Keeping Your Disabled Kids Safe and Happy this Holiday Season

It’s the week of Thanksgiving, a holiday filled with turkey, family, and joy…  Well, if you were raised by a decent family, have perfectly behaved children, no racist family you’d prefer not to sit near, and absolutely no trauma whatsoever. But for the rest of us, the holiday season coming up can, and will be, hell.  So I’d like to take this moment to remind people of that very real and important saying: do not Read more…

Neurodiversity is Respect

But a world that’s built only for certain types of people can be isolating even with decent accommodations. People deserve more than the right to participate. They deserve to decide what they do and don’t participate in. They deserve to have spaces that are ready for them in their entirety. They deserve respect.

Neurodiversity is Access

Though it remains imperfect, access is an essential component of neurodiversity. In a world full of opportunities, legislation such as the IDEA and ADA provides opportunities for neurodivergent people to access the recreational, educational, social, and career activities available to people with typical neurologies.  Though access is a crucial component of the neurodiversity movement, access to a neurotypical-dominant world is akin to widening a round hole so that a square peg will fit. In short, Read more…

Autism and the Concept of Home

“Home” conjures a montage of imagery: “We’re home, home, home on the range.” “Go big or go home.” “Honey, I’m home!” “Go home, Alexander!”   It’s interesting how much home’s connotation depends on freedom. When home is a place to which a person looks forward to going, it can be a welcome escape from pressure to mask their true identities and needs in any way. Similarly, when home is an escape from the pressure to Read more…

Responding to Sexual Behavior

CW: Sexual harrassment   For the purposes of this article, we will be using the real names of body parts and discussing sexual behaviors. We will be focusing on autistic children with penes specifically, but obviously this applies to any person.   One commonly asked question from parents, therapists and behavior analysts when talking to Neurodiversity activists turns to the age old question, “How do you stop an autistic teen boy from touching their privates?” Read more…

Meeting Sensory Needs On-the-Go

Life is full of variety. Through it all, sensory needs are often a constant for neurodivergent people. Being prepared to meet a variety of sensory needs in a variety of settings can increase opportunities to engage in enjoyable activities while preserving energy to actually enjoy the activities!   Auditory stimuli are a constant presence for many people in many situations. Having some control over these stimuli is often important for self-regulation. There are a variety Read more…

On Supporting Informed Parental Consent

Professionals have a duty to learn the most current, relevant, and nuanced information to support those they serve. Furthermore, their duty of beneficence implies a responsibility to support parents in acquiring the knowledge needed to better serve their children. Below are some ways to embody that responsibility.   To provide appropriate information to support parents in ethical decision-making, professionals should… …expand their disability knowledge base beyond that which was included in their curriculum. Most educational Read more…

Factors of Parental Consent

There are, perhaps, few children for whom goals are made and discussed as explicitly as they are for children with disabilities. We have touched on this concept in previous articles in relation to goals that promote empowerment, self-advocacy, and the double standards for compliance between disabled and non-disabled people. These goals also seem to lend themselves to overshadowing a child’s right to provide or withhold consent. Parental consent is often considered to be a substitute Read more…

Keys to Accessible Psychological Healthcare

  Our last article covered areas of psychological healthcare that can currently be inaccessible to autistic people and other neurodivergent people. This article offers some key indicators of accessibility to look for in psychological healthcare services and professionals. As with all professionals who serve the public, psychological healthcare professionals should approach the professional relationship as a partnership. The professional brings the formal education and clinical experience to the table, but the clients or patients bring Read more…

Autism and (the Many Barriers to) Psychological Healthcare

Trigger warning: mentions of self harm, forced hosptalization, and suicide   It has been said that we don’t know what autism looks like on its own – only what autism plus trauma looks like. As long as we live in a world that is is set up to face forced neurotypical behavior, existing as a neurodivergent person will always be traumatic. Many believe that this truth offers some explanation for the high rates of anxiety Read more…