“I promised I would change and I did” – did Professor Tony Attwood’s autism conference pacify the #actuallyautistic community?
‘Tony Attwood – What you need to know about Autism’, 15th May 2019. With the Association for Child And Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH)’s logo looming large behind the stage in Sheffield, and serving as a reminder that today was about improving understanding of mental health issues, Professor Tony Atwood was faced with a challenge. Would Professor Attwood, a seasoned speaker, continue the rhetoric that has included the disparagement of autistic individuals, in order to get a laugh?read more
We have been asked a few times about 'stims', and while we have mentioned them within other articles (see directly below, in an article on autistic meltdown), we thought it would be useful to delve deeper in a single blog post....read more
We have read and referenced clinical psychologist Tony Attwood’s work here on Spectra.blog previously. He’s created useful videos on identifying autism spectrum disorders, and we wrote very enthusiastically about how he ‘frames Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism...read more
It is still surprising how often one sees the autism puzzle piece. It’s a contentious issue in the field of autism – the puzzle piece is used as a logo to promote autism products, charities, entities and awareness events. Conceived in 1963 by Gerald Gasson, a parent...read more
Climate activist Greta Thunberg: an inspiration to so many people, and a great ambassador for the #actuallyautistic community
One can't have failed to have noticed the awareness surrounding young climate activist Greta Thunberg, recently. The sixteen year old Swede and Nobel Peace Prize nominee has been thrust into the limelight over the last few months, since she initiated a weekly school...read more
Autistic meltdown, or neural high jacking – what is meltdown, how can outsiders deal with it empathetically, and how do autists manage their own meltdowns? (ASD/ASC)
Meltdown describes the situation where the individual – autistic or otherwise, as it is not only a term used for neurodiversity – is no longer able to cope. Their skillsets aren’t sufficiently honed to deal with the situation at that time, and the individual let’s off steam one way or another, in order to recalibrate. (Skillsets may include social and language skills, as well as executive functioning skills, as examples).
Meltdowns differ from person to person, and some autistic individuals, especially adults, say that they rarely have meltdowns. (They will undoubtedly experience challenges and periods of ‘overwhelm’, but perhaps they head straight to shut down, or some kind of low mood, or withdrawal).read more
If you are the parent of a child that you think may be on the autistic spectrum, you will almost definitely get asked the question: ‘But why would you want to give him or her a label?’ There are different kinds of labels, where autism is concerned – firstly, let's...read more
Autistic influencers – celebrating high-profile individuals forging a positive path to raise awareness and boost education about autism (Asperger’s / ASC / ASD)
Influencers are individuals with an influence in a sector - so for us, an influencer in the autism sector is someone who (a) has autism, (b) is a positive role model, (c) speaks positively about autism and (d) has a public profile. Here, we'd like to highlight some...read more
Nearly three-quarters of children with autism spectrum disorder (or ASD - 'disorder' being a diagnostic term) also have another medical or psychiatric condition, according to autism studies (Simonoff et al, 2008). This is called ‘co-morbidity’. Co-morbid conditions to...read more
Looking at the areas of socialisation and communication, it begins to become clear why many autistic individuals, (subconsciously or otherwise), end up masking – e.g. presenting oneself differently in one’s behaviour, in order to hide certain traits, or mimic neurotypical behaviours.read more