Monthly Archives: April 2017

Don’t ever assume autism researchers know what they’re doing.

Wow! What do you think?


This is my post for Blogging Against Disablism Day 2016.  Like many of my posts, although it focuses on one specific situation (autism research) it applies to a much more broad set of circumstances if you look at it closely.  I was originally planning on doing something much more ambitious for BADD, but reality (and the reality of being a disabled person) got in the way of that.  So here is a different post that was fortunately written long in advance.  I hope it can serve as a resource for a lot of people, because I’ve been asked about this test a lot, and I usually only manage to describe part of it.  This is the first time to my knowledge that anyone has said all of these things at the same time in one place.  Apologies for the lack of sourcing, but I’m a blogger, not an academic, and…

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If the world was built for me

Autism and Expectations

If the world was built for me. There would be nothing wrong with me. I would be happy and safe and certain and successful.

If the world was built for me, when I met people there would be no expectation of physical contact or small talk. We may ignore each other, with a socially acceptable nod, or throw ourselves into a deep and meaningful conversation.

If the world was built for me, then we would all sit next to each other, not opposite. Things would be based on literal words, not guessed expressions and gestures.

If the world was built for me, there would be a compulsory day off for everyone after any social event. Just so we could all take the time to recharge and process things.

If the world was built for me, work would be about working and nothing else. There wouldn’t be the necessary interaction that…

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Thinking about open pedagogy



(image via unsplash)

The question “what is open pedagogy?” is this months  Year of Open  perspective.  A really rich variety of voices have shared their views on the site. They are all worth a read.

As the waves of #oer17 are still washing over my brain, I’m not sure I really know, the answer to the question, but I have been thinking a lot more about over the past week or so. Partly because of the really excellent presentations, discussions and reflections at and after the conference and partly because of some other discussions and definitions that have been causing some healthy (maybe slightly heated) discussions in certain quarters. (See this post for a summary of the whole “he said, he said” thang).

Maha Bali has also organised  a google hang out on Monday 24th April which I’m taking part in, to try and unpack the question and maybe…

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Groundbreaking Research Links Autism with Histamine, Inflammation and Mast Cell Activation

Interesting: personally asthmatic (allergy-based), have perennial rhinitis and allergic to smoke, fumes, dust, perfume… a real fun person, clearly! 🙂

Openhearted Rebellion

By Carolanne Wright, Wake Up World

The study of histamine has been attracting quite a bit of attention over the last few years — and not just in relation to seasonal allergies or insect bites. The compound is also associated with a variety of other health complaints, from migraines and depression to schizophrenia. And now scientists have discovered another surprising connection to the naturally occurring chemical: autism.

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The Aliens Among You

Ellie's Blog

We live among you like aliens. We look like you – superficially. Some of us can pass, some of us simply can’t, some of us are bone-weary after years of trying look normal and can’t be bothered any more. We are not aliens, though, because we evolved from you. We are just different. And no matter how hard we try to be like you, you can sense the difference, somehow.

Most of us are missing some or all of the social genes. The world has a set of rules that were not given to us at birth, and we have spent vast amounts of time and energy deducing what these rules must be from watching you, learning by rote what comes to you instinctively. And so very often we get it wrong.

We are subject to a constant barrage of overwhelming information. Some of us are blessed and cursed with…

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Autism and its Allies…

Freeing The Dragon

Doll children background design with autism wordI know that I’m a week late for Autism AwarenessDay, but timekeeping is not my forte, so sorry for my tardiness. Actually, I am not all that sorry because I think autism needs as much exposure as possible, so the disorganised dyslexics/dyspraxics among us, can help by padding it out for the entire month. I’ll start by trying to explain what autism is. This is a complicated undertaking that doesn’t yield a straightforward answer. Generally speaking, autism is complex and multi-faceted developmental condition that can be defined through impairments that fall into the following areas.areas
Like with dyslexia, dyspraxia or similar neuro-diverse condition, the spectrum part of autism can range from mild to very severe. Before the 2013 revision of the DSM-5 ‘Asperger’s syndrome’ was the term given to describe more mild forms of autism that didn’t impede language development. It served to distinguish between the mildest and severest forms…

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On Boys Will Be Boys

Pernille Ripp

On Saturday, while at our park, my four-year-old daughter was asked to pull down her pants by a five-year-old boy.  I was 200 feet away and yet I didn’t see it until it was too late.  When I asked her what had happened, she told me he had told her to do it in exchange for the stick he had.  So she had, no big deal.  Even though, her father and I have told her numerous times that her private parts are just that; private.  Even though her father and I have told her that a request like that is not ok.  As I told my husband what had happened and how we needed to speak to the parents of the boy, he hesitated for a moment, “Isn’t that just what little boys do? Ask for stupid things?  Not think about the bigger picture.”  I thought of our own son…

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No empathy or no information? Autism and empathy

Always different, never less… 🙂


It is just after 7 pm on Autism Day (the United Nations one on 2 April). I have attended two events today, one a Yellow ladybugs art event for girls and teens on the Autism spectrum and their parents / grandparents / carers and the other a panel of clinicians which I chaired. I was very glad to be included in the panel discussion but it was quite challenging. I was the only Autistic voice on the panel and some of the clinicians held views I disagree with and / or find unhelpful. I am giving myself a metaphorical pat on the back for this one as I feel my chairing was positive and professional and I asserted the Neurodiversity / different not less / nothing about us without us sort of perspective quite well.

After the event I spoke to several of the audience members – many of whom…

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