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The Autism Spectrum According to Autistic People

Autism neurodiversity
Autism neurodiversity

Autism 101: Resources from the Autistic community

For those new to autism and the Autistic community, it can be very overwhelming. There’s a lot of information out there, some good, some bad. This is a basic outline to help you get started and give you an idea of how the Autistic community operates by #ActuallyAutistic individuals themselves.

 

Autism is a Neurotype

It is not a disease/illness that needs to be cured. It is not an add-on to a neurotypical brain that needs to be removed/fixed. It is an Autistic’s very neurology. They are the way they are because of it. It is one of the many ways to be neurodivergent.

 

Darkest Before Dawn: Autism, Ableism, and the Rise of the Neurodiversity Movement

What is Autism?

Neurodiversity: Some Basic Terms & Definitions

What is Neurodiversity? – Neurodiversity in a Nutshell | Neurodivergent Rebel

Autism – What’s That? | Agony Autie

 

On Language

The Autistic community prefers identity-first language over person-first ie “Autistic” instead of “with autism.”

 

Person First vs Identity First Language

Person-First Language: What It Is, and When Not To Use It

Person with autism or autistic person? My problem with “person-first language” for autism

Autistic Person or Person With Autism? – an #ActuallyAutistic Perspective | Neurodivergent Rebel

 

On Symbols

Most Autistics reject the puzzle piece and prefer the infinity symbol instead.

 

Puzzle Piece is Hated by the Autistic Community: The History and What to Use Instead | Fierce Autie

 

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is a hate group despised within the Autistic community, for good reason.

 

It’s April, So It’s Time To Argue About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks : The Time Is Now To Help Clean Up Your Mess

“Sorry, We Already Gave to Autism Speaks,” or The Role of Money in Institutional Ableism

 

On Functioning Labels

Functioning labels and DSM levels are harmful and ableist and should not be used ie “high/low functioning,” “level 1/2/3” or “Asperger’s/Aspie.”

 

Why I’m Not a High-Functioning Autistic

Function Labels: And We’re Supposed to be The Awkward Ones…

Don’t Call Me “High Functioning”

The Ridiculousness of Functioning Labels

Asharah Saraswati on Functioning Labels

 

Autism: A Spectrum

“If you’ve met one Autistic person, you’ve met ONE Autistic person.”

The autism spectrum isn’t linear, going from mild to severe, as commonly misunderstood.

Understanding The Spectrum – A Comic Strip Explanation

It’s A Spectrum – I don’t think it means what you think it means

 

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)

ABA is an abusive compliance therapy that is worse than dog training for Autistic children. It encourages masking and scars Autistics for life, be that through PTSD, depression, anxiety, burnout or generally terrible mental health etc.

Ivar Lovaas, the person who founded ABA, used to electrocute (among other things) Autistic kids in order to make them “indistinguishable from their peers.” He took the concept of reward and punishment to a whole new level. According to him, “you start pretty much from scratch when you work with an autistic child. You have a person in the physical sense – they have hair, a nose and a mouth – but they are not people in the psychological sense. One way to look at the job of helping autistic kids is to see it as a matter of constructing a person. You have the raw materials, but you have to build the person.”

#NoToABA #SayNoToABA #BanABA #CriminalizeABA #YesAllABA #ABAisAbuse are informative hashtags.

 

ABA Therapy Archives

The Great Big ABA Opposition Resource List

 

Nonspeakers

Nonspeaking does not equate to unintelligent, nor does it mean the person is “afflicted with severe autism.” Speaking is not a standard to be reached/achieved. There’s nothing wrong with being nonspeaking. There are other modes of communication besides verbal speech. Look into Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

 

All About AAC: A Guide to Augmentative and Alternative Communication Options!

Communication First focuses on communication rights for nonspeakers.

 

Stimming

Stimming is like breathing.

~ Neurodivergent Rebel

Stimming ie self-stimulatory movement(s) is a way to express oneself, self regulate, concentrate, release energy, provide sensory input etc. Forcing an Autistic to not stim is taking away their right. There’s nothing wrong or pathological about stimming and it should be encouraged, not discouraged (unless it is harmful).

 

Stimming – What’s That? | Agony Autie

What is Stimming & Why Do Autistic People Stim? – an Autistic Perspective | Neurodivergent Rebel

What IS Stimming? – Autistic Stimming (with examples & a word about self-harm & stims) | Neurodivergent Rebel

 

Meltdowns

Meltdowns are not tantrums. With tantrums, the child has control over their emotions and actions whereas, with meltdowns, all control is lost due to overload. Meltdowns are a result of sensory/emotional/mental overload, are an explosion of emotion and should not be dismissed or taken lightly.

 

The Autistic Experience of Sensory Overwhelm, Meltdowns, and Shutdowns

Autistic Meltdowns: From the Inside

Autistic Meltdowns, Shutdowns, & Tantrums, oh my! | Neurodivergent Rebel

Autistic Meltdowns & Overloads – “What’s That?” | Agony Autie

 

Shutdowns

Simplistically speaking, shutdowns are internal meltdowns ie implosion of emotion.

 

Autism & Shutdowns – How They Differ from Autistic Meltdowns | Neurodivergent Rebel

Autistic Meltdowns, Shutdowns, & Tantrums, oh my! | Neurodivergent Rebel

Shutdowns – What’s That?! | Agony Autie

The Autistic Experience of Sensory Overwhelm, Meltdowns, and Shutdowns

 

Masking

Masking is when Autistics appear to be NT and is incredibly harmful. The problem is that if they don’t mask, they’ll be discriminated against for being Autistic but when they do mask, that’s harmful to their mental (and physical) health. #TakeTheMaskOff is a hashtag one can look into.

 

The Painfully High Price of Autistic Masking – Part 1

The Painfully High Price of Autistic Masking – Part 2

#TakeTheMaskOff – Coping Strategies Taking Off The Mask | Neurodivergent Rebel

 

Acceptance over Awareness

Autism Acceptance and not Autism Awareness, please. Awareness is nothing without acceptance.

 

Brief Musings on Autism Awareness vs. Acceptance

Day 2: Autism Acceptance

Autistic Acceptance vs. Autism Awareness

Acceptance versus Awareness: a brief commentary on the great debate

The PROBLEM with Autism Awareness Month – why autistic people urge you NOT to Light Up Blue | Neurodivergent Rebel

 

Empathy

Autistics are NOT “severely lacking” in empathy.

 

Destroying the “Lack of Empathy” Myth in the Wake of Bleach Enemas & Autistic Abuse

Empathy & Autism | Unmasked

The Dangerous Myth of Autism & Empathy Used to Dehumanize Autistics | Neurodivergent Rebel

Autism and the Problem with Empathy | Not Your Favourite Autistic Pixies

The Double Standards of Ableists

 

Sensory Processing

Sensory processing differences can are very common among Autistic individuals.

Sensory Survival: Living with hypersensitivity, overwhelm, & meltdowns

Proprioception, interoception, and the vestibular system are 3 senses that it’s best to be aware of.

The Other 3 Senses You Never Knew Existed… But You Should!

 

Language Matters

As previously said, autism is not an illness or disease, so please avoid using “symptoms.” “Traits” is the word you want to use.

 

Neurotypicals are Not a Standard for Neurodivergents

Please stop applying NT concepts and standards to ND persons. Stop trying to understand Autistics relative to NTs. Stop viewing normal through the NT lens.

  • “Socially unacceptable” – according to NT standards.
  • “Cold, dismissive, mean, rude” – according to NT standards because people project their idea of empathic expression onto Autistics
  • “Doesn’t like to go social activities” – according to NT standards (some Autistics are and love to be social, they’re just not “appropriately” social according to NT standards or may need accommodations in order to tolerate the environment).
  • “No hugs/eye contact/affection” – Some Autistic people avoid eye contact, some don’t. Some avoid physical touch. Others love it. Those who avoid those gestures have legitimate reasons which vary according to their sensory profiles. As for the affection bit, they’re not robots… they just demonstrate affection in different ways.

 

Presume Competence

Autistics just communicate differently. That doesn’t mean the way they communicate is wrong. NT communication (or being NT) is not a standard NDs should strive to reach. Autistics communicate fine when people learn how to understand their unique language are actually willing to communicate in good faith.

 

“…we’re not asking for anything we haven’t done for neurotypical people all our lives.” – Sara Gibbs

Autistic People Accommodate Non-Autistic People All The Time

 

Special Interests

Special interests (or #SpIns) are subjects Autistics are passionate about.

 

Thank You for the Music: On the autistic joy of pursuing special interests

On Autistic Special Interests and My Love for Plants

 

Situational Mutism

More commonly known as “selective mutism,” situational mutism is the preferred term as Autistics do not “select”/choose when they go mute.

 

Is it selective mutism––or chronic catatonia?

Selective Mutism – Just because somebody can’t speak, doesn’t mean they don’t have a voice

Our Journey with Selective Mutism – Bekki Semenova and Stella

Mutism Archives

Neurodiversally Unbroken’s Facebook Post

I’ve been autistic all along?’s Facebook Post

Harry Thompson’s Discussion with Senka Aileen and Kieran Rose

Autistic, Typing’s Facebook Post

 

“Special Needs”

Our needs aren’t “special,” they’re human. “Accessibility needs” is a better term and another one is “disabled.” Even alternatives like “differently-abled,” “handicapable,” “different ability” etc. are dismissive of the struggles disabled people face and are just to make abled people feel comfortable when referring to/talking about disabled folks. Disabled/disability isn’t a bad word.

 

The Neurodivergent Teacher’s Facebook Post

The Neurodivergent Teacher’s Facebook Post

Autism and Neurodiversity in the classroom’s Facebook Post

Crimson Âû’s Facebook Post

Spectrum Life ÂÛ – The Actually Autistic Parent’s Facebook Post

 

#ActuallyAutistic Facebook Pages

Following are links to Autistic pages on Facebook one might like to follow for further information by #ActuallyAutistic people themselves:

 

NeuroClastic

Neurodivergent Rebel

Hvppyhands

The Autistic OT

Fierce Autie

Fierce Autistics and Allies

Autistic, Typing

Autistic Not Weird

The Autistic Advocate

The Autistic Wolf

Autistic Bride

Autism Level UP

I Am The Face Of Autism

The Unbroken Autistic

Autistic Realizations by Wolfheart

Better Ways Than ABA

Neuromess

Not An Autism Mom

More Than One Neurotype

Not Your Neuro-Typical Family

Spectrum Life ÂÛ – The Actually Autistic Parent

Green Streak

Autistic Grandma

Autistic Pride Mumma

Autistic Mama

Kristy Forbes – Autism & Neurodiversity Support Specialist

Yenn Purkis Neurodiversity Page

Not Your Favourite Autistic Pixies

Labels Go On Soup Cans, Autism Is A Diagnosis. Leah Taylor Official

Emergent Divergence

Autistic Inclusive Meets Community Group AIM

I’ve Been Autistic All Along?

Autie, Me & My ADHD

Autism & ADHD

Lydian’s Autie Meme Therapy

Keepin’ it Autistic

The Autistic Avenger

Harry Thompson – PDA Extraordinaire

Sally Cat’s PDA Page

Reframing Autism

Hoarder of Spoons

IndieAndy

Neurodiversally Unbroken

Speaking of Autism – Quincy Hansen

The Neurodivergent Teacher

Yo Samdy Sam

Unmasked

All Over The Spectrum

Pablo

Random, Quirky, Awkward Me

Quirky.Stimmy.Cool

The Amazing Adventures of AspieGurl V.S. An NT World

In The Loop About Neurodiversity

AutasticTom

Autistic Tyla

Jay’s World

The Magpie Behind the Mask: Introspections on Neurodiversity

Autistic On Wheels

ABA PBS Controversy Autism Discussion UK

Echolaliachamber

The Black Autist

The Autistic Cooperative

Ido Kedar

Awakened Neurodivergence

World of Neurodiversity: Autism, ADHD, PDA

Autistics and Allies Against ABA & PBS Ireland

Multiply Neurodivergent

Stimtastic

Planet Autistic

Autistic, Actually

Nick Walker Sensei

Neurodiverse AF

Communication First

Differently Wired

Autisti-kit

Kit Autie

PDA Parenting

Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network

Âûtistic News Feed

Autistamatic

Sunshine & Ginger

The Autistic Acupuncturist

The Prism Cat: Reflections on Neurodiversity

Autistic Questions

Resilient Chameleon; Authentically Autistic

Rainbow Road Spectrum Blog

Advocate Dismantle Rebuild

ABAers Say S#t

Autistic Wellbeing Consultancy

Autistic Seka

Autistic and Teaching

PDA Society

Autism and Neurodiversity in the classroom

Autistic Inclusive Meets, USA

Fidgets and Fries

Not Another Autistic Advocate

Amethyst Joy

The Punk Rock Autistic

Autie-biographical Comics

Crimson Âû

AutisticGold

Neurodivergent Labour

The Royal Circle of Autism

Angry, Asian, and Autistic

Actually Aspling

Faith, Hope, and Love with Autism

Behind The Masks

Tim Chan

Dr. Dawn-joy Leong

Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay

Unstrange Mind

DJ Savarese

A Zaney Life

Cat Lady Justice

nothingbutthetruth.blog

AuTeach

The Neurodivergent Co.

Taylor Linloff – Aspirational Autistic

Be A Teaching Unicorn

Autistic Allies – Supporting Autistics to be Themselves

Autismo: Mi cerebro atípico

The Neurodiverse Nurse

A4A: Public Page

The Autistic Cooperative

Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Lending Library

PDA Support Page – A collection of PDA related Pages, Groups, Blogs etc

Hazelwood Consulting

Niko Boskovic

Nothing Left to Lose – A documentary exposing the truth about ABA

Autistic Professor

Randall Therapy & Wellness

Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint

Âûsome Bullhorn

Just Jeni

Adventures of Joey

The Nurture Programme

No Nonsense Neurodivergent

Autistic Resources for Autistic Activists and Allies

Brett J Cole – Autistic Words & Art

Painting by Tacy Traverso

Autistic Science Person

Rebecca Cavender, Writer

Becca Lory Hector

Writing by Chris Breedt

Autismo, Liberación y Orgullo

Aprender a Quererme – Autista cuestionando paradigmas

Autistic Pride in Hyde Park

Autistic Empath

Neurodiversity News

 

Directory of NonSpeaker Pages, Vlogs, & Media

 

Slideshows, Images, and Infographics from NeuroClastic – Free PDF Downloads

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6 Responses

  1. I’m thinking, “were you reading my mind?” This is great! I’ve seen the mistreatment of kids and adults as a result of their neuro-differences. Having information available for people who are unfamiliar with autism – or who think they understand, but really don’t is great! Personally, I learn every time a read an article from NeuroClastic or other autistic authors. Thank you!

  2. Thanks so much for this. I’ve been reading this blog a ton lately and I think it’s helped me understand a lot about myself and the world that I didn’t before

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