A new wristband may give autistic people and our caregivers warning that a meltdown is coming up to three minutes before they happen. A version of the wristband is already FDA approved and on the market to help detect seizures. Dr. Rosalind Picard of MIT presented the results on Friday at the 2018 International Society for Autism Research
annual meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
During her keynote, Dr. Picard emphasized the importance of looking beyond neurotypical facial expressions and cues to determine how autistic people feel. Dr. Picard began her keynote by stressing the importance of autistic feedback in her work. She recalled an autistic friend's observation that “my biggest problem is not understanding the emotions of others
. My biggest problem is you
are not understanding my
, or difficulty understanding how one feels, is a common problem in the autistic community. This can often lead to situations in which someone does not notice … Continue Reading ››
Today, ADAPT protested at major nonprofits in Washington DC, to demand support for the Disability Integration Act. By the end of the day, both the Heritage Foundation and Center for American Progress expressed their support for the bill. AARP, however, decided to call the police to disperse disabled protesters. AARP represents the interests of older Americans and reports a membership of over 38 million Americans.
The Disability Integration Act
prevents state and local officials and insurance companies from denying community-based long term services and supports to disabled people. First introduced by Senator Charles Schumer, the bill has bipartisan support, as well as support from such prominent non-governmental organizations as the ACLU, Move On, The Arc, and Human Rights Campaign.
ADAPT members used their bodies and wheelchairs to block AARP employees from entering and exiting the building. “Many American’s spend decades in their homes; they build lives there and raise their families. Their … Continue Reading ››
Last week, the quarterly Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting took place. IACC is a government advisory panel responsible for setting federal research priorities
. A thread running throughout the six hour meeting was representation and diversity, or lack thereof, both in autism community leadership positions and within IACC itself. In many ways, the sessions were a string of events demonstrating not only the need for more autistic representation, but the need for racial diversity. There are currently only two autistic members of IACC. A third autistic member, Amy Goodman, stepped down in 2017. Similarly, IACC's membership is almost entirely white.
Dr. Marcella Ronyak, IACC member and Deputy Director of the Division of Behavioral Health for the Indian Health Service
, gave the first presentation of the day. She began by asking how many people in the room had a good understanding of what Indian Health Services is and what it is that they … Continue Reading ››
In 2016, the Ford Foundation made a commitment to social justice
. Unfortunately, their early efforts were plagued
when it came todisability community issues. In 2017, the Ford Foundation made a commitment to centering disability rights
. The result of this new effort is still in its early phases, but the work they have done on disability so far has been nothing short of extraordinary, and there is even more to come.
Speaking with NOS Magazine, Noorain Khan of the Ford Foundation was candid about the process of growing much-needed knowledge on disability. "2017 was us diving in, meeting with activists, self-advocates, folks in government, nonprofits, and other funders... [We] met with any disability organization that requested a meeting. This shaped [our] knowledge and the knowledge of the Ford Foundation itself."
"[The Ford Foundation] knew that we couldn’t do this by ourselves." They hired disabled consultants and brought disability … Continue Reading ››
This is it. Dr. Shaun Murphy's first interaction with an autistic patient. I knew it was coming -- It's an obvious and necessary direction for Shaun's story to take. Even in the bizarre, distorted world of a prime time medical drama, Shaun can't reasonably be the only autistic person on Earth.
There was exciting news: Liam, Shaun's autistic patient, would be played by an actually autistic actor: Coby Bird
. Bird is 15, talented, and has previously appeared on the ABC comedy Speechless
. I hope to see him in future episodes of The Good Doctor
. It would be wonderful if Shaun could act as a mentor or role model of sorts, rather than Liam merely being a patient-of-the-week.
That said, I was terrified that this episode would advocate for what Julia Bascom
has called, "the IQ test for human rights." Some toxic corners of our community believe autistic people perceived as … Continue Reading ››