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Showing posts from June, 2014

Abuse and Autism

Autistic traits can contribute to being abused and exploited by others, as the following survey data suggest:
Half of [UK] autistic adults 'abused by someone they trusted as a friend'

A startling 44% of those questioned admitted they stayed indoors as much as possible for fear of being harassed. Almost a third reported having had money or possessions stolen, while 37% had been forced or manipulated into doing something they didn't want to do by someone they thought of as a friend. Almost half (49%) of the 1,300 people surveyed reported having been abused by someone they thought of as a friend. Being bullied is, unfortunately, part of life for many people. The small, the weak, the different, will be bullied. There might be evolutionary and cultural explanations for power dynamics, but we should resist our worst natures.

I'm less and less trusting, but it took me more than 40 years to realize how many people have no moral compass. I still make mistakes, assuming the best …

Whatever Happened to Book 2.0?

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I was recently asked whatever happened to my planned update to Spectrum of Relationships. The simple answer: I have been distracted by more interesting (to me) things and didn't really push to get the book updated.

I'm not nearly as involved in autism advocacy in Pennsylvania as I was in Minnesota. I don't speak to groups, I'm not connected to any schools or service providers, and I don't receive the same volume of questions. The lack of engagement means I don't feel the same need to gather my thoughts for autistics, their families, and care providers.

There are plenty of books on autism. Maybe there are too many. Yes, my book should be updated, and it might happen someday, but other projects that offered more feedback captured my attention and energies.

The first edition was (is) mediocre. I know it needs to be better. But, without much feedback, I don't perceive the demand for a new edition.

Maybe I'll get back to work on the book this fall. I…

Autistic Artists and Creatives

As a creative writer, I find that a handful of autism advocates dismiss the creativity of HFA/AS individuals as evidence that artists are "really" autistic. These critics suggest that the savants with autism are genuine, but not those of us with careers.

Yesterday, I ran across yet another mention of the "Shining Aspie" narrative, and how artists and educators with various diagnoses don't really represent "genuine" autism.

Are you an artist? A creative? (And aren't we all "creatives" to some extent?) How do you respond to claims that art, which is emotional and empathetic, represents autistic experiences?