1. jay9887:

    hedgehoglike:

    This post is some personal observations I have made about people’s perceptions of The Autism Spectrum. When I refer to “people”, I don’t mean “all people”, I just mean the people I’ve encountered personally, whether in real life or talking to online.

    When people first learn about autism, it’s because their new friend [be it a real person or a fictional character] has been described as “having autism”. These people, not really understanding what autism is yet, look at their friend’s characteristics and decide that all the traits they have are autism - that’s what autism is, it’s being like Sherlock, Abed Nadir, Einstein, that quiet kid in class, your friend’s nonverbal son. The stereotypes can be nice (look at all the aspergers characters in film, books and television, which paint most of them as eccentric, bad with people, but nevertheless geniuses) or they can be bad (like “Autism moms” complaining how difficult it is for THEM to raise their child… or Louis Theroux’ documentaries painting a bleak portrait of autism “sufferers”).

    At this stage, the person learning about autism usually seems to think of it as a binary state… like a lightswitch. They’ll tell you you either HAVE AUTISM and are therefore exactly like the stereotype they’ve created (lights on) or you DON’T HAVE AUTISM because you’re not exactly like that stereotype (lights off).

    If they’ve read up a little more, they might have seen the word “spectrum”. Now they have a more generalized view of autism. But they get the idea of “spectrum” wrong - they see it as a linear thing: a number-line, a scale, a dimmer switch or volume control, from Zero to Autistic — or from “low-functioning” to “high-functioning”. At that point they say silly things like “You’re very high-functioning!” or “No, but I mean like, the really really autistic kids, who, like, can’t do anything because they can’t talk”. They invent this linear relationship between a person’s verboseness and “how autistic they are”.

    A lot of people seem to get stuck at this point, so I think the word “spectrum” requires some explanation.

    When I see the word “spectrum” I immediately imagine a rainbow, or light being split from a prism. I’m sure most people do. And sure, the spectrum of colours is derived from the electromagnetic spectrum - we get different colours at different wavelengths - it’s a continuous range.

    BUT- where does white light come from? White light is a combination of all those different wavelengths. You can create new colours by mixing different colours together. You can make colours brighter by adding a little bit of the other colours. You can mix the wavelengths together at different intensities. There’s a lot of ways of combining colours.

    Which essentially what the autism spectrum REALLY is. Which is why labels like “high functioning” and “severely autistic” are dumb labels. Just because one autie excels at public speaking doesn’t make them unanimously “high functioning”. Conversely, I know of nonverbal auties who are masters of writing. To tell someone with a vibrant imagination, intense emotions, passionate interests and brilliant intellect that they’re “low-functioning” because they don’t vocalize their thoughts out loud is a massive insult. To refuse someone’s pleas of help because they’re “too high functioning” is also a shitty thing to do (I’m looking at you, ATOS).

    There’s lots of ways in which we function, some of which are interdependent, others independent, and the levels vary wildly between autistic people, and they also vary wildly in non-autistic people too:

    - Long-term memory

    - Short-term memory

    - Socializing

    - Physical awareness

    - Spatial awareness

    - Vocal ability

    - Verbal reasoning / ability to understand instructions

    - Linguistic skills

    - Mathematical and logical skills

    - Executive function / Planning

    - Ability to filter information

    - Processing speed of sensory input

    - Ability to focus / attention span

    - Emotional self-awareness

    [These might not be the exact distinct cognitive ‘functions’ as according to all the sciencey literature, this was verbatim]

    I see my functions as a bar chart. In the version I drew it’s a prism splitting white light into the whole spectrum, but the different colours fade out at different places (and it’s a homage to Pink Floyd :p). That bar chart can vary throughout the day, be markedly different on different days, and is always changing over time.

    In times of anxiety all the functionality unanimously drains out of me. In a nice chilled out environment it all comes trickling back.

    When I’m in the zone doing something I enjoy, some of those rays of colour will be shooting off the image :D

    (Note how there’s no lines on the image denoting the “average person“‘s ability towards a particular function, because this shit is nigh on impossible to quantify person-to-person. All you can do is compare yourself to yourself)

    I think that’s more accurate than “low functioning” vs “high functioning” ??????????

    Reblogging so I can read it properly later….

  2. A good idea to help autistic as well as neurotypical people:

    little-niggah-sugar:

    Create seminars for kids to teach them social cues. These might already exist, but I never heard of them as a kid with autism, & I’m only 22.

    They can have stories & worksheets that show behaviors that should be avoided or when it’s appropriate to do certain things. And then the kids could do exercises where they practice these skills & are critiqued on them. 

    I’m lucky that my mom taught me some social skills, such as eye contact. These classes would’ve helped tremendously though.

    They should be seminars, not classes or schools, because if children were selected to be in these classes or if they were even electives, a lot of kids would feel embarrassed to take them. It would make them stand out even more than they already might.

    This going long, so click below to hear about my experiences as an autistic kid in school that this reminded me of:

    Read More

  3. life-of-a-skinny-boy:


As part of Autism awareness month, I want share these ten things with you: 5 things we wish you knew about us, and 5 tips on how to care for someone on the autism spectrum.
 
What we wish you knew about us:
We’re different. You can’t compare us to other people, or judge us the same way you would with other people. Because Autism spectrum disorders are neurological, we might look totally normal on the outside, but we actually think and behave very differently than “normal” people. 
We’re not disabled. Sure, there are things that make it more difficult for us to function on a day to day basis, but that doesn’t mean we’re not capable of living our own lives. 
We don’t always react appropriately. Usually people with Autism Spectrum disorders have a difficult time understanding and processing societal norms, especially in terms of social interaction. It doesn’t mean we are immature or don’t care, we just don’t know how we’re “supposed” to act or respond sometimes.
We don’t usually understand emotion. Often times we won’t react appropriately simply because we don’t understand the emotion in the given situation. It doesn’t mean we don’t care; it’s just hard for us to know how to react.
We’re not broken. We don’t need fixing, we don’t need solutions, and we don’t need a “cure.” We need people to love and accept us, and we need them to understand that this is who we are.
How to care for someone on the Autism Spectrum:
Be patient. Sometimes it can take us a lot longer to answer questions or do tasks because we’re thinking in more detail about it than most people normally would. Most of the time when we’re communicating with other people, it’s almost as if we’re speaking a second language. We need a certain level of grace so that when we make mistakes (which we do) we don’t have to be afraid that you will get upset.
Listen. Most often, we say exactly what we mean to say. We need people to listen to what we are really trying to say, and not assume that we might be implying something other than what we are saying.
Try to avoid unexpected change. Sudden change can make us very anxious and nervous. We won’t know what to do, because we haven’t mentally prepared for what’s happening.
Ask detailed questions. Asking questions about things we’re interested in can help us feel comfortable when talking to you because we know what to say. For example, if someone really loves airplanes, you could ask them “what is the most expensive airplane ever built?” 
Don’t get frustrated if we won’t look at you or make eye contact. We most likely are giving you our full attention. We just tend to not look at people while talking because it makes it easier to concentrate on what we’re saying/hearing.
And lastly: Always remember that if you meet a person with an Autism spectrum disorder, then you’ve met one person with an Autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorders are very diverse and they affect people in many different ways. For example, one child might absolutely love surprises while another could be completely terrified of them. 

TW: PUZZLE PIECE RIBBON.We at Speaking for Ourselves know how the puzzle piece symbol is probelmatic for many Autistics. However, we also beleive that the advice given in this post is very important, sensible and useful.You may well know all of this already, but we believe that sometimes a little reminder can be helpful.

    life-of-a-skinny-boy:

    As part of Autism awareness month, I want share these ten things with you: 5 things we wish you knew about us, and 5 tips on how to care for someone on the autism spectrum.

     

    What we wish you knew about us:

    1. Were different. You can’t compare us to other people, or judge us the same way you would with other people. Because Autism spectrum disorders are neurological, we might look totally normal on the outside, but we actually think and behave very differently than “normal” people. 

    2. We’re not disabled. Sure, there are things that make it more difficult for us to function on a day to day basis, but that doesn’t mean we’re not capable of living our own lives. 

    3. We don’t always react appropriately. Usually people with Autism Spectrum disorders have a difficult time understanding and processing societal norms, especially in terms of social interaction. It doesn’t mean we are immature or don’t care, we just don’t know how we’re “supposed” to act or respond sometimes.

    4. We don’t usually understand emotion. Often times we won’t react appropriately simply because we don’t understand the emotion in the given situation. It doesn’t mean we don’t care; it’s just hard for us to know how to react.

    5. We’re not broken. We don’t need fixing, we don’t need solutions, and we don’t need a “cure.” We need people to love and accept us, and we need them to understand that this is who we are.

    How to care for someone on the Autism Spectrum:

    1. Be patient. Sometimes it can take us a lot longer to answer questions or do tasks because we’re thinking in more detail about it than most people normally would. 

      Most of the time when we’re communicating with other people, it’s almost as if we’re speaking a second language. We need a certain level of grace so that when we make mistakes (which we do) we don’t have to be afraid that you will get upset.

    2. Listen. Most often, we say exactly what we mean to say. We need people to listen to what we are really trying to say, and not assume that we might be implying something other than what we are saying.

    3. Try to avoid unexpected change. Sudden change can make us very anxious and nervous. We won’t know what to do, because we haven’t mentally prepared for what’s happening.

    4. Ask detailed questions. Asking questions about things we’re interested in can help us feel comfortable when talking to you because we know what to say. For example, if someone really loves airplanes, you could ask them “what is the most expensive airplane ever built?” 

    5. Don’t get frustrated if we won’t look at you or make eye contact. We most likely are giving you our full attention. We just tend to not look at people while talking because it makes it easier to concentrate on what we’re saying/hearing.

    And lastly: Always remember that if you meet a person with an Autism spectrum disorder, then you’ve met one person with an Autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorders are very diverse and they affect people in many different ways. For example, one child might absolutely love surprises while another could be completely terrified of them. 

    TW: PUZZLE PIECE RIBBON.

    We at Speaking for Ourselves know how the puzzle piece symbol is probelmatic for many Autistics. However, we also beleive that the advice given in this post is very important, sensible and useful.

    You may well know all of this already, but we believe that sometimes a little reminder can be helpful.

  4. The Neuro-Diversity Project: Art and Autism →

    tribalspiderarts:

    Go check this out now and donate what you can, if you can’t donate spread this around, it is a great project that should be funded. 

  5. A Queer One From The Start: Just because I want to—a tentative French translation of "Listen Up" →

    hidden-agender:

    “Ecoutez-moi donc. Je suis autiste. Je n’ai pas besoin de personne à parler pour moi. Je suis un être humain. Je peux parler pour moi-même. Et en plus? J’ai quelque chose à dire. Et je veux être entendu.* Alors, retenez votre pitié, conquérez vos peurs, et parlons-en. On peut bien apprendre…

  6. autisticadvocacy:

Image is the rainbow heptagon used in the ASAN logo, with a rainbow silhouette of six people together near the center and overlapping with the logo. The text reads “Inclusion is for everyone,” with everyone larger than the other words.

    autisticadvocacy:

    Image is the rainbow heptagon used in the ASAN logo, with a rainbow silhouette of six people together near the center and overlapping with the logo. The text reads “Inclusion is for everyone,” with everyone larger than the other words.

  7. autisticadvocacy:

Red text over an image of a printed page full of DNA sequences. The text reads “Finding a GENE won’t fine me a JOB!”

    autisticadvocacy:

    Red text over an image of a printed page full of DNA sequences. The text reads “Finding a GENE won’t fine me a JOB!”

  8. autisticadvocacy:

Image is an Alternative and Augmentative communication device showing a screen with a combination of images and words to choose from. The message on the screen reads “I have something to tell you.” The caption for the image says “Everybody Communicates!”

    autisticadvocacy:

    Image is an Alternative and Augmentative communication device showing a screen with a combination of images and words to choose from. The message on the screen reads “I have something to tell you.” The caption for the image says “Everybody Communicates!”

  9. ✞hardcore.CHRISTIAN♬: AUTISM <3 →

    evaleigh95:

    the awareness of autism has been spreading A LOT lately.. but ive been aware of it my whole life. My older brother TJ has aspergers, he just turned 21 but acts more like a 16year old. we dont have a normal brother sister relationship, but we stay close in our own ways. he reaches out to me when he…

    That is how you’re meant to do it! Kudos to you, evaleigh95!

  10. insideofthisworld:

Autism associations around Turkey have reacted angrily after the head of Adana’s Health and Education Associations for Autistic Children reportedly said autistic children were “atheists due to a lack of a section for faith in their brains.” “Autistic children do not know how to believe in God because they do not have a section for faith in their brains,” sociologist Fehmi Kaya reportedly said. “That is why they don’t know how to pray, how to believe in God. It is necessary to create awareness [or religion] in these children through methods of therapy.” He also reportedly said atheism was a form of autism.
(via LOCAL - Likening of autistic kids to atheists causes fury)

LOL. We&#8217;d love to know what that guy was smoking to even be able to contemplate thinking that, never mind saying it out loud!! We know many autistic who are deeply religious, many who are agnostic and many who are atheists.Some slightly more cheery news to do with beliefs and autism coming up after that!

    insideofthisworld:

    Autism associations around Turkey have reacted angrily after the head of Adana’s Health and Education Associations for Autistic Children reportedly said autistic children were “atheists due to a lack of a section for faith in their brains.” “Autistic children do not know how to believe in God because they do not have a section for faith in their brains,” sociologist Fehmi Kaya reportedly said. “That is why they don’t know how to pray, how to believe in God. It is necessary to create awareness [or religion] in these children through methods of therapy.” He also reportedly said atheism was a form of autism.

    (via LOCAL - Likening of autistic kids to atheists causes fury)

    LOL. We’d love to know what that guy was smoking to even be able to contemplate thinking that, never mind saying it out loud!! 

    We know many autistic who are deeply religious, many who are agnostic and many who are atheists.

    Some slightly more cheery news to do with beliefs and autism coming up after that!