Bullying isn’t a Kid Problem

“Finally, children are exposed to media that so often takes advantage of the “weird” character for a laugh. How many of the gross neighbors, awkward first dates, and annoying classmates in popular media look like neurodivergent kids and their adult counterparts? How many of their abuses occur with laugh tracks in the background?”

Nonlinearity and the ND Experience

The world is set up in a way that seems to presume linear development. Such presumptions are evident in milestones, curricula, and much more. It makes sense. Straight progressions, in all their simplicity and predictability, allow us to plan for the future with relative ease. While most people defy linearity Read more…

ABA: A Bad Angle for Communication

When ABA was developed, one of its main goals was to make autistic people appear as indistinguishable from non-autistic people as possible through coerced behavioral changes. In many cases today, ABA therapists and families retain that goal. The “Father of ABA,” Ivar Lovaas, has been quoted saying, “you have to Read more…

Your Child Deserves Neurodivergent Community

When parents learn that their children are neurodivergent, they are often advised to keep their children away from neurodivergent peers as much as possible. That is horrible advice. Keeping away from neurodivergent peers is only good advice if your goals include reducing a child’s self-esteem and self-understanding. (Although, in that Read more…

Nurturing Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is a fact. People of all kinds of neurotypes inhabit this world. Like all kinds of diversity, neurodiversity means more perspectives, a wider array of strengths, and increased opportunities for mutualistic interdependence. Yet, many interventions and ideologies still blatantly disrespect neurodiversity. Treating neurodiversity as anything less than a fact Read more…

Universal Design and the Spirit of the ADA

Don’t be fooled by watered-down versions of disability history: the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act was radical. Amidst a world that is designed primarily to suit the convenience of able-bodied, neurotypical people, a law that focused on making it accessible to people with disabilities did not float naturally Read more…

Functioning Labels: A Lost Opportunity

“‘High functioning’ is used to deny support. ‘Low functioning’ is used to deny agency,” points out Autistic activist Ellen Murray. Research shows that in addition to being rather inaccurate in summarizing abilities and needs, stigmas surrounding functioning labels negatively affect the perspectives of many service providers. So why use them, Read more…

Interdependence, A Better Goal

Interdependence, A Better Goal   “Independence” is a widely-used word in the world of disability. If you look at agency titles, IEP goals, and conversations among parents, it would be understandable for you to come away believing that independent is the best thing anyone can be. But is it? Who Read more…