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Autism is increasingly understood to be a life-long developmental condition associated with fundamental differences in brain connectivity. Autistic persons are at greater risk of experiencing a number of co-occurring mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, gender dysphoria, eating disorders and others. Co-occurring mental health conditions can go undetected in Autistic persons for several reasons. First, many Autistic people have challenges with functional communication that may make it difficult to work with mental health professionals who are not willing to be accommodating. Second, some professionals view all challenges experienced by their patients as being autism-related rather than due to a co-occuring condition. Finally, some conditions present differently in Autistic persons, making them more difficult to correctly identify. 

 

This page is under construction. It currently provides links to a variety of books, articles, and blogs that I think are helpful for Autistic persons and their families to be familiar with. 


Articles:

The Boy Whose Brain Could Unlock Autism

Free magazine from Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance

Asperger Experts

Spectrum | Autism Research News & Opinion


Blogs:

Autistic Hoya

Ido in Autismland

Just Stimming

Musings Of An Aspie

Non-Speaking Autistic Speaking

Radical Neurodivergence Speaking

Respectfully Connected 

That Autism Feel

Unstrange Mind

We Always Liked Picasso Anyway

We Are Like Your Child

Yes, That Too


Autistic Led Organizations:

Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy

Autistic Women’s Network

ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network)


Other Organizations:

Autism Connection of PA

Interactive Autism Network


Books: 

Aspergirls: Empowering Females With Asperger Syndrome

Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant

Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking

Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life

Nobody Nowhere: The Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic Girl

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger's

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism


Other Resources: 

Accessing Home and Community-Based Services: A Guide for Self-Advocates

ASPIRE Healthcare Toolkit Personalized Accommodations Report

Pennsylvania Transition Guide

Stimtastic Chewable Jewelry, Stim Toys and Fidgets


*** The blog and many other areas of this website use Identity First Language (IFL). ***

There are a number of well written blogs by members of the Autistic community which detail the reasons for using IFL (see links at the bottom). To summarize the key points: 

  1. IFL is preferred by the majority of the Autistic community as well as numerous other groups (e.g. National Federation of the BlindWorld Federation of the Deaf ).
  2. The concept of person-first language (the alternative to IFL) is based on the idea that disability is something negative, something the person should want to separate from themselves.  
  3. Autistic persons are increasingly understood to have different brain wiring (increased local connectivity of microcircuits), which has a profound impact on the way they perceive the world. Because of its fundamental nature, Autism cannot be separated from a person. It is an inherent part of their identity.
  4. Using IFL helps to recognize, affirm, and validate an Autistic person’s inherent worth: “Different, NOT less.” 

Additional links regarding IFL in autism: 

Identity-First Language | Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Person-First Language Doesn't Always Put the Person First

Autistic Hoya: The Significance of Semantics: Person-First ...

I am Disabled: On Identity-First Versus People-First Language

The Logical Fallacy of Person First Language | Musings of ...