There is a concept within the Autistic Community called ‘masking’, but it applies to many people across many different diversity axes. That’s because masking is basically the work we do to try to blend in with those around us – to try to pretend that we are someone that we are not – less autistic, less queer, less disabled, less ADHD … less us. In particular, these ideas are often introduced or reinforced with behavioural methods such as ABA/IBI or conversion therapy.
Welcome to a fantastic journey – one you never asked for, signed up for or (probably) trained for. As much as it feels that your world has come crashing down around you, or that you can’t possibly handle this, the truth is more complicated than that. The truth is that there will be high’s and lo’s to this journey that you may only be able to appreciate down the road. The truth is also that you already have the one key ingredient for success: you love your child.
There is a lot of conversation right now in Ontario about autism and about autism therapy. IBI and ABA have pride of place in the autism therapy world, and I know many parents and families who have seen remarkable results. That option needs to remain open for parents and families, and needs to be funded toContinue reading “Autism, Cat-munication and Joining”
While I have seen charts saying children should reach this skill by such-and-such an age, or showing what chores kids should do in what grades, I think it’s incredibly important to realize that each of our children are unique, and each will develop in slightly different ways and slightly different speeds. This is particularly true for children who have neurodevelopmental issues such as autism, physical disabilities such as club foot or those who were born prematurely.
Because of this, my recommendation is to create a list of skills that you want your child to develop along each of these axes – heart, soul, mind and body – and for each of the values that you want your child to learn.
We might never admit it to anyone else, but we sometimes like to believe that we live in a twisted Otherworld. This Otherworld (also known as ‘Solipsism’) is often seen as an issue just for people who are on the Autistic Spectrum, but the more I talk to people the more I think it’s there for most of us unless we have consciously made a different choice.
In this Otherworld, the world revolves around me: people exist to make me happy and their negative responses are deliberate and malicious attacks against me. And while most people don’t take it all the way to it’s logical conclusions, it does seem to show up more often than would be strictly speaking helpful.
I’ve thought a lot over the years about why it took so long for us to realize that we were a family on the spectrum, and here are at least a few of those reasons. In our family, autism is the norm. That’s true not only in our immediate family, but among a lot ofContinue reading “When It Runs In The Family”
I’m reposting the Atypical Autism Traits in their entirety from the post I found on Tumblr to make it easier for me to reference them in future.
The traits are split into four categories.
I want to spent this week talking a little bit about our autism journey.
It wasn’t until the spring of 2013 that we my youngest was flagged for autism.
It really should have happened years earlier – by that point she was nine, her older sibling was 12 and her dad was 36.
Why does it matter what ages the other two were?
Because within two years, we had come to realize that both of them were also on the spectrum.
There is this tendency to want to “fix” people. To make it so that they stop responding “inappropriately” or “fit in” better. But what if we viewed those with disability, autism or mental health issues like canaries – vulnerable yet valuable members of our community, who had the capacity to help us see when we might be in trouble, and make adjustments to the way in which we were living sooner rather than later?
I happen to be part of a very awesome, very unique family. My husband has autism. Both of my surviving children have autism. And I am probably somewhere on the atypical autism spectrum. Which means that all of the fun and challenges of living with someone with autism is multiplied by a factor of four.Continue reading “Joining”