Autistic PT Iris @warchall had SO much great advice about supporting autistic people with EDS chronic pain, injuries, dysautonomia, pelvic health issues, & other neurologic issues etc. that we're putting the highlights in a thread. Full interview here:… 1/
@warchall "Each individual PT or OT has their own specialized area of practice and specific skill set. If you need support for a particular issue, it’s best to seek out a PT or OT who specializes in providing that particular support." 2/
@warchall "I want to help my patients discover what strategies they as individuals can use […] and I think I’m more likely to be open to supporting my patients in using “atypical” strategies. I’m less likely to suggest goals that are trying to fit a patient to a “reference norm." 3/
@warchall "I tend to consider my patients’ executive functioning and sensory processing needs to a greater degree than most physical therapists." 4/
@warchall "PT’s generally learn a bit about [sensory and EF issues) as part of our entry level training, but not enough, and there’s a lack of education for PT’s about what accommodations or supports autistic adults might need, and how to recognize and accommodate those needs." 5/
@warchall "My [autistic] communication style can be a better fit for some neurodivergent patients, and I’m tending to look out for whether I need to modify my communication style to fit that person’s processing style." 6/
@warchall "Additionally, [as an autistic physical therapist] I am able to empathize with neurodivergent patients who have had developmental differences in motor, sensory, or executive functioning." 7/
@warchall "Since I work with a lot of people with chronic pain or other conditions that are very affected by a person’s overall systemic stress level, I teach a lot about stress management, which most physical therapists wind up doing to one degree or another." 8/
@warchall "But I do think I’m more aware of the fact that ppl can potentially have a broad range of sensory, communication & executive functioning needs that are unknown & unmet.

"I work with my patients to explore what they as individuals need in order to minimize stress & feel good." 9/
@warchall "Do they need help reducing sensory overload? More sensory input of some kind? Would this person benefit from exploring these issues with an OT? Do they need executive functioning supports to minimize stress at work or at home?" #neurodiversity 10/
@warchall "Does it seem like this person may be experiencing stress associated with masking neurodivergent traits, and would they benefit from a referral to a neurodiversity-affirming mental health professional to explore this?" 11/
@warchall "We know a large number of autistic people who have currently reached adulthood are undiagnosed/misdiagnosed. It sometimes happens that I’ll have a patient with a formal autism diagnosis, but it’s likely that a reasonable % of the patients I see are autistic and undiagnosed." 12/
@warchall "If we extrapolate from some of the recent literature on [autism] prevalence in females (which is much, much higher than historically clinicians have thought), it is likely that up to about 1 in 20 people in the world are autistic."


@warchall "I work with a lot of people who are dealing with chronic pain, hypermobility spectrum conditions & pelvic health issues—which are all more common in autistic adults. So if someone walks into my clinic, they are more likely to be autistic than that rough estimate of 1 in 20." 14/
@warchall "I approach all my patients in the same way: by assuming I should be on the lookout for whether they need modifications to my default way of providing care in order to accommodate their individual executive functioning, sensory, motor developmental, or communication needs." 15/
@warchall "I’d also like to pause for a moment to point out that we’re talking about autism in this conversation, but other forms of neurodivergence, both developmental and acquired, are common as well and almost always benefit from accommodations of one kind or another." 16/
@warchall "I am somewhat more likely to find myself masking my autistic traits when working with an allistic patient if I sense it will make that person more comfortable. Not all allistic people need this to be comfortable, but some do." 17/
@warchall "Of course, it’s impossible to completely mask my autistic traits, & there are often situations in which I won’t be able to give the best care when putting energy into masking, so over time I’ve learned to give simple explanations for my differences when working with people." 18/
@warchall "There’s a huge lack of understanding in our society about what autism actually is, so instead of explaining that I am autistic, and getting into a long discussion about what autism is, I give explanations for the specific traits of mine that my patients might find unusual." 19/
@warchall "Prior to my child being identified as autistic, I had already over time accepted that I needed to do things differently than most people in order to function well." 20/
@warchall "I had realized I needed to pace my activities, have a consistent routine, engage with my special interests, and manage my social relationships differently in order to avoid burnout." 21/
@warchall "I had realized that I needed quiet transition time to recover after working, and I had found a position at a clinic where I could work one-on-one with my patients in a quiet room without harsh lighting." 22/
@warchall "t had taken a lot of trial and error, talk therapy, and self-discovery work to get to the point where I had even started to understand these things about myself." 23/
@warchall "I consider myself immensely privileged to have had the ability to access the resources to begin to understand my [autistic] needs, and yet […] I still had a lot of questions, uncertainties, and self-doubt about why I needed to arrange my life differently from most people. 24/

• • •

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

Keep Current with Thinking Person's Guide To Autism

Thinking Person's Guide To Autism 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 @thinkingautism

Jul 23
Hey, parents of autistic kids! Here are five BIG, avoidable mistakes. A thread, at TPGA:… #autism #autistic #parenting #Neurodiversity #autismAcceptance #AutismAwareness 1/
Parents of autistic children (and adults) get advice thrown at their heads from every angle, all day long. If you’re one of these parents, you may be all done with advice. ALL DONE. And I hear you, because I am you. However... 2/
I have the good fortune to be connected with insightful autistic thinkers on this planet, who have transformed my parenting approach completely, and to the benefit of my son, as well as myself.

So you don’t repeat my mistakes, here are 5 bonks I made & how you can avoid them. 3/
Read 27 tweets
May 28
The JRC says that they need to use [electric shocks] on the people who live there because they struggle with aggression
and self-injury. But the JRC is the only place in the U.S. that uses electric shocks to punish people with disabilities.

#ABAIBoston #ABAI2022 #StopTheShock 1/
In 2013, @UN put out a report calling the use of the GED “torture”. The @US_FDA (which decides what kinds of medical
treatments can be used on people) put out a report 5 yrs ago that said the GED should be
banned. It still hasn’t happened. This is wrong.

#ABAIBoston #ABAI2022 2/
@UN @US_FDA Yet the ABAI (Association for Behavioral Analysis International, the governing body of ABA practitioners) is letting the JRC defend the “ethics” of this torture of disabled people at its conference going on RIGHT NOW. This is unacceptable.

#ABAIBoston #ABAI2022 #StopTheShock 3/
Read 5 tweets
May 4, 2021
@swirlee @randallb Here’s a thread on resources for parents whose kids have been recently diagnosed as autistic! Hope it helps.

First, here are some parent-penned guidelines for first steps after that diagnosis (tl;dr: Learn from my mistakes so you can avoid them):… 1/
@swirlee @randallb Here also are Eleven Ways You Can Make Your Autistic Child's Life Easier:…:

and How listening to autistic adults helped me understand and support my son:…

#Neurodiversity 2/
@swirlee @randallb If you prefer books, @awnnetwork_ *just* released “Sincerely, Your Autistic Child: What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew about Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity:…

Read 4 tweets
May 3, 2021
Now: We are at the live #INSAR2021 press conference. And since it’s online, maybe you can be there, too:…
8 different studies are being presented at the #INSAR2021 press conference, draw from the 1000s of presentations being featured at the conference.

Unless I’m mistaken, there isn’t supplementary text or captioning so I’m having a hard time parsing what’s going on.
#INSAR2021 press conference topics include Diagnostic challenges in underserved populations. Also studies of pains and eating issues. Also a cross-cultural exploration of stigma between Korea and the US, and also the impact of COVID on autistic adults as well as their caregivers.
Read 23 tweets
Apr 19, 2021
Why do good people fall for bad autism charities & related efforts like #ColorTheSpectrum? A thread.

Mostly? "Our media conditions its audiences to fear & pity people with disabilities.”…


And it’s not just sensationalistic, clickbait media outlets that impugn the rights and basic humanity of autistic people. Respected, progressive publications and writers can be just as reactionary. 2/
But because we tend to trust “thought leaders” as both intellectually rigorous and socially fair, their ableism often goes unchecked and is far more dangerous than that of their unapologetically prejudiced counterparts.

Read 7 tweets
Apr 8, 2021
Hey Parents of Autistic Kids: Here Are Five Big, Avoidable Mistakes! A thread based on a TPGA post by @shannonrosa, parent of an autistic now-adult:…


As I have become increasingly devoted to 'learn from my mistakes, so you don't repeat my mistakes,' here are five bonks I made during the early years of parenting my autistic son, and how you can avoid repeating my fails.

If you're the parent of an autistic kid, you probably get advice thrown at your head from every angle, all day long. You may even be all done with advice. And I hear you, because I am you. 3/
Read 37 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

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

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

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!