It's a new week, and if you're still steamed about the Autism Speaks "call for action" from last week, you'll want to check out the This Is Autism flash blog, which has been collecting posts and links and videos and other responses all day today as part of an effort to "tell the world what autism is in the words and works of autistic people and those who love and support them." The Autistic Self Advocacy Network would also like you to send a few words to Sevenly, an online merchant that donates to a different charity each week, and this week will benefit Autism Speaks. A page on ASAN's Tumbler tells you who to contact if you want to tell Sevenly that Autism Speaks does not speak for you. For those who aren't so familiar with Autism Speaks and wonder why it's such a big deal, About.com's guide to autism, Lisa Jo Rudy, has a history of the organization, including a mention of the other times it's gone big with negative messages. If you've written or read something you'd like to see added to my running list of responses, from any perspective, add a link in the comments here and I'll check it out.
Also raising blood pressure today is a story about an Australian clothing store that's selling shirts with the word "Retarde," and the company's director who thinks the only upset folks are mollycoddling moms who need to help their kiddos toughen up. (Yeah, carry a line of shirts with a slur against just about any other group and good luck with that argument.) While it seems likely that the store will just sell the shirts out and then leave it at that, there's a Change.org petition on which you can express your outrage and explain, again and again, as often as we have to, that no, it's really not okay to use that slur, even if you like to believe that folks with intellectual disabilities are the last ones it's cool to dis.
Also in the special-needs news today:
+ Posts on medical issues include one on Thriving, the Boston Children's Hospital blog, about how "Diabetes Teaches Life Lessons"; one on Special Happens dedicated to "Spreading Epilepsy Awareness"; and one on Basically FX about having "Fragile Hopes" raised and dashed by drug companies.
+ Looking for new books about autism spectrum conditions? Sign up for Jessica Kingsley Publishers' mailing list and they'll send you a free catalog that, according to a post on the JKP blog, is "full of information on new and bestselling titles for parents and professionals encountering autism spectrum disorders. Including visual learning workbooks, ABA resources and CBT programmes. The catalogue also has a comprehensive listing of books for individuals on the spectrum including children's fiction, fun activity books and resources for adults on topics including employment, relationships and mindfulness practice." I've reviewed quite a few JKP titles and recommend its books as ones to look out for.
+ Two thoughtful posts I came across today about what we write about our children and how they speak for themselves: "... With an Eye on Social Justice" from With a Little Moxie and "Her World, Her Words" from Support for Special Needs. Do you have a blog I should be adding to my reading rounds? Tell us about it.
Illustration by Terri Mauro