Secondary Brains: Assistive Technology

With advances in technology, being a neurodivergent person has become slightly easier. Much of the emphasis in school settings has been on tablets for augmentative and alternative communication, for daily schedules, social stories and other support aides, or for audio books and to type assignments rather than write. These tools are wonderful, and as they are general use technologies, they become cheaper and more accessible to a variety of people. A line of technology that Read more…

DIY Supports: Sensory Den

In an effort to make supporting your neurodivergent child accessible to all, we have decided a monthly series in creating supports in your home on a budget. Today we are creating a Sensory Den. All items were purchased at either a dollar store or Walmart with the knowledge that in many places in the United States these are the only stores accessible. Supplies needed: 1 hula hoop 1 ball of twine 1 bungee cord (not Read more…

Magical Abilities

Let’s set a scene. Pro-neurodiversity parent decides to “change the script” and posts “Tell us about all of the amazing things your little one does! Let’s show everyone how amazing autistic kids are!” Responses range from cute, funny stories to deep reflections on how children’s’ identities teach others around them, etc. I have participated, even, particularly to share something cute my child did or something I love about her. I have been thinking more about Read more…

Parenting is Hard

Let’s talk about parenting. Often, when parents hear us criticize the sharing of intimate details and venting, they feel like we are implying that they have no right to feel stressed or access support. We aren’t saying that. What we are asking is this: Is there a way to talk about the day-to-day struggles of parenting without making those struggles solely about disability? When parents talk about the exhaustion, joy, fear and intense that are Read more…

We Need to Talk About Your Child

Isn’t that how the discussion usually starts? The one where parents are told there’s something “wrong.” There’s something going on… He’s not meeting his milestone. She’s showing some red flags. Your child is….. As a parent, your defenses go up, “But there’s nothing wrong with my child!” And you are right. There is nothing wrong with your child. Your child has a disability. 20% of the population has a disability. The child you love, they Read more…

A Look at Autistic Inertia

The subject of autistics inertia is one that’s not widely spoken about within parent or professional communities. Autistic inertia more or less is the concept that when autistic people stop doing something it’s hard to restart, and when we have started something, it’s hard to stop. Inertia can come about from stress, overload, and exhaustion. So what is the underlying process that causes inertia? I see it as a combination of several executive functioning areas: Read more…

Functions of Echolalia

This week I want to use a personal experience to conceptualize the shift that FDM provides and just how radical it can be. This week, I observed a parent pose a simple question in a parenting group: “Does anyone have any recommendations for a television show that prioritizes kind or helpful language?” The parent indicated the child uses echolalia a lot of time to communicate. The parent was in expanding her repertoire of scripts to Read more…

Developing Naturally

If you’ve ever entered into a group for allies of Autistic people and asked, “What do I do instead of this therapy?”, you’ve likely gotten a response such as: “Let them develop naturally” or “Autistic development doesn’t follow the same track as allistic development.” It can be scary to hear those words. Everyone else is telling you that there’s a small window for early intervention. You are probably hearing 100 different things from different people Read more…

Meaningful Change: Providing Support

This is a much different blog than I anticipated writing. Two days ago, I (Robin) posted a reaction to a recently shared video of a mother crying in her car about her experiences parenting her autistic child. There was a reaction I did not expect. A post from my mostly-private Facebook page, where I have 200 friends, went viral. The reactions fell into two camps: Autistic people and allies who resonated with my critique and Read more…

“Why this? Why Now?,” Moving Beyond Deficit Models

We have been asked a lot lately how our model differs from other models.  It’s a complicated question because it involves some theory and some work that has existed in Disability Studies work for a long time, but has not made it to the mainstream entirely, and has yet to be even really engaged with in schools, education and clinics.  The work of FDM is grounded in the “Social Model of Disability.”  For Disability Studies Read more…