Susan's Blog

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Welcome to the Autistic Community

The Arc of the US’s Autism Now Center has partnered with the Autism Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) and has written an excellent booklet, “Welcome to the Autistic Community!” This is a positive-language, informative, accessible document with clear illustrations, that gives a newly-diagnosed autistic person a handle on what autism might mean for him/her. There are chapters like “Am I Okay?” and “Where are the other people like me?” and “What are my rights?” The booklet also covers the topic of differently-developing brains, sensory overload, and self-esteem.

My one piece of advice: I want them to put out a first-grade reading level version, so that someone like Nat can read it to himself or have it read to him and really be able to parse what it means to be an autistic adult. I don’t want anyone to forget that some autistics have intellectual disabilities. I want to be sure that all of these efforts at inclusion, acceptance, and accessibility do not pass over someone like Nat.

But for now, I can read it to him.

The takeaway here is: download it. Read it. Tell others.  This booklet needs to be spread everywhere, like appleseeds, and take root all over the earth. Doctors’ offices, schools, places of business, libraries, hospitals, supermarkets. Write it on the doorposts of thine house and upon thy gates. We are here we are here we are here.

And as Nat would say, “It’s a-different, that’s okay.”



Thumbs up.

— added by Michael Forbes Wilcox on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:26 am

Unfortunately that link is no longer in existance. I would love to read the booklet, but it seems to be gone. Any other way to get it that you know of?

— added by Sher on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 8:28 am

Sher: I think I’ve fixed it. 🙂

— added by Susan Senator on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 8:13 am

Hi Susan,

yes, you did fix it! Thanks! I live in NJ, and have a son with autism (19). I can make good use of the booklet, by making sure my friends who are also parents of kids with ASD read it.
Hmmmmm, maybe their teachers should read it too.

Anyway, wish we had you here in NJ. We have also all come to the conclusion that we need to pay attention to politics and get to know our representatives …well, like yesterday.

You have set a great example for me. Please keep on being an inspiration.


— added by Sher DeGenova on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Sher, I’m so glad you are becoming so active in New Jersey. You are leading the way for the parents of younger kids.

— added by Susan Senator on Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 9:40 am