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Showing posts from December, 2017

Big Plans for 2018

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English: Podcast or podcasting icon Français : Icône pour les podcasts ou la baladodiffusion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The Autistic Me Podcast is coming! My microphone and mixer sit on my desk, waiting for me to record the introductory episode, which I will make available in January if all goes according to plan. The podcast will begin without any guests, but that will change if I can build an audience. Podcasting requires some extra effort, from preparing cover and episode artwork to publishing the RSS feed for iTunes and other services. I’m hoping the extra effort helps make The Autistic Me available to more people. I do plan to transcribe episodes, lightly edited, and post the text to the standard blog, too.

With the podcast and podcast transcripts extending the reach of The Autistic Me, I intend to increase my activity on social media. We have a Facebook page for The Autistic Me and a neglected Twitter feed (@autisticme). The Facebook page growth stalled at 950 followers and the Tw…

Collegiality and Academia

Academic departments in the humanities rarely understand the social impairments of autism. These departments are, by their nature, social places — quite unlike some departments in the STEM disciplines. I’ve blogged repeatedly that STEM fields tolerate introversion and even social awkwardness, but not the humanities. This claim is based not only on my experiences, but on dozens of interviews with graduate students and terminal degree holders.

The autistic students and professors with whom I’ve discussed this problem point to the underlying philosophies and pedagogies of the humanities. Group work and discussion are the norm, which might be good unless you struggle with group dynamics or conversation cues. If you pause to interpret speech, speak too quickly or too slowly, if your tone remains flat or sing-song, then you don’t fit into the “style” of the discipline. Autism features an impairment of social skills and interpersonal connections. Any academic skills the autistic might have b…

Autism Complicates the Path to Employment

Employment history and various job searches demonstrate how difficult it has been for me to locate and retain employment.

In September, Slate carried the following article by Sarah Carr, using "Leigh" as an example of the hurdles facing autistic adults.
The Tricky Path to Employment Is Trickier When You're Autistic
Autistic children grow up to be autistic adults. Our society doesn't give them the support they need.
By Sarah Carr

Leigh epitomizes the underemployed. The 39-year-old has a master's degree in library science from a top-ranked school, years of experience working the circulation desk in a Boston library, and an IQ of 145. He is reliable and considerate, and he works hard.

Yet for the past eight years, since he lost his salaried Boston library job due to austerity measures, the only permanent job Leigh has landed is at the T.J. Maxx near his mother's home on Cape Cod. He works part time dusting, vacuuming, and washing the mirrors, and he is paid the…