[Trigger warning: discussion of ableism, and mention of applied behavioural analysis (ABA). Also a hefty dollop of snark, because, well, this topic brings that sort of thing out in me.] A few weeks ago, a friend shared on Twitter a very annoying graphic she'd come across in a parenting group, featuring an acrostic using each … Continue reading I’m not “gifted”.
I talk to myself. An awful lot. When I do this, I'm almost invariably verbalising my thinking about, and processing of, the thing I'm doing at that particular moment. This isn't the same as the inner monologue that runs incessantly over everything that I do; the one I hear at every waking moment, but which … Continue reading Director’s Commentary
I often struggle to translate my thoughts into either speech or the written word. Sometimes I lack the particular executive functioning powers required to organise and synthesise what's in my mind, to present it to an external audience. At other times, the very fact that I have set myself the task of writing means that … Continue reading Lost for words
The other day, I was attending another SEED workshop. This time, the focus was on disability and social class (we'd already delved deep into race, gender and sexuality), and I was super-keen, as always, to get into the discussion. I felt I had plenty to say on this particular subject, and plenty I hoped to learn … Continue reading We need to stop apologising.
I've recenty embarked on a professional development programme at work, which my (UK) University runs as part of the US-based National SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Project on the Inclusive Curriculum, first developed 30 years ago. I'm excited and also somewhat apprehensive about participating in this programme, and what it will entail. Certainly it'll involve a lot … Continue reading Seeing ourselves
Eight years ago, a long time before I was officially diagnosed as autistic, I was a mature student studying full-time for a Masters degree. One of the best years of my life – a year of total immersion in learning, with minimal worldly distractions. A time of luxury, in many ways. This meant, of course, … Continue reading Inclusion: getting on with “just learning”
My life has been one filled with envy. Envy at the other children in the playground who weren't constantly 'it' during games of tag because they couldn't keep up with the rest. Envy at the girls who all the boys fancied at school, and those who were graceful, elegant, whilst I tripped over my own … Continue reading I must stop comparing myself to others.
For the most part, I am happy to think of myself not as disabled or disordered, but simply different. And then sometimes, it hits me. I see that much of what I have achieved and overcome throughout my life has been a direct result of being autistic, because it is such an intrinsic part of … Continue reading And then sometimes, it hits me.