A couple of weeks ago I held a little tea party for participants and supporters of the Click-East project which has been my main focus (read: all encompassing obsession) for the past 3 years.
It started when, earlier this year, a gay man was appointed as chief executive officer of the American Psychiatric Association. Like many, I was delighted to see that Dr Saul Levin was heading up an organisation which, only forty years previously had categorised homosexuality as a mental illness. Another first thought was along the lines of “Wow, I hope in forty years time, or less, I’ll be reading about the first autistic CEO of the APA too“.
Parents of children with autism, and autistic people, often share their frustration with the claims of so-called ‘experts’. I suppose I am one of these people – an ‘autism professional’ – who purports to have some kind of insight into autism.
Quite a big question to answer… I’m motivated to have a stab at it this week for two reasons. First, I’ve just returned to the office after ten days away during which time I volunteered on a residential summer holiday for children with a range of moderate to severe learning difficulites. I’ve been volunteering on the holiday…
I’ve been a researcher working with people with autism for a decade now and in that time I’ve worked with adults, adolescents, young children and their parents, teachers, clinicians and other members of what I often refer to as “the autism community”.
Recently I had the great pleasure of attending the Meeting of Minds IV conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. I really enjoyed the conference, which had an admirable focus on looking at autism across the whole lifespan, and some excellent speakers including Pat Howlin, Liz Pellicano and Richard Mills.
This blog post is a bit of a cheat as I’m actually just going to re-blog a post by my husband! He is studying for a PhD on theatre for the very young, and we are currently collaborating on a paper which discusses how best to make performances appropriate for infants and toddlers.