Welcome to the Empathic Autistic Community!

Hello and welcome! I just received an email from a young newly-identified autistic man* who was looking for resources, and I realized that I need more pages devoted to resources on my site! *I use identify-first language (for instance, autistic man) for most disabilities, including my own, and it’s an intentional choice. Before you prepare a person-first lecture, see the note at the bottom of this … Read More

Welcome to Autism Acceptance Month!

And Now We Celebrate! April 2nd is International Autism Awareness Day, but really, if you’re not aware of autism yet, where have you been? The cool kids have already moved on from mere awareness to inclusion, acceptance, and love. We’re celebrating Autism Acceptance Month. Many of my friends in the autism community find mere awareness campaigns to be painful, because the messages about autism tend to … Read More

You don’t have to be blue! It’s Autism Acceptance Eon!

Celebrate the Full Spectrum! April 2nd is International Autism Awareness Day, but I have to say, if you’re not aware of autism yet, where have you been? The cool kids have already moved on from mere awareness to inclusion, acceptance, and love. We’re celebrating Autism Acceptance Day, Autism Acceptance Month, Autism Acceptance Year, Autism Acceptance Decade (and Autism Acceptance Eon, while we’re at it). Many of … Read More

Focusing on autism-positive approaches (to stave off despair)

Your approach affects your data — strongly In my research for my master’s thesis (I received my M.Ed. in December), I did two things: I created the first-ever survey study that asked for autistic people’s responses to education that had been developed for them, and; I looked for autism-positive research that focused on autistic ways of learning. I did very well with my first project, and … Read More

Autism, empathy, and the mind-blindness of everyday people

Hello! I’ve completed graduate school, and I’m now Karla McLaren, M.Ed! My master’s degree is in education and curriculum design with a concentration in linguistic anthropology, and my focus is on autism, empathy, disability rights, and human rights. Over the next few months, I’m going to be posting pieces of my own research and the excellent research I’ve found. For instance, if you’d like to explore … Read More

You don’t have to be blue — you can celebrate the full spectrum!

Celebrate the Full Spectrum! April 2nd is International Autism Awareness Day, but I have to say, if you’re not aware of autism yet, where have you been? The cool kids have already moved on from mere awareness to inclusion, acceptance, and love. We’re celebrating Autism Acceptance Day, Autism Acceptance Month, Autism Acceptance Year, Autism Acceptance Decade (and Autism Acceptance Eon, while we’re at it). Many of my friends … Read More

Karla McLaren celebrates 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013

Hello Ausomeness! We’ve come to the end of Autism Acceptance Month, and now we’re embarking upon Autism Acceptance Year, Decade, Century, and Epoch! Heck, let’s just call it Autism Acceptance Eon! I’m being silly, but I’m also being very serious. Now that we’ve become somewhat clearer about what autism is and how many different ways it manifests, we’ve realized that there are a lot of autistic … Read More

You don’t have to be blue!

Today is International Autism Awareness Day, but I have to say, if you’re not aware of autism yet, friend, where have you been? My friends in the autism community find this day pretty excruciating, because the message about autism is so bleak and panicky — on this day, people mistake a disorder for a disease and a community of real, live human beings for an epidemic. … Read More

Empathy and autism

Empaths, we’ve got a situation. After these most recent mass murders, people are focusing their fears onto mentally ill people and autistic people. This is not only cruel, but it’s counterproductive, since autistic people and people who are mentally ill are far more likely to be victims of crime than to commit crimes. Since the Sandy Hook murders occurred, I’ve been very quiet, reading academic books … Read More

Autism Acceptance Month: Empathy in Action

Dear Fellow Empaths, April is here with its promise of Spring, but this has also become a time that can cause a great deal of pain for many autistic people and parents of autistic children. Why? Because tomorrow (April 2nd) is Autism Awareness Day, and in many cases, the awareness focus is on alarmist rhetoric about epidemics and despair — and on finding a cure at … Read More

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