Animals and Autism

Although autistic people have long been considered to be lacking in empathy, the strong bonds between many autistic people and animals supports an alternate theory. As many people in the autism community know, there is great variation on the autism spectrum. When it comes to animals, some autistics find animal relationships not only more tolerableContinue reading “Animals and Autism”

“What Is Autism?”

It might seem like a funny question at first. After all, most people have heard of autism. But, despite public awareness, most people don’t actually know that much about autism. Although the world has known about autism for some time, its description and diagnostic criteria has changed significantly throughout history. The second edition of theContinue reading ““What Is Autism?””

Autism Awareness Month

The month of April is Autism Awareness Month. It is filled with various autism awareness campaigns, such as “Light It Up Blue” by Autism Speaks, and puzzle piece symbolism. But what does the autistic community themselves think about Autism Awareness Month? Autism Awareness Month first began as National Autistic Children’s Week in 1972, started byContinue reading “Autism Awareness Month”

Person-First vs Identity-First Language

Although identity-first language is used widely throughout the actually autistic community, many people are still taught to refer to autistic people with person-first language. Person-first language refers to a way of describing people with disabilities in which their personhood is put before their disability status. In this sense, person-first language is meant to describe whatContinue reading “Person-First vs Identity-First Language”

Research on the Autistic Brain

Although there is evidence to support some differences in the autistic brain, the unknowns outweigh the knowns. Additionally, the ethics surrounding such research provides some difficult questions to answer. Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition diagnosed on the basis of two core symptoms: social communication difficulty and repetitive behavior. This diagnosis is provided via observation ofContinue reading “Research on the Autistic Brain”

An Introduction to Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity, a term created by Judy Singer in 1998, has been a controversial idea within autism advocacy groups. Despite this, the actually autistic community has largely embraced neurodiversity, using it as a driving force for the disability rights movement. Neurodiversity refers to the variations seen within the human brain. These variations affect things such asContinue reading “An Introduction to Neurodiversity”

“Why Are You So Open About Being Autistic?”

Since being diagnosed with autism, I have chosen to take a path of radical self-acceptance. Considering the potential for pushback, this sometimes surprises people and prompts questions about why I am willing to share my story so candidly. There are many unfavorable stereotypes about autism. Some are grounded in confusion about the separation of autismContinue reading ““Why Are You So Open About Being Autistic?””

Why Autism Speaks Will NEVER Speak For Me

Autism Speaks is one of the most well-known autism advocacy organizations in the United States, but their history of anti-autistic rhetoric also makes them a major source of autism misinformation. Autism Speaks was founded in 2005 by Bob and Susan Wright after one of their grandchildren was diagnosed with autism. Since then, Autism Speaks hasContinue reading “Why Autism Speaks Will NEVER Speak For Me”

Why I Love Being Autistic

People tend to focus on the negative aspects of autism, but there are also many positive features. Although the autism community tends to talk more about the benefits of autism, the general public is often only privy to a fairly negative narrative. There are certainly a lot of difficulties that come along with being autistic,Continue reading “Why I Love Being Autistic”

Why the “R-Word” Needs to be Eliminated From Your Vocabulary

Even in 2021, I still hear people using the R-word casually and without remorse, despite its negative impact. We need to not only stop using the R-word, but completely reframe our views of the disabled community. The R-word refers to the slur “retard” or any of its variations such as “retarded” or “libtard”. Although manyContinue reading “Why the “R-Word” Needs to be Eliminated From Your Vocabulary”