5 reasons I am self identified as autistic

Every now and then I see a conversation in which someone (usually not autistic, but occasionally autistic) says that self diagnosis of autism is not okay. I’ve never dived into the conversation publicly before, because it’s a tough one to have and, to be honest, it’s exhausting defending yourself to people who’ve already made up their mind and don’t want to listen. But I do have some pretty strong thoughts about this, and I’m going to share them here. Continue reading

autistic anxiety

It’s great that as a society we are becoming more aware of mental health challenges and the impact they have on peoples lives. Words like depression, and anxiety are part of our conversations now, and the stigma around them is reducing. But there is still some misunderstanding about what they actually are, and even more so when we mention anxiety in neurodivergent people.  Continue reading

behaviour modification therapy does work

You can listen to this article as part of a podcast on The Neurodivecast by Alex Kronstein. Click << here >> to open the podcast site in a new window. This article is read second and begins five and a half minute into the episode. Keep listening for other excellent articles on the topic of ABA and behaviour modification therapy. 

“But it works”

It’s the most common reply I see from parents when autistic adults express opposition to behaviour modification therapy. I hear them tell the story of what has been achieved since their child has been in therapy, in order to convince others that they are wrong about the abusive nature of therapies like ABA. As I’ve listened I realise there is a lot of evidence supporting their claims, so I can only conclude that behaviour modification therapy does get the results parents want.  Continue reading

The illusion of choice in behaviour modification therapy

You can listen to this article as part of a podcast on The Neurodivecast by Alex Kronstein. Click << here >> to open the podcast site in a new window. This article is read first. Keep listening for other excellent articles on the topic of ABA and behaviour modification therapy.

During April autistic adults take the opportunity when people are raising “awareness” to push back against some of the ideas commonly held by non autistic people about what is good for autistic people. Continue reading

TeachMeet Human Rights

On Tuesday 14 March, I attended TeachMeet Human Rights in Sydney. It was a wonderful event, with many excellent presentations. I was honoured to be invited to present a 7 minute talk on Autism and Inclusion.

Inclusion in education is a human right, yet there is much about our education system that makes it inaccessible to autistic students. I spoke about the experience of autistic students and how to make schools and classrooms more welcoming and accessible, using strategies to avoid the practice of seclusion and restraint that we have seen occurring recently.  Continue reading

A severe problem

I received a message this morning, letting me know about an article on the FaceBook page of the Department of Education and Training in Queensland’s Autism Hub.

The article is upsetting in a number of ways. It contains misinformation, stereotyping, lots of negative language, and lots of blaming autistic people for their parents unhappiness and stress. Continue reading