Learn from Autistics features both practical parenting tips and interviews with people on the autism spectrum. The blog gives parents, caregivers and teachers the experience of reading autistic viewpoints as they try to better serve the autistic children in their lives.
Your City, Country:
Granger, Indiana USA
What inspired you to write a blog:
I first learned about autism when my younger brother was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Growing up with a sibling on the spectrum gave me some insight into the challenges of autism and the need for a more accepting society. When my first son was born prematurely (at 1lb, 12oz), and later diagnosed with autism (and cerebral palsy), I was even more motivated to learn about the autism spectrum in order to provide him with the best opportunities to learn, grow, and achieve his full human potential. I began connecting with other families who had children with disabilities and immersed myself in the advice of medical specialists in order to understand more about my son’s conditions and how my husband and I could help him.
But I felt limited in my pursuit of the medical, psychological, and behavioral advice from the “experts” and began seeking advice from autistic individuals themselves. I wanted to know how autistic individuals felt about the ideas coming from these experts. So I began interviewing adults on the autism spectrum and learning what parents, friends, or teachers had done for (or to) them that helped and hurt their development.
This pursuit has led to the creation of a book: Parenting Advice From 12 Autistics (available later this year) and the development of the Learn From Autistics website which will continue to serve as a platform for autistic voices.
What’s your intention or mission:
The purpose of the Learn From Autistics is to promote autism advocacy and neurodiversity by connecting parents with autistic voices, an underrepresented population in the public conversation on autism.
What topics do you write about?
I write about a variety of topics related to parenting autistic children and adults. My writing supports neurodiversity and embracing autism while offering people on the spectrum the most practical supports possible. It encourages families to become cognizant of how they speak and behave when addressing the needs of their autistic children and the impact their beliefs about autism have on their children’s development. I post weekly (Tuesdays).
Do you have a proud moment, inspirational story or moving feedback you’d like to share:
I’ve been pleased with how many people on the spectrum that I have reached out to have said they appreciated my website. While my main audience is NT parents of children on the spectrum, I strive to create materials and products that autistics would approve of. I think constant consultations with people on the spectrum are vital for any autism advocacy program. While these viewpoints may conflict, it is always better to reach out to the autistic community and consider/implement their opinions when possible rather than solely assuming the medical community has all the answers.
Share your top three favorite posts:
A Plea for Tough Love by Claudia Casser
This post gives parents practical ways to help their “literal-minded” children navigate society. It also offers examples of common things NTs do that confuse people on the spectrum.
In this interview, Chris Bonnello articulates how parents can gracefully grapple with advice coming from all angles.
This article offers advice for college students based on suggestions from people on the spectrum who have gone through this experience.
When people visit your blog, what do you hope they’ll take away from the experience?
I hope visitors will see the humanity of people on the spectrum, view the autistic community as a valuable resource, and consider the ways they can implement inclusion, neurodiversity, and autism acceptance in their own homes and communities.
Now it is time to share your geeky side with us…after all we are Geek Club Books!
Quote you live by: “Live simply so that others may simply live.” –St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Movie you could watch over and over: The Sound of Music
Your theme song: “The River” –Garth Brooks