This week is a sorrowful one for me - By Dannielle, our Social Media Manager
Reflections
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1w ago
This week is a sorrowful one for me - as a proud Gamilaraay yinarr (woman) I am painfully reminded that sovereignty was never ceded on these stolen lands; from the moment Captain Cook “discovered” Botany Bay and was met with resistance from men of the Gwaegal clan of the Dharawal Nation yet deemed this land Terra Nullius or land unoccupied, to his Royal “claim” of the East Coast of Australia for the British Empire on the 22nd of August 1770, through the ongoing invasion when the First Fleet landed on Botany Bay on the 18th, 19th and 20th January 1788 and the subsequent genocide of my ancestors ..read more
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What are your qualifications?
Reflections
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1M ago
Yesterday, someone trolled me on social media. That in itself isn’t the thing. That happens to autistic folks who joyfully resist the disorder narrative all the time. It’s threatening to some, to read my writings or hear me speak about my autistic pride. I was speaking about how so many people aren’t clued in to what an autistic person living without trauma looks like. The picture society has of an autistic person is largely built around that person’s trauma. The ways in which they stim, or move, or the sounds they make, or their behaviour being grounded in distress is often what people look f ..read more
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You deserve to be liberated; an end of year reflection.
Reflections
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1M ago
TW: Nightmares, trauma and neurodivergence.     Something I haven't touched on in regard to PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance, Persistent Drive for Autonomy) are the nightmares. Many of our children will speak to us of their nightmares. These can be heavy and often confronting. Which really indicates how traumatic the experience can be for our children. I digress. Last night, I had an awful set of nightmares that whilst I won't go into detail, were centred around being violated repeatedly. Inside the dream, I was in the presence of a very unsafe person, always. When I wasn't with th ..read more
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Receiving Gifts - An Autistic Experience
Reflections
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2M ago
A guest post by our inTune Pathways Team member, Deirdre   In the 3 years since we found out my youngest, and subsequently, my husband, myself and my eldest child are all autistic, I have had well-meaning therapists and friends present us with social stories at this time of year, intended to prepare our children for the process of gift exchanges at Christmas.    I quite like the use of social stories. But only the way I write them; Factual. Non-cohersive. Non-threatening. Providing clear, precise information on how a process is done and why each step of a process is done. It was ..read more
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We can reframe our experience of parenting autistic children
Reflections
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4M ago
Trigger warning: functioning labels, mention of suicidality, marriage separation . . . I am a parent of four and a full time carer. I know within the autistic community, there are those who oppose the term “carer”, and I’m still going to use it. This is my story. My experience. When I was new to being the parent of autistic children, my indoctrination was watching horror stories in the media about how our lives were going to be over because..autism. I would wake in the night, in a panic attack, sitting up in bed and sobbing. I was depressed and anxious for a very long time. Years. As a family ..read more
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Discovering me
Reflections
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4M ago
A guest post by Alana Reeves Most people don’t get to discover who they are at 40 years of age. It sounds like it could be an overwhelming experience, doesn’t it? To discover that you’re a completely different person than you thought you were. You would think it would feel uncomfortable or discombobulating. For me, it felt like coming home. After my son’s ADHD diagnosis, I pretended that I wasn’t relating heavily to what I had learned about ADHD. A year later I was diagnosed too, aged 39. Medication, therapy and some seriously deep diving changed my life for the better.  Initially I thoug ..read more
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School trauma is real
Reflections
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5M ago
I was so excited for my son to start big school. He loved kindergarten, although he was slow to start in the mornings. We often dropped him off late, but the kinder teachers did not mind. He found his groove after a few months because the play and interest-based learning suited him perfectly. I believed big school would be the same for him. My son’s first day of big school was an emotional day for me. He was so small his shirt was hanging off him, he was concerned it looked like a dress, so we tucked it into his big shorts that came down to his knees. We walked up the hill and all the stairs t ..read more
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The Facade of 'Hope".
Reflections
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7M ago
TW: Suicidality, depression, anxiety, eating disorders . . . . . . . . . . Many families are encouraged to cling to the narrative that there is “hope” for their autistic child. Normally it’s related to the success, or everyday functioning of the child being closer to neuronormativity than it is to autism. I’ve sat in meetings where advocating for students and families, and had professionals praise me for what they perceive to be my success, or more often than not, overcoming neurodivergence. Overcoming autism. Overcoming ADHD. Overcoming PDA. And yet, I’ve overcome none of those things. I have ..read more
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This is not about our children
Reflections
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8M ago
I'm a person. I'm just like everyone else and I don't have all the answers for every situation for every family. What I might implement in my home with my family might be detrimental to yours and really unhelpful. What's most important to me is encouraging and supporting families to tap into the courage and inner guidance of what is and isn't right for them. This isn't simple. It isn't a quick fix. It's complex and involves reflecting on privilege, among many other sociopolitical aspects of living. But here's what I would love for people to reflect on: We're not "treating autism" here; we're a ..read more
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We're diagnosing autistic folks, then pretending they're not autistic.
Reflections
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8M ago
I have families emailing me often, to share with me about how brilliant their autistic child is, including their adult autistic child. They share about how their child works, studies, is an artist or a musician or enjoys volunteering, among other things. But then, there is typically the follow up question “How can I encourage them to work more hours?”, or “How can I get them to go out more?” or “How can I get them to go to school?”, etc. I get it. As parents, we want our children to be happy; to be thriving. But we don’t get to define their happiness. They do. Autistic people have a right to a ..read more
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