A Preview–What Your Child on the Spectrum Really Needs: Advice From 12 Autistic Adults

Stories That Need To Be Told

I love listening to stories. The idea for this book came from my passion for storytelling and a special interest in the authority of personal experience. I studied the personal essay in graduate school and have continued using the transformative power of storytelling in a variety of different ways. My interest in autistic storytelling comes from living alongside my autistic brother and son.

When my son was diagnosed with autism at four, my husband and I sought the advice of every “expert” we were recommended to: doctors, therapists, psychologists, etc. But there was one problem with these professionals that left a big gap in our pursuit for the best support for our son–they weren’t autistic. I grew tired of the media stories about what I should or should not be doing as a parent of an autistic child. Avoid milk! Extra doses of vitamins! Try this really expensive supplement! Don’t eat broccoli in your first trimester! So…the broccoli reprimand I haven’t actually heard yet, but you get the idea. When I first started this project, I wanted to find out what autistic people thought of the overwhelming amount of therapy, behavioral, and diet advice out there. I soon realized this is where I should have started.

Autism Interview #75: Madison and Becky Beresford on Raising Families with Autistic Children

 

Madison Beresford is writer, autistic advocate, PhD clinician, husband, father of three boys, one of whom is also on the autism spectrum, and Star Wars fanatic. Last week we shared Madison’s article on the importance of teaching sexual safety to children on the spectrum. His wife, Becky is a certified life coach, speaker, teacher, and author. This week they both shared their experience learning about Madison’s autism diagnosis and how they are raising their three boys to embrace their unique identities and respect differences.

Autism Interview #56: Jennifer Elizabeth Brunton on What Neurotypical Parents of Autistic Children Need to Know

Elizabeth Brunton

Jennifer Elizabeth Brunton, Ph.D., is a writer, editor, former ethics professor, and author of the blog Full Spectrum Mama where she writes about her experience as an autistic mother raising two children, one of whom is also on the autism spectrum. This week she shared information about a new book she is working on and offered some wonderful reminders for neurotypical parents trying to raise their autistic children in the most positive and supportive environment possible.

Autism Wars: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

autism wars

Parents of autistic children are at war. Autism tends to produce polarizing supporters, perhaps because of the spectrum of symptoms. One major argument comes from parents of “higher-functioning” autistic children advocating for neurodiversity and even the perspective of embracing autism as a “gift” while parents of more severely disabled or “lower-functioning” autistic children insisting that autism is no “gift” but rather something they would shed in a second if they were given the option. Unfortunately, this debate has been as much in the public view as information about the complexities of autism itself.