Monthly Archives: December 2015

Why can’t we all get along?!?

Thirty Days of Autism

I am 100% in agreement that the stigma and ableism perpetuated by groups and organizations like The Mighty are harmful to the Disability Community, because they are misrepresenting ableism as advocacy. There is much action afoot to have The Mighty consistently align their actions and ethics with their claim that they are supporting advocacy.

But this is the tip of the iceberg.

Within disabilities communities there is an enormous problem related to power with groups and individuals that claim to be working to advocate for or support Autistic people, very often (too often) without including their voices.

And part of the difficulty is that this imbalance of power perpetuates itself and insulates itself with what I can only imagine is a threatened or fear-based reaction.

Parent (and professional) voices tend to have more weight, more reach, more volume, and when they are asked to step aside, or consider…

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Meltdown Bingo: Autistic Edition

Silence Breaking Sound

TW/Content note: Abuse of autistic people; demonstrative use of disability slur; self-injury; in-depth descriptions of being in the middle of a meltdown.

The Bingo Sheet meme has existed as a way for marginalized communities to catalog and make fun of the bad things they experience.  This usually takes the form of quoting common hurtful, invalidating or dismissive things they hear from other people.  For instance, there is American Racial Incident Bingo for the ways in which white people respond badly to instances of violence against people of color, and Fat Hatred Bingo for the ways the concern trolls and other people justify bias against fat people.

So, given this context, the autistic community was none too happy when an online disability publication called The Mighty published a Meltdown Bingo… as written from the perspective of a parent whose child is experiencing an autistic meltdown.  (Here’s a DoNotLink if you’re curious.)

Meltdowns…

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Meltdowns and the Lens of Ableism

Thirty Days of Autism

Meltdowns – from the other side…

Many, many months back Colin Bowmanand I began a conversation in the comments section of one of my posts (Yours, Mine and Ours: Autism, Self-Advocacy and Setting Limits). This interaction has been resonating with me, and this post has been inspired by that conversation.

This is such important understanding:

“Avoiding meltdowns, and everything that goes with them, has merit and yields dividends. However risk-aversion carries its own costs. Perhaps more crucially, it may be (and I think it so) that an autistically developing person cannot develop as an individual, unless and until they become able to pass through meltdowns, and perhaps routinely. I think the nub of things is how we manage meltdowns, how we pass through them, what we sift and mine from them.”                   ~ Colin Bowman

Considering current thinking around meltdowns:

What I have often read…

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The Inclusive Giraffe Party: Epilepsy and Accommodation

Thirty Days of Autism

I brought my giraffe puppets to the TASH Conference in Portland, Oregon…  and then this happened.

Kassiane Sibley: Kassiane Sibley
Giraffe(s) Puppeteer: Leah Kelley
Camera: Lei Wiley-Mydske

Related Posts by Kassiane, of Radical Neurodivergence Speaking, are linked below:

What epilepsy is.
Things I cannot do–because I’m epileptic
I shouldn’t have to beg
Partial WHAT?

Please note: There are plans in the works to have the text transcription available for this video – but for reasons – I am not waiting for this to happen before sharing it.

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30 Days of Autismis a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2015)

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