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

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

Monday, June 20, 2016

Alyssa Reads Uniquely Human: Part 13

Final Chapter! This one's called "The Big Questions" and I am so glad to be done with this. Ok, so I may or may not make a sort of wrap-up post, but I am done reading this book. Uniquely Human might be better than most of the stuff out there but I do not make proper endorsements based on "maybe not as bad as this other really bad stuff." At most, I make "under this circumstance I may be willing to work with" and "under this circumstance I could suggest with caveats."

The most recent post of the series is here, and I begin here.

He points out some issues with the idea of "low functioning" and "high functioning." I actually like how he does this, and I've made some similar rhetorical moves in my own criticism of functioning labels. Cool!

I also like how he points out that there is not some window of opportunity that closes at a specific age. (Autistic development: it's a thing!) However, still a focus on early intervention. A nod is made to choosing therapies that "fit" (fit the family, that is), but still early intervention is... not something I can endorse an endorsement of.

I can't endorse the idea of parents choosing to disclose to neighbors that a child is autistic, especially not at the same time that giving the kid the a-word (autism) is an if/when deal. (Tell the kid! Give the kid the words they need to talk about their experiences! Sooner rather than later! Not being able to explain in words that we've noticed we're different is kind of expected if you haven't given us the words to explain it!) Glad he pointed out that we're generally (in all cases he knows of) finding the knowledge neutral to positive, no matter what we might think of being autistic we're cool with finding out that we are.

Re: Stimming:
Often the parents concern is that such behavior attracts glares or makes others avoid the child. In that case it's sometimes best to help the child learn other ways to self-regulate that doesn't draw negative attention or to encourage the child to find a time to self-stimulate that is less problematic. (230)
It's not that he's wrong here, per se, just... insufficient. It's useful to give the kid that information. But if the kid is inclined to react with "too bad for them" and stim on, you darn well better accept that and cope.

I get why he's avoiding the terms "stim" and "stimming" but as a moderator for fyeahstimming, I go the opposite direction: reclaim (and respect) the stim.

I am still way the heck more cautious and mistrusting of therapy than this guy is.

Yay pointing out that AAC doesn't get in the way of speech development and actually supports it. Since we're supposed to be about different views, I'm going to add in: Why is the scary thing that a person is so satisfied with their other communication systems that they don't bother with speech? No, really. Why is that the scary thing? We're essentially being scared that someone is going to have too much success communicating via boards or tablets or pictures to care about speech.

This chapter was largely a FAQ section, and I'd call it a mixed bag: some very important things got pointed out, that I really wish had been mentioned more in the other chapters. However, he's still leaning towards "social thinking" (neuronormatively social thinking) and changing behaviors that don't hurt anyone because "others" (neurotypical others) might not understand them, plus there's the whole thing where he's too trusting of therapy and intervention. He does ask people to pay attention to the goals and to stress levels, but there isn't nearly enough questioning of the intensive and early intervention model that's "successful" on a scale where loss of diagnosis is considered optimal for a book that's supposed to be about questioning how we see autism and says it has issues with the concept/prioritization of recovery.

I wrap up the series here.

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