I’m not an oracle, but I can do my best to give you a hand. I can also link you to some of my favorite resources, written by me and by other people.
- I want to learn about autism
- I’m seeking a diagnosis
- My kid has a new diagnosis
- I don’t understand autism politics
- I just need help in general
I want to learn about autism
I love wikiHow’s autism stuff. You can probably tell, since I write and illustrate for them.
- wikiHow’s autism articles
- The Autism Advocate: “Safe places online for parents of autistic children to learn about autism“
- The National Autistic Society has some helpful but brief articles
- Autistica is doing some cool research
I’m seeking a diagnosis
Getting the right diagnosis and support can be a challenge. Here are a few tools you might find useful.
- wikiHow’s autism diagnosis articles (Read them all!)
- wikiHow: “How to Tell Your Parents You Think You’re Autistic“
- Musings of an Aspie: series on adult diagnosis
- My guide to self diagnosis (for people who lack resources)
My kid has a new diagnosis
An autism diagnosis can be a confusing and stressful experience, especially if your kid is young or you don’t understand autism. There’s a lot of fearmongering about autism, and you might be worried about your kid’s future.
Good news: it’s probably going to be better than other people are telling you it’ll be.
- wikiHow’s “How to Cope with an Autism Diagnosis“
- Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism: “After an Autism Diagnosis: 13 Necessary Next Steps for Parents“
- The Aspergian: “Autism and Accepting the Child You Have“
- Janine Booth: “Dear Autism Parent“
- Parents: “15 Things I Wish I’d Known When My Son Got an Autism Diagnosis“
- Rosie Weldon: “Dear parents of autistic children, from an autistic adult“
- Parents: “This Is What the Future Can Look Like for Kids on the Autism Spectrum“
- Very Well Health: “Will My Autistic Child Lead a Normal Life?“
- The Aspergian: “How I Would Free My Spectrum Daughter“
- The Aspergian: “Life Skills Aren’t What You Think: What Research Says About Raising Autistic Kids“
I recently created a Pinterest and I’m maintaining a collection of helpful tips for parents.
I don’t understand autism politics
That’s cool, we all start somewhere. Knowing the basics can help you avoid accidentally saying something hurtful, or supporting something that has values you don’t believe in.
Here are some basics:
- Most autistic people prefer to be called “autistic people,” not “people with autism.”
- Groups like Autism Speaks tend to treat autistics like dirt. Steer clear.
- Puzzle pieces and #LightItUpBlue are associated with negativity towards autism.
- Rainbow colors, the neurodiversity symbol, and #REDinstead are associated with acceptance and support for autistic people. The tone is neutral or positive.
- #ActuallyAutistic is a hashtag for autistic people. It’s rude for non-autistics to barge in.
- #AskingAutistics is a hashtag where anyone can ask autistic people for advice. (Feel free to do this anytime!)
- The neurodiversity movement involves the belief that autistic people aren’t broken, just different and in need of support. We’re disabled, not afflicted. We deserve a say in our own lives, and we deserve to be free from abuse and discrimination. We believe that therapy should focus on our health and happiness as autistic people, not on training us to act non-autistic.
- The anti-neurodiversity movement believes that autism is a life-ruining disaster that needs a cure. (The cure may involve abortion of autistic fetuses.) The movement believes that non-autistic family members and psychologists should control the conversation about autism, and that therapy should be focused on eradicating signs of autism and making autistics’ behavior more convenient for other people. Preventing abuse is not a priority for them.
I just need help in general
There are no words for how much I love wikiHow’s autism articles. They’re detailed and they cover so many topics. But they don’t cover everything (not yet at least).
Need more help? Log on to social media. #AskingAutistics is a great way to get advice.