Anger and growing up: ten tips to beat it
Jun17

Anger and growing up: ten tips to beat it

Some years ago, I smashed up our family’s shower head because it wasn’t doing what I wanted. Looking back, I probably should have dealt with it better. Impulses do have their uses- if you need to jump out of oncoming traffic, for example, you want to be fast and decisive. But when it comes to anger and frustration, impulses often convince us to make bad choices… and then have to deal with the stinging regret afterwards. And, in...

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What to do when your family doesn’t accept autism
Mar09

What to do when your family doesn’t accept autism

“My parents don’t accept that I am (or my child is) autistic. What should I do?” This question ranks pretty high on the most frequently asked list. We just recently had a discussion about it on Autistic Not Weird’s Facebook page, and I think it’s about time I wrote a full article. (All links open in new windows, by the way.) Most of us are used to people misunderstanding our autistic selves or relatives, but this is often from people...

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How do I stop my child using autism as an excuse?
Feb22

How do I stop my child using autism as an excuse?

I didn’t expect to be asked this question as often as I have been. It’s a tricky one to even ask. After all, autism really does affect children in extremely serious ways. And parents are often swamped by ignorant people accusing them of labelling their children to excuse their bad behaviour (which is a disgusting accusation to make, by the way). The words “autism” and “excuse” look so, so ugly together that I was reluctant even to...

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A plea to the autism community, from one of your own
Jan31

A plea to the autism community, from one of your own

Please approach this article honestly, because it’s something we all need to do. Regardless of how difficult it is.   Please stop arguing. I’m serious. Please stop. It’s embarrassing to watch. More to the point, it damages the people we love. Not long ago, I uploaded the picture below to Autistic Not Weird’s Facebook page [links always open in new windows], partly to vent a little frustration. The reaction from the community was...

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We asked children across the autism spectrum: “What do you love most about life?” Here are their answers.
Jan19

We asked children across the autism spectrum: “What do you love most about life?” Here are their answers.

Note- this article has now been adapted, improved tenfold, and turned into a book! Info can be found on the page for the (successfully funded) Kickstarter campaign, but copies can now be obtained by clicking here (ships internationally)! [All links open in new windows.]   Here’s an article to cheer you up! Remember “200 Things to Love About Life“? Well, that was written from my adult Asperger’s...

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Five ways to damage autistic children without even knowing
Jan04

Five ways to damage autistic children without even knowing

Yep, uncomfortable title. But sadly, these are subjects that I feel we have a responsibility to talk about.   Today, I’m going to share some habits that I’ve seen in a wide variety of contexts: some of them in my career in education (mainstream and special), some of them from people dealing with me as a man with Asperger Syndrome, some of them I’ve seen in the form of internet comments, and so on. Although often...

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30 translations for people who struggle with hints
Dec26

30 translations for people who struggle with hints

Disclaimer: this article contains a lot of tongue-in-cheek humour that’s not to be taken seriously. And if I know anything about the internet, there are people out there who will take this tongue-in-cheek humour the wrong way. Readers are advised to concentrate on enjoying the article, rather than seeing it as a judgemental critique of humankind!   If you’re anything like me- particularly the bit about being on the autism...

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How I put anxiety in its place
Oct19

How I put anxiety in its place

This article’s been a long time coming. And it’s not just for autistic people.   When I wrote the growing up advice article, I wrote it while looking back at how I grew up. When I wrote the bullying article, I wrote it while looking back at when I was bullied. When I wrote the article on how I learned leadership skills, that was definitely looking back.   But this time, I’m doing something different. I’m writing this right...

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I ran an autism survey. The results? Quite revealing.
Oct10

I ran an autism survey. The results? Quite revealing.

Here it is- the most laborious article I have ever written. But also an important one. There are a lot of clichés that go around about autistic people or families affected by autism. Some of these include the following which I have heard plenty of times: “Autistic people are good at maths.” “Most autistic people don’t want a cure, but their parents do.” “Autistic people prefer the phrase...

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If you could teach people one thing about autism, what would it be?
Oct05

If you could teach people one thing about autism, what would it be?

Last month I ran an autism survey, inviting anyone associated with autism to fill out: whether they were autistic, cared for someone with autism, or cared about someone with autism. It unexpectedly got 477 responses.   (Edit- the data analysis is finished! The results can be found in this article: “I ran an autism survey. The results? Quite revealing.”) I’m still going through the data, and it’s both arduous and...

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