Autism Interview #111: Drew Sullivan on Journalism, Misconceptions, and Connecting with the Autistic Community

Drew Sullivan is an autistic writer and journalist who looks for opportunities to amplify silenced voices through his work. He currently attends school at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and writes for the Amherst Wire. This week Drew shared some common autism misconceptions and how he learned to develop a positive autistic identity by connecting with the autistic community.

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 #100! Julia Bascom on Autism Advocacy for All

I am pleased to announce this is the 100th interview on the Learn From Autistics site! I’m especially excited to introduce Julia Bascom, Executive Director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Julia is a leading voice in autistic self-advocacy and currently serves on the Centene National Disability Advisory Council, the advisory board of Felicity House, the board of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, and the board of Allies For Independence. Julia is also the editor of Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking, an anthology of writings by autistic people. This week Julia discussed autistic identity, autistic representation, and how The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) advocates for all autistic individuals.

Autism Interview #97 Part 2: Kmarie on Advocacy and Developing a Positive Autistic Identity

This is the second part in a two-part interview with Kmarie. Kmarie is an autistic wife, mother, and blogger from Canada. Her beautifully written blog details a variety of different life experiences, including (but not limited to) living with Asperger’s, INFJ personality, low ferritin, and chronic illness. Last week Kmarie discussed her relationship with music, the importance of self knowledge, and her struggles with executive functioning and language. This week Kmarie shared advocacy advice for parents who are trying to raise children with positive autistic identities.

Autism Interview #97 Part 1: Kmarie on the Benefits of Knowing Yourself

This is the first part in a two-part interview with Kmarie. Kmarie is an autistic wife, mother, and blogger from Canada. She is is drawn to music and often uses song lyrics to express her emotions. Her beautifully written blog details a variety of different life experiences, including (but not limited to) living with Asperger’s, INFJ personality, low ferritin, and chronic illness. This week Kmarie discussed her relationship with music, the importance of self knowledge, and her struggles with executive functioning and language.

Autism Interview #94: Elizabeth Boresow on Music Therapy and Friendships

Elizabeth performing at “Evening with the Rents.”
Photo credit: Brandon Parrigo

Elizabeth Boresow is a a board-certified music therapist, writer, direct support provider, and Autistic advocate. She regularly uses her experience as an individual on the autism spectrum to both serve and educate others about autism acceptance. This week she shared her experience working as a music therapist, her introduction to stand-up comedy, how she found friendships in college, and the need for more services for adult autistics.

Autism Interview #91 Part 1: Leanne Libas on Autistic Identity

Leanne Libas is a writer, college student, and a/Autistic advocate. Leanne started her advocacy work after a life-changing experience at YLF (Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities). Leanne was an Autistic Scholarship Fellowship Recipient from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and she was a regular contributor to the Art of Autism blog. This is the first part of a two-part interview with Leanne. This week she shared her experience understanding how autism affects her and how she has adopted a positive autistic identity.

Autism Interview #82: Michelle Swan on Modeling Autism Acceptance

Michelle Swan is an autistic Australian writer, speaker, mentor, and neurodiversity rights advocate. She has experience in peer support, mentoring, education workshop presentation, community building and advocacy with degrees teaching and psychology. Michelle is also a mother to six neurodivergent children and is the author of The Real Experts: Readings for Parents of Autistic Children and the co-author of The Respectfully Connected Anthology. This week she shared information about her advocacy work and offered advice for how parents can model autism acceptance in order to help build a positive autistic identity for their children.

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.