Tips for Building an Autism Friendly Workplace

In my last post, I listed some of the behaviors that can make the workplace difficult for those with Asperger's. Although I framed these behaviors in the light of Asperger's, the majority of them affect others as well. Inclusive practices aren't just for those on the autism spectrum. Inclusion benefits us all.

15 Workplace Behaviors That Exclude

There are a lot of behaviors, some of which people don't even think about, which can make a workplace a very difficult place for those of us on the autism spectrum. As an advocate, and as a person on the autism spectrum who's been in the workplace for many years, I've had ample opportunity to observe these behaviors.

Media and Autism: Two Autism Favorites Win at the Golden Globes

Regular readers here will know that I'm a huge fan of both Temple Grandin, and The Big Bang Theory. Given that, I was glad to see both Claire Danes and Jim Parsons (as Sheldon Cooper) won Golden Globes in their respective categories.

The Pain of Isolation: Asperger’s and Suicide

Why would a person with Asperger's feel driven to suicide? To me, the answer to this is obvious. The need to bond with others is a basic human need. The very definition of Asperger's is to have trouble fulfilling that need. So why is it surprising that someone with these difficulties might fall into despair?

Self Awareness And The Difficulties of Being Different

Many adults with Asperger's, post diagnosis, take "long walks" through their memories, re-evaluating them in the context of Asperger's. During the course of these "long walks," there are times when you find your perceptions change dramatically, and pieces fall together in a way they haven't before.

Living a Life of "Yes": Is Disability Just About Deficits?

I recently viewed an interview with Dr. Oliver Sacks on in which he addresses the question, "Is there a flip side to conditions that medicine defines in terms of deficits?"  He says there may be.

Asperger's, Pain Perception, and Body Awareness

When following popular media coverage, or even the statements of some professionals, the average person could be forgiven for believing that Asperger's is "just" a social disability. But defining it in these terms misses some very real issues faced by many on the spectrum. Take, for example, problems with pain perception and body awareness.

It's Different for Girls

In yesterday's post, I referenced a video made by a young woman with Asperger's. In it, she says: "It took a team of 2 psychologists and a doctor, and a couple of months of testing" to obtain a diagnosis. In today's world, this is not all that unusual - but now, news out of the UK says that there may be a better, faster way. Via a 15 minute brain scan.

The Bridging Point

Is there a "right" way to communicate emotion? For many people who have non-traditional methods of communication, it certainly seems that the world thinks so.

The Unorthodox Gift

When I think of emotions and emotional expression – I can't help but think of my stepfather. He didn't talk much of emotion, but he definitely felt it. 

Communication, Music and Lyrics

"Don't you have any ideas of your own!" an exasperated person once said to my father - an admonishment that seemed particularly unfair. The fact was, my father had plenty of thoughts and ideas, but the challenge was how he communicated them. My father had a way of sharing his own thoughts via other people's words.

The Female Factor

Expressing emotion - it's an often-cited challenge for those of us on the autism spectrum. Sometimes, it can be hard for others to understand what we're feeling, which may lead to assumptions that we're emotionless...but my experience has been that this is certainly not the case.

Love and Understanding: Can You Have One Without the Other?

In the film Autism: The Musical, a mother made a comment which really touched me and made me think. Speaking of her relationship to her daughter, she says: "I tortured myself over the years thinking that in order to fully love her and parent her, I needed to be able to understand her head." This comment really drove home to me what it must be like to be on the other side of an autism spectrum diagnosis...and what a struggle it must be for parents.