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Life With Autism

Dear Autism Service Dog

Shanell Mouland | Posted 11.24.2014 | Parents
Shanell Mouland

Can you stand tall and proud as you lead your girl around the grocery store? Are you ready to drive beside her in the van as we make our way to countless therapies and appointments? Are you ready to meet your girl?

But What About Alex?

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 08.13.2013 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

As we rally around, trying to distance or identify with the parent, Alex and those like him are all but forgotten. His life is seen as an example of what some must endure. But what about Alex? What about what Alex had to endure?

Non-Speaking Autistic Woman Writes Book

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 07.28.2013 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

Barb knew some would doubt the words she typed were hers, because she needed a facilitator when she first began typing. Undeterred, she spent the next 10 years learning to type independently, one index finger jabbing at a letter at a time.

Try to Imagine

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 03.26.2013 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

Imagine that who you were, the way you spoke, moved and behaved was seen as wrong and in need of fixing. Just try to imagine what that must be like. Try to imagine what it might be like to be autistic.

A Conversation With the Talented Writer, Blogger and All-Around Amazing Julia Bascom

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 03.11.2013 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

A year ago, I found Julia Bascom's blog, and it changed my life. Within the last year, Julia created the video "The Loud Hands Project." This video, together with Julia's blog, is mandatory viewing for any and all who are even remotely interested in autism or know someone on the spectrum.

The Federal Response to Rising Rates of Autism: Two Autistics Spoke... Did Anyone Listen?

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 02.04.2013 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

How is it that we can say we "care" about autism and those who are autistic, yet not fund programs that will make their lives better? How is it we can use war terminology and ignore that these words make those who are on the spectrum feel badly about their very existence?

I Love Being My Own Autistic Self: A Conversation With Landon Bryce

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 02.03.2013 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

Landon Bryce, teacher, writer, artist and animator, has written a terrific book about what it is to be autistic. His characters, each very different from one another, discuss their strengths and challenges while stressing self-respect.

Like-Minded Monoculture: Meeting the Autistic Person Inside Myself

Megan McFeely | Posted 01.14.2013 | Healthy Living
Megan McFeely

I have spent the last few months working with and learning from a man who is on the autism spectrum. His name is David Patten, and he has just written the book called Dummy: A Memoir.

An Interview With Peyton Goddard, a Non-Speaking Autistic, and Her Mother, Dianne Goddard

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 01.14.2013 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

Peyton Goddard and her mother, Dianne Goddard, wrote the book I Am Intelligent with Carol Cujec, Ph.D. It is a memoir: the story of a non-speaking autistic child thought to be severely "mentally retarded" who, as an adult at the age of 22, typed, "i am intlgent."

Non-Speaking (at Times) Autistic Provides Insight Into Communication Differences, Part II

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 12.26.2012 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

This is part two of an interview with Paula Durbin-Westby, an (at times) non-speaking autistic adult who made a YouTube video as an example of what happens when she tries to speak during periods when she cannot.

Non-Speaking (at Times) Autistic Provides Insight Into Communication Differences, Part I

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 12.24.2012 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

"I think the phrase 'non-speaking at times' captures my experience and also that of others who do have speech capabilities but can't always access them. Just because one can speak at times does not mean speech is a reliable form of communication for that person."

An Interview With Amy Sequenzia, a Non-Speaking Autistic Writer and Poet

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 11.11.2012 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

Amy Sequenzia, a non-speaking autistic self-advocate, poet and writer, agreed to an interview with me. Amy is someone whose work I have been following since I met her this past spring.

Untangling Me From My Daughter

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 08.08.2012 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

Emma is without inhibitions. She is without embarrassment. She is without shame. Female neuro-typicals could learn a thing or two from Emma. I could learn a thing or two from Emma.

Emma's New Shoes

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 07.08.2012 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

Because of her many and varied sensory issues, Emma doesn't like wearing shoes, or socks, for that matter. So, no. We did not have sneakers to send into school. However, I decided to change that.

Minus One Equals Zero

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 06.17.2012 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

I am constantly impressed with my 10-year-old autistic daughter Emma's mind and creative use of words. I often think when I listen to her that there's a kind of poetry in the way she phrases things, the way she will use seemingly unrelated words to describe something.

A Stranger on the Subway and Musings on Autism

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 06.12.2012 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

The fact that Emma was able to communicate to Joe that she'd had a rough day is a massive leap forward for her. Secondly, that she was able to then make it known that what she now wanted to do was see me was nothing short of amazing.

Autism: Death, Fear and Hope

Ariane Zurcher | Posted 06.09.2012 | Healthy Living
Ariane Zurcher

There is a large and thriving community out there of both autists and parents of autists who are writing, blogging, commenting and reaching out to one another. The only requirement to join this community is a desire for connection.

Life With Autism: Finding Challenging Work

John Elder Robison | Posted 06.02.2012 | Healthy Living
John Elder Robison

How does an autistic person establish himself or herself in a satisfying career? That's the challenge we all face, and the degree to which we succeed varies quite widely.