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.
We need new ways of supporting autistic and other neurodivergent children in Nova Scotia, writes autism activist and frequent NS Advocate contributor Alex Kronstein. Approaches that are rooted in ideas of accommodation, articulated by actually autistic people.
Alex Kronstein continues his investigation of efforts to “cure” Autism, taking a closer look at practices in Nova Scotia. “They may not be so blatant about “building the person” today, but the idea that autistic ways of being are wrong is nonetheless still the foundation,” writes Alex.
Alex Kronstein on the worrisome similarities between Gay Conversion Therapies and Applied Behavioural Analysis, aimed to “eliminate problem behaviours in autistic children.”
Alex Kronstein on the unspoken assumption that caregivers, parents, etc. always have the best of intentions for those they are responsible for, no questions asked. Also how this manifests, and what to do about it. A great article with lots to think about. We’re so pleased to have Alex write for us and offer us his unique perspectives on these matters.
Oral speech may not be the best method of communication for the non-speaking autistic, writes Alex Kronstein. “Mainstream autism organizations are unwilling to admit that they are choosing to ignore non-speaking autistics. Non-speaking autistics have always been around, just like autistics who do use oral speech. And everyone – the medical and psychological professionals, the non-autistic parents, the mainstream media – needs to STOP pathologizing non-speaking autistics and using functioning labels.”
Kendall Worth reports on yet another case where a Community Services case worker questions the opinions of a doctor about special diet requirements. We hear quite a bit about this happening.
More people who live with disabilities are unemployed, and that opens the door to all kinds of exploitation. Throw some preconceptions about these workers in the mix (so loyal, so productive, menial jobs only) and what we end up with is a complicated mess, writes Alex Kronstein.
Frequent contributor Alex Kronstein continues his exploration of autism and neurodiversity. Think of autistic culture as “our shared history, the way autistic people move, communicate, create, experience and understand the world around us in uniquely autistic ways.”