Pearson Assessments

Archive for the ‘#ActuallyAutistic Self-Advocates’ Category

Using Storytelling as a Self-Advocacy Tool

I have always tried to advocate for myself, but I noticed from a very young age that I had difficulties doing so verbally. It takes a while for me to organize my thoughts to be able to speak, and I often say that even though my speaking and writing comes from the same brain, it seems like...

Autism Without Fear: A Major Flaw in College Autism Programs

I currently run New York University’s (NYU) Connections Program for Global Students with Autism. But I’m relatively new to higher education. I have a much longer history as a consultant, writer, and Executive Director, and back when my non-profits were engaging in the political battles of the...

Putting My Lived Experience to Good Use

As an autism self-advocate, I wear many hats: writer, public speaker, advisor, educator. One of my roles is LEND Program Faculty at Boston Children’s Hospital and UMass Boston’s Institute for Community Inclusion. The LEND Program (an acronym for Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and...

Intimate Relationship Failures From an Autistic Perspective

The standard narrative positions autism as the cause of relationship trouble when a non-autistic person dates or falls in love with an autistic person. The autistic partner is assumed to be the disruptive or difficult one. Self-help books offer non-autistic partners tips on how to cope with their...

Autism and Adolescence: For Many, the Most Challenging Time of Life

It is a well-known conventional wisdom that adolescence, or the teenage years, are a difficult time of life for everybody and that this has probably been the case since time immemorial. It is equally well known in the autism community that middle school (or, as it was known in my day, junior high...

Sexual Consent and Communication

Historically, professionals have assumed autistic people are incapable of engaging in partnered sexual activities or are uninterested in intimate relationships. Most services for autistics continue to focus on affected family members with children. Until recently, research on autistic sexual...

What My Autism Has Taught Me About Dating and Relationships

I was diagnosed as autistic in my late forties, after a counsellor first suggested I might be autistic. Discovering I am autistic has helped me make sense of almost every aspect of my life, including my long-running unsatisfactory history of dating and relationships, up until the point I met my...

Sex Education for Autistic People: Why It’s Not Too Much to AASK

One of the most vivid memories I have of growing up is when I had my first period. I was 12 years old, and I can still see my mother standing in the bathroom doorway, her face filled with amazement and delight. “Amy, you’re a woman now!” Confusion etched itself in lines across my...

Demystifying Autistic Gender

Search online to learn about Autistic gender and you’ll find a range of allistic (nonautistic) articles stating that the link between autism and gender “diversity” and “dysphoria” are “not so clear.” Researchers apparently “do not yet understand why” there’s a strong correlation...

Autism, Masking, and Sense of Self

In a rightly ordered world, the need to mask, or to hide one’s true self in order to "fit in," would not exist. We all deserve to be who we are without being punished for doing so. But the world in which we live is anything but rightly ordered in this respect. A multitude of autistic individuals...