Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wholeness and Completion-Autism parenting

My next Autism Parenting Magazine article is the next one from the first issue. (Find the first article's commentary here.) This one is called "Wholeness and Completion," and it is about routines and sameness. It is written by the mother of an autistic girl (Asperger's specifically) who has learned the usefulness of some routines along with how to accept the routines that she has trouble seeing the use of.
This article is very much based on the perspective of one parent raising one autistic child, but she says so, making it clear that she knows it will be different for every autistic person. It will, of course, but it's nice to see a parent mention this while talking about their own kid instead of reminding an Autistic adult who spends a lot of time with other Autistics of this fact in an attempt to silence them. That one happens too much, and parent-focused as this article is, it at least doesn't do that.
She also used identity-first language. Not consistently- she switched back and forth, but she used "autistics" as a plural noun, even. My guess is that this author has done at least some reading of Autistic adult work, since she knows that "autistics" as a noun is not taboo.
One of the routines that she found some use in (eventually) was the one where her daughter always walks to the end of the sidewalk and then stays there. She won't step out into the street until the bus is there, because that's not how the routine works. Giving examples of how routines can be helpful is one of the things I liked about this article.
The were some things that I didn't love, though. I don't think a parent should insist that clothing matches. Insisting on weather-appropriate garb for a young child (I get the impression that her kids are still very young, considering that they are still only in half days) makes sense, but it really doesn't matter if clothing matches perfectly. It's one of those things where teaching kids that they have some autonomy is more important than the impression you are trying to help them give, especially with an autistic kid. I say especially because people spend a lot of time teaching autistic people that they don't have autonomy and that what other people want always matters more.
I also wasn't a fan of calling the obvious uses a "light at the end of the tunnel." Routines are a fact of life for us, and it can't be separated into a tunnel of frustration and a light of usefulness. It's a complete package, and it's more useful than anyone who doesn't need the routine can imagine.
Finally, there was no reason for "In no way, am I suggesting that you stop cutting your child's food" to be a highlighted sentence. Frankly, it's not even a needed sentence in the article. It and the following sentence could be much better written as "If your child is old enough that not cutting their food is an option, it may be worth considering." (Yes, she does immediately suggest not cutting food right after saying that she's not. Consistency is important, and I can be a picky editor for style when I'm not too frustrated with content.)
Overall, I thought this was a pretty good article with a couple of fairly small flaws. I definitely liked it better than the sensory processing disorder one, which pushed therapy and treatment heavily.

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