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Autism Culture

by Sif Schmidt Stewart-Ferrer

Aspergers Syndrome – an autistic type of neurodiversity

What to you think of when hearing the word autism? How about truthful, knowledgeable, intelligent, just and skilled? not words you would normally link to a disorder. Click above to read more.

Featured post

The essentials

I recently read this blog post by anonymouslyautistic and feeling inspired, I thought I would try to list out what my 'toolkit' holds. I call them the 'essentials', and they are things I carry with me pretty much everywhere (and... Continue Reading →

What exactly happens when my brain seems to stop functioning properly?

I seem to forget every time it is over - what was the problem? It really confuses me. Why did I just have a meltdown? Why did I have to sit rocking on the floor crying, not really knowing why?... Continue Reading →

On ‘symptoms’

This is an excellent post which discusses first some outward symptoms of autism, and then goes on to explaining the inner experience behind them. It also takes into view how some behaviors may not be ‘manifestations of autism’ as such, but perhaps mainly influenced by earlier life experiences.

The Misadventures of Mama Pineapple

A while back, I wrote a rather lengthy post about social interaction, empathy, and so on, and how (in my opinion), every little bit of behaviour we see in front of us comes down to how someone processes information. I’m still banging on about this, because I still get repeatedly fed up with people – although mainly I’m talking about neurotypical ‘experts’ and the mainstream media, here – conflating autistic people’s observable behaviour with the ‘symptoms’ of their condition. Actually, no, it’s worse than that – conflating autistic people with the observable behaviour that is the outward manifestation of ‘symptoms’ of their condition.

(Pedant, moi?)

Last week, reports were published about a study into how “super parenting” can help autistic children. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of the study itself here; nor am I going to have too much of the moan about…

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“But you seem so… normal!”

There is a thing that has been nagging me for quite a while. It has to do with knowing one's own autism, and in what ways it really shows for oneself. I expect (from talking to, and reading other auties'* blog... Continue Reading →

Reblog: THE MASK OF NORMALITY – Hiding My True Self (An Asperger’s Conundrum)

Some reflections (and a video) on others not seeing what is behind the ‘mask of normality’. A mask, that many of us are very good at wearing anywhere that we do not feel completely safe to take it off (which for many is everywhere but when they are alone at home, but for some lucky ones is also when being around special individuals who can appreaciate us the way we are).

Anonymously Autistic

I’ve been talking a lot about passing and invisible disabilities over the past few months.

As Alyssa said – people don’t think I am Autistic because I can come off as “articulate, well adjusted, and extremely capable”.

I come off as a great problem solver, a bright woman, who is good at finding difficult solutions that others often miss. Certainly I can’t be Autistic.

All my anxiety is behind the scenes. Why? Well do you typically go around advertising all of your difficulties to the world do you (other than online)?

My disabilities and weaknesses are invisible but so are my strengths. At the same time all of my strengths and talents also remain hidden, due to self praise being interpreted as bragging.

I am a conundrum – a mix of invisible skills and invisible disabilities. Outwardly normal, trying to fill a role that I was not built for.

Acting…

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Reblog: Inclusion: getting on with “just learning”

Interesting insights to being autistic and still just wanting to learn (or teach) at university.

“Making “reasonable adjustments” is not about dumbing down. Even with those adjustments in place, some learners (or employees) will still find learning (or working) a struggle because the world is not set up for them – they do not fit with the “default”. But making those adjustments can remove at least some of the barriers which get in the way of learning or working.” – from the blog post

The Misadventures of Mama Pineapple

Eight years ago, a long time before I was officially diagnosed as autistic, I was a mature student studying full-time for a Masters degree. One of the best years of my life – a year of total immersion in learning, with minimal worldly distractions. A time of luxury, in many ways.

This meant, of course, an awful lot of reading, and occasionally, having to borrow books, using a SCONUL accesscard, from the libraries of other universities than my own. On one occasion, I forgot to return a book from another institution by the due date, and incurred a fine as a result (many universities no longer fine students for overdue books, but this was eight years ago).

On visiting the service desk to return the book and pay my penalty (once I’d belatedly realised my error), I mentioned that I was used to receiving email reminders from my home…

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The Masks of Aspie Women

New research takes a different approach to describing the female experience of autism.

Reblog: Gæsteoplæg: Jordskælvet i Nepal fra en autistisk vinkel – Empati for en asperger/autist

I wrote this guest post (in Danish) in May 2015 for the blog: asperger-pige.blogspot.dk by Linda Larsen. It is about empathy for someone with autism, and was written in relation to the earthquake that year in Nepal, where I have very close friends.

Reblog: Autisme som kultur

This is a post written by Kathrine F. Gunnløgsson of autismetanken.dk. She reflects on autism as culture based on hearing a talk I gave at an autism conference in Skive, Denmark (Skivekonferencen) in 2013. I find that she gives emphasis to a few key points and expands on them in an interesting fashion.

Autismetanken

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Engang blev homoseksualitet betragtet som en sygdom. Det var derfor noget, man troede kunne helbredes – og det var i hvert fald ikke noget, man skulle vise åbenlyst eller være stolt af. Sådan er det heldigvis ikke længere (de fleste steder). Tænk, hvis vi kommer til at opleve det samme med autisme. Og jeg ved godt, at de to størrelser ikke er direkte sammenlignelige – det er bare et interessant greb, hvis man tænker på autisme som et iboende træk som er med til at definere en person. Det er ikke en afvigelse, men et medlemsskab af en gruppe.

Fra mangel til anderledeshed
Med denne lidt skæve indgangsvinkel vil jeg kort viderebringe nogle pointer fra Sif Schmidt Stewart-Ferrer‘s workshop på Skivekonferencen 2013.

Som den sande vidensdeler Sif er, har hun gjort alle de informative slides fra workshoppen tilgængelige her. De er fyldt med links og henvisninger, hvis du…

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