Category: Disabilities

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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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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The Turing Problem

I just listened to a 20-minute radio segment that reduced me to tears. Alan Turing was a hero of mine long before I knew anything about autism. Once I discovered my own autism and began to be able to see signs of autism in people I knew, either personally or from reading about them, I …

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Autism Acceptance: My Thoughts Captured in an Interview

Paula Durbin-Westby has been publishing a series of interviews with autistic people on the subject of Acceptance. Mine is the latest one that she has posted on her Autism Acceptance Day blog. Please take a look and tell me what you think. Also, poke around her site for many useful links and lots of good …

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My Testimony to the Massachusetts General Court’s Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities on May 21, 2013

Testimony of Michael F. Wilcox 217 East Road Alford Massachusetts 01266 mfw {at} mfw(.)us 21 May 2013 to the Committee on Children, Families and Disabilities House Bill 78 An Act to permit the Department of Developmental Services to provide services to adults with developmental disabilities My sincere thanks to the Committee for holding a hearing on …

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Successful Launch of “Successful Transitions”

Last night, I attended the public unveiling of a project I’ve been following with great interest for quite some time now. My friends Cheryl and Alex Chan told the story of their years-long journey in finding a path to adulthood for their now-20-year-old Son, Nick. This testament to their love, perseverance, and creativity was an …

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We’re Taking Over the World! Autism Now 2%, up from 1.2%

Good news! Those of us who are autistic are finally starting to get more recognition as to the important part of the population that we are. This follows closely on recent revelations in the Lancet that there is a close relationship between autism, bipolar, major depression, and schizophrenia. Just as autism is now understood to …

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What Does It Mean To Be WEIRD? Can Penguins Fly?

WEIRD = “Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic” Why is that also “weird” in the sense of being unusual? Because it is. WEIRD people like me represent only a small fraction of the world’s population, yet our “science” often assumes that what is true of our culture is universally true. Researchers had been doing the …

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Ari Ne’eman: Stop blaming the ‘other’

A wonderful interview with Ari Ne’eman. He gives thoughtful, well-reasoned, and fact-based answers to questions about the false link between mental health and violent acts. A must read! He talks to Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi about the Newtown shooting and the role of mental illness in the US gun control debate.

Update on “Autistic Advocates & Allies! Can You Spare a Dime? (10 minutes)”

Update: SUCCESS! The February 1 deadline has passed for seeking co-sponsors. At last count, the two bills had received the following number of petitioners in each chamber (percentage of all legislators is indicated in parens). The next step for us will be to prepare for hearings. Bill numbers will be assigned and the bills will …

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