It's quite easy to tell when a new-to-me team leader has been given The Talk about Those Autistic People And How To Handle Them.
The 'You are just a naughty person and my job is to explain things very slowly to you' speech is done to me.
It's entertaining, I guess/
One recent Government-level meeting:
I had pointed out that another contributor had given wrong information.
They were nonautistic, and representing a $billion-dollar organisation.
I got the slow speech about how we do not talk until we are spoken to/
...complete with the sing-song voice used for speaking to small children.

Now...guess how many autistic people were in that meeting, about autistic needs? Total meeting = 15 people.

Yes, that's right. One. Me.

Remind me - is this 2021?
The problem with this approach?
Whatever it is they are designing ends up being unfit for purpose.
But they have made sure the autistic person is put in their place, and that's an Important Outcome.
It's beyond bizarre.
Can't be doing with it any more.
...and let's not forget the endless, "You are just one autistic person - you don't speak for everyone" nonsense I get as a qualified professional on this subject. Yet, of course, a nonautistic person, usually pretending to have expertise, is listened to.
I am always grateful for organisations, groups and individuals who are affirming, positive, respectful of autistic people, and want us to be heard.
I work with a good number of these.
But goodness me, the poor practice that still exists and people get away with it. Extraordinary.
Another tactic is the 'wear-down'.
In the room, 14 nonautistic people being paid to attend each meeting.
And one nonautistic person who isn't being paid.
The meeting Chair decides to split the meeting into 5 new meetings, each of several hours.
Who does this impact?
Another favoured tactic is use of background research in which autistic ppl are a tiny minority of participants.
An example. All those responding to a survey:
101 autistic people.
Over 2000 practitioners, parents, teachers etc.
"The autism community were in favour of...".

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ann Memmott PGC🌈

Ann Memmott PGC🌈 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @AnnMemmott

23 Nov
Today I would also like to discuss harms to autistic researchers from reading some research done on autistic young people.
Do brace yourselves for this one.

We are in a book, "Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis"
Pic of front cover/
Turning to page 135, we learn how ABA enthusiasts are great people who allegedly minimise harm to an autistic young person.
They give this a *good* example. Here it is.
Content warning - forced feeding & restraint…
The toddler is 15 months old.
"If she did not accept the drink within 5 seconds, the therapist followed B's lips with the spoon & deposited the liquid any time her mouth was open. Another therapist blocked inappropriate behavior from behind the high chair."
Read 8 tweets
22 Nov
I see that SBC has been attempting to comment on whether early diagnosis leads to better outcome, measured on the ADOS test for autistic people. For 'better', it means 'normalised'.
I think we need to be careful about using words like 'better'. This is why:
For a child to be diagnosed as autistic, the parents have to think their child is different, & take the child to a dx clinic.
Autistic parents are perhaps less likely to notice their child is different to nonautistic children, & less likely to want them to be normalised after dx/
The paper they're talking about suggests that being normalised is a 'better outcome'.
As we can see from the informal poll above, no, it's generally not a better outcome for us.
It's a better outcome for nonautistic people around us.
Read 4 tweets
21 Nov
Autistic children:
Haircuts and hair generally. Top tips that may help, from this parent of nearly 30 years of experience of own offspring and advisory work with many others.
Distress around hair stuff is a very common autistic situation and nothing to do with 'bad behaviour'/
Let's take the scenario of hair needing cutting.
a) Does it? Quite serious about this. Is this actually not a necessity?
b) OK, if it does...let's think through the hazards ahead.

First of all, planning with our fabulous young person/
Pictures, chats, watching others having their hair done in videos. These can help many of us autistic individuals to understand what's going to happen, and why.

Sensory situation - the surroundings. Where is this going to take place?/
Read 21 tweets
18 Nov
Wanted...ABA behaviourists to help in study on whether doing awful things to autistic people is acceptable?
Er...if people are reporting adverse effects, the big clue is that no, it's not acceptable.
I hope that helps.
Participants, I believe, are asked to report on whether it's OK to electrocute children, use noxious substances on them as a punishment, or withhold food from them, to force them to comply.
Yes, these appear to be real questions, in a piece of research about ABA.
The participants are asked if it would be OK to do this if the children were already hurting themselves.

Well now. Let me think.


No, it's not OK.

In fact, arguably it's criminal behaviour, isn't it.
Read 5 tweets
18 Nov
Before an unexpected situation earlier, I was honoured to speak to the attendees at the @PSCRuth #PSCneurodiversity conference, about thriving. I said a variety of controversial things. Things like 'build on strengths', and 'stop using negative words as descriptions for us'/
@PSCRuth I mentioned Human Rights, and the challenges so many parents face in trying to get even the basics of these for the fabulous young people.
I talked about education, and the challenges involved in finding the right place with a positive team/
@PSCRuth I talked about the importance of including neurodivergent people. About belonging, rather than accessing.

These shouldn't be controversial things.
These should be the absolute minimum things in people's lives, if we want them to thrive/
Read 9 tweets
16 Nov
Autism research funding debate happening in the House of Commons, London, right now (16/11/21 17.44pm) BBC Parliament channel on the TV.
My old 'boss', @RobertBuckland currently talking about the problems of autistic young people not getting diagnosed with other things e.g. ADHD, which mean their school life is difficult and they may be more at risk.
@RobertBuckland Greg Clark MP @GregClarkMP talking about the importance of good opportunities for employment. Absolutely.
Now discussion about exclusion from school for a five year old, accused of being 'manipulative'. Five years old! Shame on whichever adult came up with that.
Read 10 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!