Handy Autism-related Resources by Bec
We know that it can be hard to find autistic affirming, strengths based resources in the vast world of the internet.
I thought it may be helpful to share some resources that I have come across over the years in this blog, and we will add to this as we find new resources that view autism through the lens of the social model of disability.
First things first: What is the social model of disability?
Traditionally, disability has been viewed through the lens of the medical model. The medical model sees disability as a deficit in the person, and therefore puts the onus on the individual to change and adapt to conform to the environment and social structures around them.
The social model of disability sees the deficit in the environment and social structures around the person, and places emphasis on adapting this to better suit the needs of the person.
Simply, the social model of disability believes that people are disabled by barriers in their environment.
At FutureTech, we view disability through the social model. Some of the key environmental barriers for our students are;
Navigating the complexities of the social world is HARD. There are many social rules and expectations that are not explicitly taught and some environments have unusual or untypical rules that may not be immediately clear. We refer to this as the Hidden Curriculum.
The sensory world is variable and often overwhelming. Autistic people experience the sensory world differently to non-autistic people. Things like noise, light, colour and movement can be experienced far more intensely or far less intensely than a non-Autistic person.
Everything is so unpredictable (especially people!). Not knowing what to expect is scary and can cause high levels of anxiety for Autistic people.
Communication differences can lead to misinterpretation and not having your needs met. Naturally, this can lead to overwhelm and disempowerment.
Misinformation and prejudice can mean that Autistic people do not feel welcome in many environments. They are often expected to change (mask) to fit in with the people around them, instead of being encouraged to be their amazingly autistic authentic selves.
So where can parents go to find positive strengths based information about autism?
Here is the list.
*This list is in no way exhaustive and FutureTech is not directly affiliated with any of these organizations. They are simply resources that I have come across and found helpful through my journey.*
Authentically Aspen and Summer Farrelly are both incredible young people and Autistic advocates who share many resources and perspectives through their facebook pages. You can follow them here:
Authentically Aspen: https://www.facebook.com/AuthenticlyAspen
Summer Farrelly: https://www.facebook.com/Chickens2love
Information (research, support, general autism information)
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) is one of the leading autism organisations in Australia. They provide many different services such as therapy, education and adult community services. Aspect also have a research centre called ARCAP:
Aspect Fact Sheets (covering many topics from autistic girls to supporting siblings): https://www.autismspectrum.org.au/about-autism/fact-sheets
Reframing Autism provide education and resources, advocacy and research: https://reframingautism.org.au/
Amaze are based in Victoria and provide everything from support with diagnosis, education and research: https://www.amaze.org.au/
Autism and Education Study by Amaze:
Autism and Employment Study by Amaze:
Autism Friendly Events and Opportunities
The A-list is a hub that provides information about a range of different social opportunities that are autism friendly:
The Autism Friendly Team at Aspect have a calendar of Autism Friendly events and opportunities:
Cynthia Coupe is an autistic speaker and I love her TedX talk on neurodiversity:
Elisabeth Wiklander is a cellist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO). She is also Autistic and speaks about her journey in this talk.
Christy Hutton talks about strengths based approaches in education in this amazing talk:
Jac Den Houting is a research psychologist and Autistic activist and talks about her work in this talk:
Two sides of the spectrum podcast is predominantly targeted at SLPs and OTs however I have found many of the episodes incredibly insightful:
If you come across any other resources - please let me know!