Been busy preparing it for the holiday season. Therefore, I'm not even going to try for eloquence this month. Enjoy!
THE EDUCATIONAL TYRANNY OF THE NEUROTYPICALS by Joi Ito
I like what this says about education...namely that there is a major divide between our needs in education today as opposed to yesteryear. The continued drive to make neurodiverse people (or people with any disability or difference) "normal" is one of the many things that makes our society the mess that it is. Worse, it is turning out entire generations of people who are plagued by mental illnesses that are gained only after they are pushed toward this unrealistic and, frankly, oppressive ideal.
As the article suggests, we need to move away from that process and start celebrating the unique gifts and talents that neurodiversity brings, not just to autistic and other neuroatypical people, but to our society in general.
One of the points that were made in the article is how critics of the self-directed learning process - who argue that such a process is "unstructured and verges on irresponsibility" - may be wrong; that such processes can work for everyone. I will say, certainly, that the so-called "structured" process did little to prepare me for the "real world," as I suspect is one of the critics' fears.
THE INVISIBLE PRICE OF ACCOMMODATION — Renata Jurkevythz
This is an issue I struggle with all the time. As I noted in my post "Executive Function - The Silent Burden", I come from bootstrap people: farmers and the military people. I also come from minorities and single-parent families for whom the sole parent is a woman. None of these people have ever had it easy. No one "accommodated" anything about their lives or, in many cases, even treated them with basic human decency, because their demographic was unacceptable in society. They struggled, succeeded, and simply survived as much on their own will and resilience as possible. I am proud of the people I came from. They are strong, and I have striven every day of my life to be as tough as they are. So as a mixed woman with African and Cherokee heritage, who is also autistic, I often wonder at what point it is okay to stop and say, "I need help," be it from the people in my life, or society at large, and to not feel guilty about that. And I do feel guilty. I don't want to be a burden; on the state, my place of work, my family, or myself; not ever. I believe we should strive and be responsible for the things we want and have in life. In a society that not only does not seek to make my life easier but has been designed in such a way as to be difficult to achieve anything, how does one reconcile their feelings ("I should do it on my own") with their reality ("I can't do it on my own")? And when does one stop being the one to not only carry the difficulties of our own lives, but also the shame of asking for help and responsibility of the failures of said society? When do we stop paying the price for a need we cannot change, despite all efforts to the contrary?
A good piece on the additional struggles that society heaps on those who are different.
Also, check out "Why Did ‘Disabled’ Replace ‘Handicapped’ As the Preferred Term?" and "HowDoVaccinesCauseAutism.com"
Found quite a few this month.
Many of these have sources within the meme; however, I try to note sources when they are available. If you feel I have not given further attribution, please leave me a comment with the source, and indicate which meme to which you are referring, and I will be happy to fix it.
I don't post as many books on the parent side of things, because many of those books focus too much on how difficult it is to be the parent of an autistic child and acknowledge too little that it's the child who is autistic and will struggle through a society that doesn't understand him/her for the rest of their life. One thing I'm noticing about books coming out this month is a possible turnaround in parenting books from "Here's how to fix your child" to "Here's how to fix your thinking about your child's autism." It's heartening, and it makes my curious/possible recommendation list of books longer, as well *smirk* As per usual, I am not in any way actually endorsing these books, merely sharing what looks like a good read, or helping to dispel current disinformation about what the reality of autism is.
- My Child's Different: The lessons learned from one family's struggle to unlock their son's potential
- When Autism Becomes the New Awesome: The Story of How My Son Beat the Odds and Secrets Parents Need to Know [I feel the need to note that I get an iffy vibe from these first two, but would love to hear any reviews from autistic adults who feel they're "getting it right"]
- Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad
- Autism in a Decentered World (Routledge Advances in Disability Studies) This one has me particularly curious for its use of art to understand autistic brains more.
- Me and Mister P. Possible great read for children with autistic siblings/relatives/friends
- Savant Perception: Knowledge From An Unknown Realm
- Safety and Consent for Kids and Teens with Autism or Special Needs: A Parents' Guide With the #MeToo movement showing no hint of slowing down, it is no surprise to see a book like this, and no less timely. We often think of women as being victims of issues of consent, but it goes all the way around, and people who are neurodiverse or have some type of disability (as well as the elderly), are particularly susceptible.
- The Defining Autism: A Guide to Brain, Biology, and Behavior Looks like this could be a good overview, and even dispel some ridiculous notions about autism.
Insights: A Little Advocacy
Overall, the need for systemic change is in the air across the U.S. Hopefully, that will mean a step forward for autistic and other neurodiverse people, rather than a step backward from what is a pretty industrial perspective into an even more medieval perspective. More thoughts on this later.
Do your research and go vote! November 6th.
What kinds of resources and cool things have you found lately? Share in the comments below!