It is #WorldAutismAwarenessWeekDayMonth but Autistic people would rather have #AutismAcceptance   or #AutisticPride

My last thread of the day is on #Autism myths, tropes & misconceptions.
Common in most school staff rooms- I’ve heard them myself.
My “top 10”
1. Girls can’t be Autistic

This myth can be partly accredited to most of the Autism research being carried out on young white males, thus influencing diagnostic criteria, & partly accredited to Simon Baron Cohen’s “extreme male brain” theory.

Not true & incredibly damaging.
2. “Never happened in my day”

“There are more of them now than there used to be”. Probably not.
We were the weirdos, the freaks & the eccentrics in your school. Or our Autism was blamed on “lack of oxygen at birth.”
We existed, we just weren’t recognised as such.
3. Autistic people are anti social

That’s not true. Autistic people have friends & enjoy social activities.
Many of us don’t enjoy fast paced, loud, busy environments like nightclubs & pubs... but some of us do!
Don’t mistake not liking YOUR interests as being anti social.
4. Autistic people are all good at maths

Maths is beautiful, maths is logical, there are patterns and sequences in maths... so naturally many Autistic people are drawn to it. But it’s not universal!
Don’t throw matches on the floor & expect us to count them. Rainman isn’t us!
5.1. Autistic people aren’t creative

I saw this recently on #edutwitter & it’s offensive nonsense. Autistic people write, make art, make music, choreograph... even the scientists & engineers amongst us are creative.
5.2. Some of my favourite Autistic creatives...

Writing: @BooksandChokers @NaoiseDolan @NCWeek
Music: @Courtney @SusanBoyle Craig Nichols from @thevinesband
Directors: Tim Burton
Art: Andy Warhol
6. Autistic people lack empathy

One of the cruellest persisting Autism myths. Neuroscience has found that Autistic people become so overwhelmed by empathy that we can often be paralysed by it, so may seem disinterested... but we certainly don’t lack it.
7. Autism is caused by vaccines

It all started with Andrew Wakefield’s bogus study on MMR & has has never quite gone away.
Wakefield is disgraced, his study is discredited & despite multiple studies since, no link has been found.
Anti vaxers, like flat earthers, are wrong.
8. Autism can be cured

No. Autism is from birth to death. There are no verified cases of Autism being cured because it has never happened.

Being Autistic can be challenging, but that’s because the world we live in is designed against us socially.

I wouldn’t take a cure.
9. Autistic people can’t make eye contact

Some of us can, some of us struggle with it more. Personally I can’t make eye contact with people who make me feel uneasy, but I can hold the gaze of people I do feel comfortable with well.
Stop obsessing over eyeball staring.
10.1. Autistic people have no sense of humour...

Many Autistic people are incredibly funny, dry witted, we use sarcasm... we might not always understand other people’s “humour”, particularly if they personalise comments about us and call it a joke (🙄) or if they are deadpan.
Basically, a lot of what you know about Autism isn’t true. Persisting with these myths, tropes and misconceptions is damaging for Autistic people as it stalls recognition & support.
It doesn’t matter how many years experience you have, no one knows it all 😉

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More from @LauraFMcConnell

2 Apr
It is #WorldAutismAwarenessWeekDayMonth but Autistic people would rather have #AutismAcceptance  or #AutisticPride

I often get DMs asking about good books or resources for teachers on Autism, so here are my top 10.
1. The Autism Toolbox

This is a free online resource designed to promote the inclusion of Autistic learners in early years, primary & secondary. I’ve referred to it a lot over the years & highly recommend
2. The Circle Document

CIRClE & it’s EY equivalent “Up, Up & Away” are evidence based planning toolkits that help you promote an inclusive education environment. Using CIRCLE is part of my everyday practise & not just for Autistic pupils
Read 14 tweets
2 Apr
It is #WorldAutismAwarenessWeekDayMonth but Autistic people would rather have #AutismAcceptance  or #AutisticPride

If you have a question about Autism, it is best to look for #ActuallyAutistic people to answer it! So here are just 10 of the hundreds you should follow!
Obviously I am an #ActuallyAutistic adult & a teacher. I Tweet about Autism all the time or share Tweets from others that I think are really insightful. There really are hundreds of them! So don’t feel hurt if I left you out!
The following would be great follows for teachers:
Pete @commaficionado

Pete’s background is Secondary English teaching and he Tweets about his personal experiences of Autism and how you can support children in school.
Read 13 tweets
2 Apr
It is #WorldAutismAwarenessWeekDayMonth but Autistic people would rather have #AutismAcceptance or #AutisticPride

One of the best ways to promote #Acceptance & #Pride is to ensure your school/class library has some Autism related books in it.
My 10 recommendations:
1. “A Kind of Spark” by Elle McNicholl @BooksandChokers

Probably my favourite children’s book of 2020 & I’m not alone. Elle recently won the Blue Peter Prize & more awards will surely follow.
A must read middle grade book and school library essential.
2. “The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide” by Siena Castellon @NCWeek @QLMentoring

This is another favourite book of mine. Siena is the founder of #NeurodiversityCelebrationWeek & one of the best role models I know of.
A highly recommended read for teenage Autistic girls.
Read 12 tweets
31 Mar
I’d like to connect with more Scottish teachers, particularly those in ASN, pastoral care or Primary.
If you fit that description & follow me but I don’t follow you back- please give me a nudge!
Or please recommend people. I’m not interested in follower counts, just people!
Or, introduce yourself on this thread so others might follow you! #ScotEdu
Read 5 tweets
15 Dec 20
Thread: Catastrophising

What is it? How can you recognise it? How can you support yourself/children/young people who catastrophise?

For teachers, parents or catastrophisers. Image
Why is this important to learn about?

Catastrophising is a common trait amongst Autistic, ADHD and anxious people.

I observe it a lot in children in school & it affects their ability to learn & cope in education.

I have also catastrophised my entire life.
A few years ago I searched the internet to see if there was a name for this phenomenon that blighted my life.

Like most emotional literacy, once I could name the emotion, I could better recognise it & work on it.

It still happens, but doesn’t control me.
Read 28 tweets

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