. I felt no need to address it because I saw no way to add to the discussion. Yet the lie persists. How did the lie even start? That was something I always wondered about.
Paul Offit starts his book like any true scientist should–by establishing his credibility. He explains what made him want to study infectious diseases in the first place. He presents a visit to the hospital for clubbed feet that resulted in him being placed a ward with polio patients. Vaccines ended the suffering of many with polio. In countries such…

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Why I’m Marching: Charlotte Ernst

Just because “we” don’t experience it, doesn’t mean it’s not real.

Families For Justice

Photo credit: Bella Toso and Meley Akpa Photo credit: Bella Toso and Meley Akpa

Recently, I shared a heartbreaking essay on Facebook that a 13-year old girl had written. She bravely posted about how it feels to be black in America and, more specifically, how it makes her hate herself. This article received 4 likes.

A few hours later, I changed my Facebook profile picture. That received 137 likes.

You might think “It’s not my fault a little girl feels this way. I’m not racist.” Or you make statements like ” I don’t see race, we’re all the same” so you don’t need to be paying attention to what people of color are saying, You’ve got this. “We have a black president, lets move on.” you assert.  So you go on with your life, while America burns.

That’s how it was for me until I married an African American man and we had our 4 children.

If you grew up like…

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