143 posts tagged with Autism.
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“Because stimming is what we do.”

In the Daily Dot, Jaya Saxena profiles Stimtastic, a company that sells jewelry and toys for adults with autism who engage in stimming, or self-stimulatory behavior. People with autism are often encouraged to suppress these behaviors, which include rocking, hand-flapping, and humming, among many, many other things. Stimtastic's products do the opposite: they provide opportunities to stim. Founder Cynthia Kim, who also runs the blog Musings of an Aspie, says that “[m]y goal for Stimtastic and for the products we sell is to help adults and teens who stim feel not just comfortable but celebrated.” [more inside]
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious on Jul 22, 2016 - 39 comments

Autism, employment and tech

"Autism is seen like some sort of mental superpower where we can see math in the air. In my experience, this isn’t really the case." - Dispelling some myths about the autistic wunderkind programmer. Also: Why you might not want to get TOO excited about autism employment initiatives. Autism FAQ
posted by Artw on Jul 10, 2016 - 29 comments

Understanding the Spectrum

Rebecca Burgess' Comic Redesigns the Autism Spectrum to Crush Stereotypes : “I want people to understand that autistic people don’t all fit a stereotype, and show people the consequences of stereotyping,” Burgess, from the U.K., told The Mighty in an email. “[Stereotyping leads to] underestimating the skills of autistic people or not believing someone [who is on the spectrum].”
posted by jillithd on May 26, 2016 - 13 comments

Which is bigger: >---<

Optical illusions are not universal, and the differences in how we perceive them can help us to understand cognition. The famous Müller-Lyer illusion is not universal, but differs by culture, with some African tribes unable to see the illusion at all - possibly because of differences in environment. Individuals with autism seem less sensitive to the Sheppard's table illusion, which might help improve an understanding of the condition. Differences in responses are possible because different illusions trick your brain in different ways. BBC has a great history of the evolution of optical illusions, and, finally, here are some auto-kinectic illusions, because they are awesome.
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 30, 2016 - 22 comments

Neurodiversity on display

With his project Special Books by Special Kids, special education teacher Christopher Ulmer interviews neurodiverse people about their lives and interests. [more inside]
posted by R a c h e l on Apr 30, 2016 - 2 comments

You can’t know you’re missing something if you can’t see it.

What It’s Like to ‘Wake Up’ From Autism After Magnetic Stimulation (NYMag) [more inside]
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage on Apr 14, 2016 - 20 comments

At Sea with America's Largest Floating Gathering of Conspiracy Theorists

It’s an experience that may not appeal to everyone—a seven-day cruise at sea, with the aim of “taking back power from corrupt and greedy institutions, attain true self-authority, and realize our genuine Self behind the masks … discovering the truth, taking command of our lives, and attaining genuine inner realization” —with every odd belief you can think of listed as entertainment: GMOs, Monsanto, bee colony collapse, ecology, global warming, climate change, fracking, HIV, autism, Big Pharma, medical suppression, vaccinations, fluoridation,… electoral fraud, identity chips, 2nd amendment, and so much more. Anna Merlan writes charitably yet unflinchingly for Jezebel about her experience joining them [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 29, 2016 - 121 comments

My Autistic Brother's Quest for Love

Randy is 27, one of 3.5 million Americans on the autism spectrum. He suffers from what is officially called PDD, or pervasive developmental disorder. "My brother has always wanted what most of us do: love. Someone to care about. Someone who will care in return. Someone other than our mother." A loving sister chronicles her brother's search for a lasting relationship.
posted by narancia on Feb 25, 2016 - 13 comments

Diminished professor

Pediatrician Hans Asperger is known worldwide for the syndrome he first diagnosed. The rest of his story – in Vienna during WWII – has only recently come to light: The Doctor and the Nazis
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 19, 2016 - 14 comments

Autism's Lost Generation

Some autistic adults have spent much of their lives with the wrong diagnosis, consigned to psychiatric institutions or drugged for disorders they never had. Last year, Scott Hartman moved into his own apartment for the first time. He quickly learned to balance his budget, squirreling away money to buy a Blu-ray player or Xbox games. He started taking long walks to his favorite fast-food joints: Hardee’s, Papa John’s, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell. To get to the science museum or the library, his other favorite destinations, he is learning the intricacies of public transportation. Scott can enjoy these simple pleasures because two years ago he was finally diagnosed with autism. He was 55.
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 10, 2015 - 20 comments

The role of sex and gender in autism

The Lost Girls: 'Misdiagnosed, misunderstood or missed altogether, many women with autism struggle to get the help they need.' Part of Spectrum's Sex/Gender in Autism special report. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 27, 2015 - 34 comments

Do you wanna build a theory?

Some ways we can read Elsa: "Cold and Hungry: Discourses of Anorexic Feminity in Frozen," "Disney's Frozen and Autism," "Reading Frozen as a Feminist," and "Disney's Frozen: Gay or Schizophrenic?"
posted by thetortoise on Oct 23, 2015 - 59 comments

Neurotribes published and reviewed

Steve Silberman's new book Neurotribes is out and getting buzzed. Reviewed at New York Times. Reviewed on NPR. Author interview on Erik Davis Expanding Mind podcast. If you are new at metafilter you might be interested to know that Silberman is also known as digaman at metafilter, although his last comment is from October 2012. The book is a greatly expanded version of his work on autism which has previously appeared in Wired as a number of articles including The Geek Syndrome.
posted by bukvich on Sep 5, 2015 - 27 comments

Women on the spectrum

The Big Open-Ended Question: On Loving and Accepting My Asperger’s
For years after, I tried to hide who I was and had some success. On the rare occasions when I did disclose my diagnosis, the response would usually be something along the lines of, “Wow, I didn’t know you were autistic!” I always took that as a compliment. After I graduated from college, I got a job and earned a reputation as an excellent employee, who was praised by her superiors and co-workers for her industriousness and attention to detail. But it always ended there. ... Even when I didn’t say anything, even when I just talked about work, I could tell that I still seemed a little odd to most people. A recruiter once told me that I had “an edge” about me, and didn’t really elaborate on what she meant by that. Co-workers told me that I was “too eager” or “forceful.”
[more inside] posted by dialetheia on Jul 10, 2015 - 22 comments

So Open-Minded Your Brain Falls Out

When they returned home, the Laidlers took David off his restrictive diet, and he continued to improve—rapidly. Louise stopped Ben’s supplement regimen—without telling Jim—and Ben’s behavior remained the same. Then, after months of soul-searching, Jim Laider took to the internet to announce his “de-conversion” from alternative medicine—a kind of penance, but also a warning to others. “I had this guilt to expunge,” Jim says. “I helped to promote this nonsense, and I didn’t want other people to fall for it like I did.”
--An Alternative-Medicine Believer’s Journey Back to Science
posted by almostmanda on May 4, 2015 - 63 comments

I’m Autistic, And Believe Me, It’s A Lot Better Than Measles

We’re no more or less imperfect or tragic than the average family. We don’t even have measles.
posted by sleepy psychonaut on Feb 9, 2015 - 72 comments

When Children With Autism Grow Up

"I was 23 and needed a summer job; he was 21 and needed full-time support. He’s one of an estimated half million people diagnosed with autism who are soon becoming adults — and who society is entirely unprepared for." (Note: graphic description of sexual abuse; SL Buzzfeed)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 9, 2015 - 25 comments

dating while autistic

"are you angry with me?": dating as an autistic woman
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jan 16, 2015 - 73 comments

“Can I do anything to help?” - “Trade kids with me.”

By Noon They’d Both Be In Heaven By Hanna Rosin
KELLI STAPLETON, whose teenage daughter was autistic and prone to violent rages, had come to fear for her life. So she made a decision that perhaps only she could justify.
posted by davidstandaford on Oct 21, 2014 - 118 comments

Friends With Siri

How Apple’s Siri Became One Autistic Boy's B.F.F. [more inside]
posted by stp123 on Oct 17, 2014 - 40 comments

Tuesday's Child

Five year old Iris Grace has taken up painting. Iris is autistic, and her parents introduced her to painting as a means to help with her speech therapy. She has attracted attention worldwide and her paintings have sold quite well. Iris in action. Originals, prints, and calendars can be purchased here. Iris has a constant companion, her name is Thula. The homepage of irisgracepainting.com.
posted by cwest on Oct 12, 2014 - 28 comments

Black Males, Autism, and the Police

"He’s black, male and autistic," she says. "[I] never know if he’ll be accosted. You ask questions later and you shoot first. It’s happened too many times all over this nation." In the wake of Ferguson, parents of autistic young men of color discuss their fears. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Sep 3, 2014 - 13 comments

If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 84 comments

Dear parents, you are being lied to

Scientist Jennifer Raff has put together an extremely comprehensive look, with loads of examples and citations, at all the reasons that the anti-vaccination movement is wrong. [previously] [more inside]
posted by quin on Jun 1, 2014 - 131 comments

"God knew you could handle this!" might be the worst

What not to say to a parent of an autistic child.
posted by MartinWisse on May 13, 2014 - 31 comments

What my autism classes didn't teach me

“Right before I went into high school, my parents enrolled me in a couple of social skills classes to prepare me for the change,” she tells me. “They taught me how to behave in certain social situations, like when girls go into the washroom together, or how to behave when you get invited to a party, or when you want to ask someone on a date. That’s where I think the classes switched from being useful to being controlling.”
posted by Mistress on Apr 16, 2014 - 20 comments

Health Risks How-to

How to think of the risks of Autism. "As a statistically minded neuroscientist, I suggest a different approach that relies on a concept we are familiar with: relative odds. As a single common measuring stick to compare odds, I have chosen the “risk ratio,” a measure that allows the bigger picture to come into focus." A succint NYT op-ed that is also a good primer on assessing health risks in general as well as the impact of media coverage on skewing risk perception.
posted by storybored on Mar 30, 2014 - 20 comments

“I loooove the way your fowl little mind works.”

At three, Ron Suskind's son, Owen, was diagnosed with regressive autism and all but lost his speech. A year later, watching Disney's The Little Mermaid, Owen's parents heard him speak again. Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney. (SLNYTimes Magazine, with video) [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 7, 2014 - 21 comments

I love living in the future.

Causal link found between vitamin D, serotonin synthesis and autism in new study
posted by Evilspork on Mar 6, 2014 - 94 comments

Made by Brad

Made by Brad Brad can't read or talk, but he can put together complex furniture. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jan 17, 2014 - 51 comments

The Boy Whose Brain Could Unlock Autism

Rather than being oblivious, autistic people take in too much and learn too fast. While they may appear bereft of emotion, the Markrams insist they are actually overwhelmed not only by their own emotions, but by the emotions of others. Consequently, the brain architecture of autism is not just defined by its weaknesses, but also by its inherent strengths. The developmental disorder now believed to affect around 1 percent of the population is not characterized by lack of empathy, the Markrams claim. Social difficulties and odd behavior result from trying to cope with a world that’s just too much. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Dec 15, 2013 - 23 comments

This is the Way I Love

Ellie Castellanos is a severely autistic thirteen year old artist whose prolific drawn art, animation, films, photographs and clay sculptures all share a distinctly colorful, vibrant and upbeat style. Her mother maintains an online gallery of her work, as well as sharing her story as it develops on the site and in a blog. She has also notably used Rickrolling as inspiration to create beautiful art. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Dec 9, 2013 - 5 comments

A window for early intervention against autism?

Researchers using eye-tracking technology found that 3-year-olds diagnosed with autism looked less at people’s eyes when they were babies than children who did not develop autism. But contrary to what the researchers expected, the difference was not apparent at birth. It emerged when babies were 2 to 6 months old, and autism experts said that may suggest a window during which the progression toward autism can be halted or slowed. Article in the NYT. Also SciAm, etc. Reduced eye contact for autistic babies has been documented previously (e.g.), but this study captures the exact window of the decline. [more inside]
posted by RedOrGreen on Nov 6, 2013 - 22 comments

“Hi Avonte, it’s mom. Come to the flashing lights, Avonte."

Two weeks ago, 14 year-old Avonte Oquendo was last seen running out the door of his school in Long Island City, New York. Because Avonte has autism and is non-verbal, he was supposed to have one-on-one supervision at all times. Now, an unprecedented citywide search for the boy that includes searching commuter trains and subways and playing his mother's voice out of emergency response vehicles remains underway. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 18, 2013 - 47 comments

"A mind as curious, subtle, and complex as yours, as mine, as anyone’s."

The book that helped me understand my son. Author David Mitchell's introduction to The Reason I Jump, a newly-translated memoir by thirteen-year-old Naoki Higashida on what it's like to have autism.
posted by Rory Marinich on Sep 8, 2013 - 13 comments

"I know it’s happened to someone else."

Kelli Stapleton kept a candid blog about the struggles of raising Issy, a teenager with autism who suffers frequent violent episodes. A newspaper profile from earlier this spring detailed the family's trouble accessing the professional help Issy requires. Kelli admitted in her most recent blog post on September 3rd: "I have to admit that I’m suffering from a severe case of battle fatigue." Later that day, [Kelli's husband] received a message from Kelli that police described as "despondent". Kelli Stapleton is now under arrest on charges of attempted murder and Issy remains hospitalized after what appears to be a failed murder/suicide. Bloggers from the national autism community have responded.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Sep 7, 2013 - 190 comments

Autism means friendship

Tommy Des Brisay is a Canadian runner and para-athlete living with autism. While running, Tommy often chants "I think I can...", recites lines from Disney movies, or sings. He has a YouTube channel where he posts his dances with Disney princesses and mini documentaries about his life.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 21, 2013 - 3 comments

There's nothing negative I can say about the transit system.

Darius McCollum was recently arrested in New York for stealing a Trailways bus. Evidently he drove the bus to a Manhattan hotel where he picked up a flight crew and drove them to JFK Airport. On the way back to a New Jersey bus depot, he was pulled over by the cops. This wasn't the first time Mr. McCollum was arrested while (unlawfully) transporting the public. In fact, it was the 29th time. [more inside]
posted by mark7570 on Jul 17, 2013 - 58 comments

Vaccines: How Do They Work?

Noted anti-vaccination activist Jenny McCarthy is going to replace Elizabeth Hasselbeck as The View's newest panelist. So, now, she can take her anti-vaccine roadshow to the masses. Even though she admitted that her son never had autism. A Slate columnist is even trying to petition The View to not hire Ms. McCarthy.
posted by reenum on Jul 15, 2013 - 195 comments

Who watches the watchers?

Mark Holman was a severely disabled teenager who had been living in an institution since his mother became ill. Upon her death, her lawyer petitioned for his guardianship before Judge Kristen Booth Glen, who asked a simple question: when did you last see Mark? "I haven't seen him since he was eight or nine," responded the lawyer. "His mother used to bring him to our office with his brother, just to show him my face and so forth and so on, so I haven't seen him probably since 1995 or 1996." Appalled by both the poor standard of care in Mark's case and the breathtaking lack of regulations compelling anything better, Judge Glen set about writing an opinion that would change the way trusts for people with disabilities are managed in New York State in very, very significant ways.
posted by KathrynT on Jul 15, 2013 - 42 comments

"If it were up to her, our every last dollar would go to her brother."

"A quarter of U.S. households have a member with special needs. More than 8% of kids under 15 have a disability, and half of those are deemed severe. What we share in common with the parents of all those special-needs children is that our kids have almost nothing in common [...] "Saying you study autism is like saying you study the world of non-elephant animals." Special-needs parents do share one thing: the eviscerating cost of our children." Paying for a Special Needs Child. [more inside]
posted by RedOrGreen on Jun 27, 2013 - 53 comments

Then I realized there was one thing I could do and that was to love him.

"My name is Chris Murray, and I'm an artist and I'm very talented... And I’m a dairy stocker at the Edge of the Woods organic grocery store in New Haven, Connecticut." [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Jun 1, 2013 - 18 comments

Autism Is A Gift

A story about a boy and his dog. (SLYT)
posted by COD on Apr 10, 2013 - 15 comments

"Sometimes just *being* is enough"

A lighthearted [blah blah blah] Because whenever you describe something as 'lighthearted' it usually means they've taken a serious subject and can't talk about it properly. This father seems to have genuinely managed to talk about having an autistic son, and the ups and downs that entails. [more inside]
posted by lucullus on Apr 7, 2013 - 4 comments

"It wouldn't hurt you to seek out a little.....companionship".

Whoopi Goldberg Hugs Autistic Star Trek Fan on Dutch TV SLYT. Found on reddit here
posted by lalochezia on Mar 10, 2013 - 28 comments

Auti-Sim

Auti-Sim is a Unity Web Player game that simulates the experience of childhood autism (warning: loud sound). [more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin on Mar 1, 2013 - 16 comments

There are thousands of kids like me out there. Eventually, it gets better.

"In May 2013, "Asperger's Syndrome" will be removed as a diagnosis from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), leaving "high functioning autism" in its place. I agree with this change. Given the importance of the manual, however, it's caused a lot of consternation and caused me to reflect upon my experiences."—Anonymous
Pedagogy of the Depressed: my experiences as a special ed student in the 1990s, an anonymous Boing Boing article
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 5, 2013 - 40 comments

Dream Map to a Mind Seized

How do I empower someone without language, sign, or gesture? What is it like to experience aphasia, dysnomia, auditory and visual distortions, and variable physical sensations? At times I imagine that entering into my son's sensory world—his own particular neurocosm, perhaps I should say—is a bit like walking into Lewis Carroll's Wood With No Names ...
English professor Amy Leal wrote about her young son's son's unexplained regressions and loss of skills last year in Little Boy Lost. This year she returns with a beautiful and heartbreaking study of her son's condition in Dream Map to a Mind Seized.
posted by Joe in Australia on Dec 9, 2012 - 6 comments

Help Wanted, Autist

Most occupations require people skills. But for some, a preternatural capacity for concentration and near-total recall matter more. Those jobs, entrepreneur Thorkil Sonne says, could use a little autism.
posted by Obscure Reference on Dec 1, 2012 - 22 comments

Rise of the Aspies

Is Everyone on the Spectrum? "In the nineties, clinicians began reconceptualizing autism from a singular disorder to a cluster of related conditions on a spectrum of severity; as the criteria broadened to encompass less acutely impaired people—such as the more verbal group diagnosed with Asperger’s—prevalence rose dramatically. Before 1980, one in 2,000 children was thought to be autistic. By 2007, the Centers for Disease Control were reporting that one in 152 American children had an autism-spectrum disorder. Two years later, the CDC updated the ratio to one in 110. This past March, the CDC revised the number upward again, to one in 88 (one in 54, if you just count boys, who are five times as likely to have one as girls). A South Korean study from last year put the number even higher, at one in 38. And in New Jersey, according to the latest numbers, an improbable one in 29 boys is on the spectrum."
posted by bookman117 on Nov 8, 2012 - 66 comments

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