Organized mutual support has always been strong within the autism and disability communities, but it can g much further, writes Alex Kronstein, who looks at the Antigonish co-operative movement and the Black Panthers social programs for inspiration
News release: The Nova Scotia chapter of Autistics United Canada announces their inaugural neurodiversity flag raising event on Friday, March 29 in recognition of World Autism Acceptance Day. Neurodiversity is the natural diversity of human brains and minds.The rainbow infinity symbol symbolizes the great diversity in the Autistic community, and is widely used to represent the larger neurodiversity community beyond autism, such as ADHD and dyslexia.
Alex Kronstein reflects on activist language that gets co-opted and turned against autistic activists. “Autistic people have a great deal of shared experiences and history. But this is constantly being erased by allistic parents and professionals, the mainstream media, politicians, and the mainstream autism organizations,” he writes.
An open letter from two parents in desperate need of supports for their Autistic son. “I have chosen to put this in your lap. You are the minister of Health. Something has to be done for my family and many others who silently suffer daily with little to zero help.”
Alex Kronstein with some very important observations on how autism-related stories are covered in the Nova Scotia media, with lots of examples. Some examples just showcase the journalist’s ignorance, others are plain irresponsible.
Alex Kronstein on supports for children with autism in the education system: “When it comes to inclusive education, it is a well-known fact that EPAs and other school support staff do not have anything close to adequate training to provide support for autistic kids. There are training modules developed by actually autistic people that could give EPAs and support workers a whole new perspective.”
” I am the mother of a nine-year old boy living with autism in a province that has been defined as one of Canada’s autism wastelands, given its lack of services and funding,” writes Nancy Spina in an open letter to Minister Kelly Regan. “Outdated and inflexible criteria have an impact on children with disabilities and on the women who care for them who lose the opportunity of providing for their families, and having fulfilling careers.”
Many parents of autistic children are told about the EIBI program, and that it’s extremely important that their children receive it so they can have a good future. And they almost always accept this advice without question. But there are other options that are not based in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), and that are non-pathologizing, e.g. that do not assume that there is something fundamentally wrong with the child. Alex Kronstein takes a look at one such option.
Any public policy discussion regarding autism is dominated by non-autistic people, be they parents or major autism organizations such as Autism Nova Scotia. This is very much by design, and further reinforced by media coverage, writes Alex Kronstein.
Kate, a fearless mother who we have written about before, fights Community Services and gets the glasses (with warranty) her autistic son requires. It was hard and scary, and it looks like questions the NS Advocate was asking made a bit of a difference. This story has a happy ending, but you can’t help but wonder how many people would just have given up much earlier.