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That Shouldn't Happen: The Just World Fallacy and Autism

Everyday, we hear about tragedies, some that hit too close to home for comfort, and our reactions...

Heaviness: Euthanasia For Expediency

It's all over the internet now, the story of the twin brothers in Belgium who were deaf and going...

What's the Harm: When Reality and Wishful Thinking Clash

I'm digging around for posts people have written on what to say/what not to say to autistic people...

Facilitated Communication: Same As It Ever Was (Same As It Ever Was)

In the past couple years, I’ve written over a dozen articles examining facilitated communication...

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Kim WomblesRSS Feed of this column.

Instructor of English and psychology and mother to three on the autism spectrum.

Writer of the site countering.us (where most of these articles will have first appeared) and co-administrator

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Miss Wombles,

1. Person first language. Learn about it. This is the first clue that indicates to me that you are not equipped to have this type of discussion. --part of a new comment on a two-year-old post

The post, in itself, and the remainder of the person's comment aren't what's important here. Plenty of folks have tackled this issue of person-first language. Lydia of Autistic Hoya has done so several times. Stuart Duncan has covered it. I'm pretty sure there are few long-term bloggers in autism-land who haven't handled this issue.

Parents of children with neurological conditions and disorders and mental health issues are often faced with the frightening and difficult decision of whether to medicate for specific issues and behaviors. Parents are already stressed, worried, and expecting the worst when they walk into a psychiatrist's office, and it doesn't help when they've already been through the gamut of pediatricians, psychologists and other health professionals who have an opinion on the diagnosis of mental health issues in children and the role medication should play in the treatment.
Change is a heartless bitch at times and a welcome friend at others--guess it depends on what the change is and whether you saw it coming and welcomed it. Part of being a teacher is accepting a routine of change--semesters pass, summer sessions and minimesters compress a semester, and students come and go. There's a rhythm and flow to courses, and change is constant throughout the semester: students get comfortable, relationships form, knowledge deepens and the class roster goes through changes. Not every student who begins the semester with me will make it to the end. Some leave early, before they've become familiar to me, but others stick around long enough for me to miss their presence.
It seems like there's always something to be mad at or feel threatened over when it comes to autism-related reporting or blogging. Sometimes it's reasonable outrage, like an article on autism that doesn't involve autistic individual perspectives or an article on autism that goes to Jenny McCarthy for her thoughts. I mean, Jenny McCarthy? Surely we can find a better celebrity? No? Double-Ds are headline bringing?

Autism isn't a four letter word in our house. It's not something we treat with kid gloves, not something we see as a tragedy or, in our kids' case, in need of a cure. We see it as something to be worked with and around, but we don't talk much about it terms of being a negative thing. We try not to define it in terms of  core deficits, but in terms of how it makes socialization and language more challenging and different. 

It is what it is and in all honesty, we don't TALK about autism much here as a family. Everybody has issues and strengths. No biggie.

Mike McRae's Tribal Science: Brains, Beliefs, and Bad Ideas is short, sweet, often humorous and to the point. It's also pithy and full of quote-worthy sentences:
"Since most of the face-like patterns Mary sees every day are indeed faces, her brain's gamble usually pays off. In addition, making the mistake of thinking there is the face of Jesus on her iron isn't costing her much (except a new iron. Nobody likes to do housework with the face of God)."