Archive for the ‘Opinion – Editorial’ Category

Doin’ It My Autistic Way: Why Being Self-Employed Was the Logical Solution for Me

Ah, the wonderful world of work. It’s a marvel, isn’t it? The way we have all indirectly given up our individual freedoms in hot pursuit of the all mighty dollar. The way we semiconsciously reorder our priorities to accommodate all the time and energy this pursuit demands. The years spent...

The Pandemic Has Devastated the Autism Community. It’s Also Been an Important Learning Opportunity

The world has been living through a global emergency since the coronavirus pandemic took hold early last year, and autism families have been hit particularly hard. People with autism thrive on routine and predictability, which are precisely what was lost amid COVID-19. While I know autism families...

No Labels on My Clothes, No Labels on Me: Why Functioning Labels Need to Be Cut Off and Tossed

Autistic folk spend an inordinate amount of time discussing the torture of labels on our clothes. In a discussion about sensory issues, right after we discuss how much we loathe the grocery store, the hatred of tags on our clothes comes up. It’s amazing how something so small, can invisibly...

“Profound Autism” Is the Term We Need to Provide Critical Specificity to a Broad Spectrum

“What is your disability, because I’m not seeing one?” a young man on a date asks during an episode of Love on the Spectrum, Netflix’s recent reality show hit. “What does autism look like to you?” the young woman sitting across from him retorts. [caption id="attachment_5177"...

Understanding Dietary Distress, Forced Eating, and Food Deserts While Autistic

My name is Sylvia, and I’m an Autistic adult with sensory hypersensitivities that mainly affect my eating, which I’m choosing to call dietary hypersensitivities, or, more simply, food/drink hypersensitivities. For me, these hypersensitivities are oversensitivities based on any combination of...

What I Hope People Will Get Out of My Autism Memoir

I tried to “write” my first book (or more accurately, dictate a story to parents who wrote it down on the bottom third of blank sheets of paper, leaving room for me to add illustrations later) when I was four years old. I started discussing what would become I Overcame My Autism and All I Got...

Balancing Dignity of Risk and Embracing Opportunity During COVID-19

The United States and much of the world is currently dealing with a nightmarish pandemic. This has presented many challenges for people with developmental disabilities and those who support us to live our best lives. As we live together through this difficult time, we need to keep our eye on the...

Call Me Autistic: A Soft Correction for Those Still Using Person-First Language

I want to tell you about the woman I am named after, my Great Aunt Betty. I never met Betty, but I got to hear about her whenever I asked where my name came from. Betty was apparently a sassy lady who, like me, despised her full name and went by her nickname, Betty. The “big” family secret...

#DisabilityStillTooWhite: A White Autist Examines Representation in the Disability Movement

I identify as White, non-binary, neuro-queer, autistic, and disabled. I believe it is crucial to be transparent as soon as possible about (my) positionality when discussing intricate and delicate concepts (and always starting with my Whiteness to highlight how my White privilege directly and...

Where Is the Reform Movement in the Field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in New York State?

All human services are facing twindemics of the Coronavirus and its economic consequences. The losses of staff and people in need of services are tragic. Here is the dilemma: Does even talking about reform in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) make sense in the face...