Monday, 27 May 2013

Monday Muster

Good Monday, comrades!  Have a group shot:

I went bowling on Friday night, the first time I'd been since primary school.  It went much, much better than I thought it would, entirely because the group I went with were really lovely.  

Here's this week's wrap of interesting things from around the web:

Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience have a paper by Steven K. Kapp: Empathizing with sensory and movement differences: moving toward sensitive understanding of autism.  I don't have the mental spoons to read the whole thing in detail at the moment, but this sentiment from the abstract is a really promising sign:

 "Social abilities and behaviours occur between people in social contexts, and autistic and neurotypical people share mutual difficulties in understanding one another. This paper challenges attempts to reduce autism to social deficits, and suggests the need for better interpersonal and societal understanding of and support for autistic people."

Personally, the executive functioning and sensory aspects of autism are much more disabling for me than the social stuff.  I think it's really promising to see some acknowledgement from the research community that there's more to autism than just the social side, and that the social stuff can't be looked at in isolation, as if the sensory/motor/EF aspects aren't things that matter.

An older post but well worth reading, Autistifying my Habitat is about creating a space that's functional for an autistic way of life.  The big thing I took out of it was the need for prominent visual reminders - like the author, if I don't see it, it's not a thing.  I found Google Calendar and the like worked for keeping work dates and information in order, but for remembering to eat/clean/exercise and generally do stuff, I too need a more tangible reminder.  I love the idea of bits of velcro so tasks can be physically moved from place to place as they're done - I might modify that idea to magnets on a whiteboard or fridge for my own chart.

On Forbes, Judy Owens looks at the issue of disclosing your disability when you apply for a job.  I personally disclose, because I don't pass and don't buy into the idea that we must pass if we can.  But for those who can pass, I really do understand why you might not disclose because of all the layers of stigma and bullshit that surround disability, particularly 'invisible' disability.  Importantly the accessibility of the corporate culture is recognised, as well as the physical accessibility of the space.  However the example given ('person with quadruplegia' versus 'quadruplegic') is pretty tame.  How about we first tackle the liberal use of slurs like "retard" and people feeling they have the right to say "if you can't handle X you shouldn't work here"*?  Particularly since 'person first' language is far from universally accepted anyway - many in the autistic community prefer to be identified as autistic people (or Aspies, autists, or other like terms) and consider person first insulting.

* I was told this at a former workplace just last year, in relation to particularly excessive background noise causing pain due to my sensory disregulation.