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.
Autistic Led Organizations:
ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network)
Accessing Home and Community-Based Services: A Guide for Self-Advocates
ASPIRE Healthcare Toolkit Personalized Accommodations Report
*** 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:
- IFL is preferred by the majority of the Autistic community as well as numerous other groups (e.g. National Federation of the Blind, World Federation of the Deaf ).
- 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.
- 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.
- Using IFL helps to recognize, affirm, and validate an Autistic person’s inherent worth: “Different, NOT less.”
Additional links regarding IFL in autism: