Autism Interview #105 Part 2: Sandra Jones on Autism Slurs, Teaching, and Advocacy

Sandra and her husband

Professor Sandra Jones is an autistic mother of two autistic sons and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) at Australian Catholic University. She has studied autistic adolescent development, the impact of diagnostic labels, and the development and evaluation of social support and peer support programs.

Last week, she shared her experience obtaining a late diagnosis and how she is raising her sons to achieve a positive self-image. This week Professor Jones discussed the casual misuse of autism as a slur, her path to employment in higher education, and leading a more peaceful advocacy movement.

Unconscious Patronization

Do you consider yourself an autism advocate? Are you advocating in ways that the autistic community would appreciate? How do you know? Reaching out to the autistic community takes a dose of humility, but that’s only the first step. To what degree and the manner in which we reach out is even more important. The basic seeds of advocacy must begin on a foundational respect for the humanity of individuals on the spectrum.