Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekly Reading List

Picture of a stack of multicolored books
I read some things last week ...

Dylan Matthews, - September 17, 2015

Dylan Matthews continues to do great and necessary work on autism at He is autistic, and has written at least one other major piece for Vox explaining the neurodiversity view of autism. I also found a short article he wrote 3 years ago for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. The best thing about this is that Vox isn't a publication about disability, and Matthews usually writes about other things. So although the subject is important to him, he has both an insider and outsider voice, interested, but objective. Of course, it helps that there is the new book Neurotribes for him to write about, and presidential candidates to say stupid things about autism as well.

Ari Ne’eman, Sometimes a Lion - September 17, 2015

Ari Ne’eman, Sometimes a Lion - September 20, 2015

Speaking of autistic voices being crystal clear on difficult topics, Ari Ne'eman has started a blog. He is the Director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and has just finished a term on the National Council on Disability. His first two posts are complex and wonkish, but also quite readable. Everyone interested in disability issues in public policy is probably going to love Sometimes a Lion.

FlutistPride’s Blog - September 15, 2015

FlutistPride is a frequent commenter here at Disability Thinking. She mentioned working on a series of posts on the "Five Temperaments" but I wasn't sure what she meant by "Five Temperaments," and it took me awhile to get around to reading the posts. I am so glad I finally did. The descriptions of each "temperament" are so accurate and relateable they're spooky. I mean that in a good way, though there may be moments of discomfort here, for disabled people, family, or service providers. I guess you could say this is a trigger warning. You may feel like one or two of your deepest secrets has been found out, or that some habits of yours you thought were utterly baffling and unique turn out to be pretty simple and predictable. But do read. It's all worth thinking about.

Helen Rutherford, The Mighty - September 15, 2015

I'm glad this article appears in The Mighty, which seems to skew heavily towards readers who are parents of disabled children. I'm glad, because Rutherford's message is as important to parents as it is to adults with disabilities. Disabled youth need disabled role modes. Also, just because a disabled child or teen seems happy and well-adjusted, doesn't mean they actually are. This is one reason why so many of us balk at images of disability that emphasize how brave, cute, or cheerful disabled people are. We get the mistaken message that in order to be accepted, we have to be happy and low-maintenance. It's an understandable confusion, with really unfortunate and unnecessary effects that parents can do a lot to prevent.