Autism and Halloween

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Look. It’s simple: I like the spooky, the party and the candy. Nemo doesn’t.
Halloween is taking off big time in Australia, and while I am getting a little dizzy in the shops with all.that.stuff on offer, I am really fine with people having a good time, dressing up and being scary.
I have grown up with a similar tradition in Europe, we had a lot of fun as kids, too.
Yes, we tried. Twice. It wasn’t traumatic, but it was just not for him. And while he loved it as a toddler, now Nemo just doesn’t like the idea of ‘dressing up as someone else’ anymore. And he is not a big fan of zombies (and are zombies not everywhere nowadays? seriously..)
So yes, we will be the dark house on the street.
And I am fine with that, too. That’s all. Just keep that in mind. Some people won’t be doing Halloween and won’t be stocking tons of candy for your kids either, for all kinds of reasons.
And it shouldn’t be a big deal.

The Broccoli Autism Cure!

Broccoli

Here is a link to a more serious comment on the study at Forbes.
To be completely clear, a HEALTHY DIET has certainly positive effects on ANYBODY and broccoli is definitively is part of that. So eat your veggies!
And for full disclosure, thankfully, Nemo is not on the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to restrictive eating, just VERY picky, so we are doing ok. He will eat the occasional ‘little tree’ (that’s what we called broccoli when he was younger).

#IamNOTKelliStapleton – Autism in the media – Reporting on crimes against autistic children.

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I haven’t been posting for a while but this is something I really need to get out. The media have a great responsibility in the way, parenting of autistic children is perceived in the broad public. These horrible cases we see on the news have a narrative that is ALL WRONG.
#WalkInIssysshoes or imagine any autistic child – or adult – reading the reports that give “reasons” and find excuses for attempted or perpetrated murders. That has to stop.
(DrPhil – shame on you!)

Edit : Newsweek (US) ran an irresponsible headline over a terrible “longread’ written in a vane, editorial style full of misinformation and misinterpretation of autism and autistics just 2 days after I posted this. Here is a link to a post reviewing it by Emily Willingham , sciencentist blogger and mum to an autistic boy.

World Autism Awareness Day!!

Technically, it is already the 3rd April here in Australia, but here is my contribution to the blue light discussion. I thought the message by the UN goes in the right direction.
Shining blue lights on public monuments or buildings can be a very costly ‘event’ and if not accompanied by actual actions that benefit the autistic population (and not in the form of more funds for the ‘research for a cure’ but actual concrete help and support), it is a vain and empty feel-good operation that really changes nothing.
All on the awareness bus already. Moving on!

http://www.un.org/en/events/autismday/

April. Autism Advocacy, Acceptance and all.. you aware of this?

So it’s April and I almost didn’t post with my own pc now a warranty case, but it’s a BUZZ out there, April is ON in the autism “community” and I had a couple of strips prepared. So here.
It’s April and ‘awareness’ is in the air… you ‘aware’ yet, everybody ? AUTISM is HERE!!
Oh, you already knew?
Look, I get it. Calling for awareness is good to draw attention to something, even sometimes, it helps raise funds, but for many adult autistics it has become the red cloth Autism Speaks is wiggling in front of them (although, really, the date of the 2nd April for World Autism Awareness goes back to the UN – 1989! and no blue lights either..) and every do-gooder and click-activist who makes themselves feel better by sharing a post here or there, or dutifully awing and owing at beautifully blue lit monuments. So ‘aware’, one day of the year.
Well, dear ‘awareness people’ it’s been 25 years. I think we could really move on to ACCEPTANCE… And yes, that’s so big we need the WHOLE MONTH OF APRIL.

take a stance

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We saw a lot of kids and grown-ups dressed in orange today in our school, and I should not be a cynic who thinks wearing a t-shirt in a certain colour changes really not so much (there are some other actions of course..). So I won’t think that..(although a quasi-free dress day without the obligatory donation would help in an otherwise uniformed school, too..) I just think it’s a bit vague and does not go very deep. Who would be FOR bullies anyway?
There has been no ‘autism awareness day’ (acceptance/month, whatever) in the school so far, and I have been explicitly told talking about autism might lead to bullying (..?) which basically only made me start this blog in September last year.
So April is coming around and so far I don’t know what is planned, I don’t know what to think again, is it really just about donning a bit of blue and say “Autism!” for one day? What is your take on ‘awareness days’ vs actual action, information, education?
Are you doing something in April ?

(Fun fact: our school uniform is already blue!)

Preparation

_babyprepWe are having an “adventure day” tomorrow. Well, actually, we are just going into the city. Lately, we have made good progress on the acceptable drink when out, but it’s still true that I think carefully about what I put in my bag, where we are going (and where we can make breaks) when we go for a longer outing. It’s important to have adventures though. See new things, get in new situations. Learn to prepare, to say when it’s too much and also to cope when we cannot immediately change it.  Or when Mum took the wrong kind of drink.
(“red juice” is apple-blackcurrant. still his favourite.)

nb: I made a new FAQ page and changed the header.. – check it out? ;)