Autism Interview #123: Evaleen Whelton on Connecting with the Autistic Community

Evaleen Whelton is a public speaker and trainer advocating for positive change for autistic people in Ireland. As an advocate Evaleen concentrates her efforts in raising appreciation for Autistic thinking, delivering educational workshops, writing articles, and organizing conferences relating to autism (including Ireland’s only all-Autistic conference). Evaleen has trained professional groups, schools, and businesses on Neurodiversity and Inclusion. This week she discussed the benefits of connecting with the Autistic community.

Autism Interview #121: Autistic Soul on Late Diagnosis, Fantasy, and Autistic Identity

Autistic Soul is a 49-year-old wife and mother to three children (one also diagnosed Autistic) and the guardian of one flatulent, but lovable, lurcher. She lives in the UK and is passionate about film, tv, music, and literature. Her blog Autistic Soul is amusing and enlightening, and discusses autism, anxiety, fibromyalgia, menopause, and aging on the spectrum. This week she shared her experience growing up without a diagnosis and how she manages the physical limitations resulting from fibromyalgia. She also offers advice for families trying to balance escapism and reality.

Autism Interview #115: J.R. Reed on Late Diagnosis and Advocating for Adults on the Spectrum

J.R. Reed and Shannon Hughes, co-hosts of the podcast Not Weird, Just Autistic

J.R. Reed is a late-diagnosed autistic blogger and advocate. J.R. currently co-hosts the podcast Not Weird, Just Autistic with fellow advocate Shannon Hughes where their goal is to promote autism acceptance by removing the barriers – practical, ideological, legal, and social – that marginalize and isolate those with autism. This week he shared some of the different facets of his advocacy work.

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.