Category Archive: Autism

Oct 25

Growing Old Disgracefully: AS Connections 2014

Just age disgracefully meme

Here is a blog-friendly version of remarks I prepared for delivery to the AANE Conference in Boston. I have tried to reflect some of the (less stilted, I hope) actual delivery, but not including some of the shoutouts I did to individual people who were in attendance. I have also added links to resources concerning some …

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Jul 15

Whose Table Is This, Anyway?

My good friend John Robison has written an important and articulate piece on autism advocacy. He says … it’s time to recognize the primacy of autistic people in the formulation of policy relating to research, education, treatment, and services for our community and our people.   We are able to express our own wishes and opinions, and …

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Jul 09

Massachusetts takes a huge step forward in the realm of disability rights

Yesterday, the Massachusetts General Court took a huge step forward in the realm of disability rights. The Senate approved S2245, Relative to assisting individuals with autism and other intellectual or developmental disabilities. The bill isn’t perfect, but it is an enormous achievement on the part of the advocacy community. I like to say that advocacy …

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Jun 24

Disability Forum at Perkins School on Thursday June 26

Please join us for a Gubernatorial Candidates Forum on Disability Issues All seven candidates for Governor of Massachusetts will appear at this forum, and each will have half an hour to make their case and answer questions. Don Berwick will be speaking second, at 1:30. Here is a flyer we will pass out at the …

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Jun 15

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

On this Fathers Day, I think back on my own father. Dad to me, Gray to his family, The Gray Fox to many. He would be 98 years old today if he had lived beyond his 81st birthday. I still miss him. He was a lifelong Socialist and Pacifist, and (I now know) an Aspergerian. …

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Mar 10

Why Autism “Functioning” Labels Are Misleading

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of confusion, and therefore misunderstanding, around what is meant by “high-functioning” and “low-functioning” autism. The commonsense use of the word “functioning” has to do with, well, functioning. Most people would probably associate “functioning” with the usual meaning of “to work or operate, to carry on a function.” But in …

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Mar 09

Cart Before the Horse Research: Multisensory Integration in Autism

A short article appeared on the ScienceDaily website a few weeks back, reporting on a piece of research published in The Journal of Neuroscience, January 15, 2014. The title of the research study was not given, but a link brings one to “Multisensory Temporal Integration in Autism Spectrum Disorders.” The brief summary of the research is …

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Mar 03

What is it like to be Autistic?

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In an earlier post, I wrote a few comments about a definition of autism that I found appealing. The difficulty with coming up with any definition of autism is that it’s really hard to capture the essence of what it’s like to be autistic. Even the best definitions leave me hankering for more. Give me …

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Mar 03

Nick Walker’s Definition of Autism

Nick Walker says that What is needed is some good basic introductory “What Is Autism” text that is: 1.) consistent with current evidence; 2.) not based in the pathology paradigm; 3.) concise, simple, and accessible;  4.) formal enough for professional and academic use. Since I couldn’t find such a piece of text elsewhere, I wrote one. I’m …

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Feb 04

Quantitative Support Claimed for the Intense World Theory

The Intense World Theory of Autism is an appealing one to me, because it describes my experience, and resonates with much that I have heard described by other autistic people. It was pleasing, therefore, to learn of new research that seems to offer some empirical support to this idea, and perhaps a partial explanation about …

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