imagine if there was an LGBT awareness day

and it was sponsored by an organization that treats non-hetero sexualities and non-cis gender identities as a disease, and that has paid for the legal defenses of parents who murder their gay children, and that promotes researching a cure that will fix us all and make us cis and straight

and most of the posts in the LGBT tag are “I am a mother/father/brother/sister of an LGBT person, and I want you to know that they’re human despite their disease.”

(posts by actual gay, bisexual, and trans* people are fewer, because there are fewer of us.)

and half of them are also about ‘the struggles of growing up with an LGBT family member’ and how ‘dealing with an LGBT child can put a strain on your marriage’

and some of them are links to ‘encouraging’ news about how scientists are close to finding the genes for gayness so you can abort your child in the womb if they test positive for gayness

when LGBT people speak up about this they are told they should be glad that people are raising awareness for them and that they aren’t, in any event, the ‘type of gay people’ the others are talking about

and now you know how I feel about Autism Awareness Day

My jaw just hit the floor. This is the best explanation of this I’ve seen.

(via ananiujitha)



Trying to understand verbal instructions.



YOU GOTTA tell me really explicitly because I can’t tell when people are actually flirting with me

Common aspie problem.

(via perhapsicanlivefree)


Image description: black text with the word ‘hatred’ in blue. There is a red cross out mark through “awareness”. There is a blue lightbulb with a slash through it and a puzzle piece with a slash through itText reads: “Autistic lives are valuable.Therefore, I will not promote theAutism Speaks cruel brand of ‘awareness’ hatred in April.”

I’ve really enjoyed seeing things like this, lately. Keep them coming and I’ll keep sharing them :)


Image description: black text with the word ‘hatred’ in blue. There is a red cross out mark through “awareness”. There is a blue lightbulb with a slash through it and a puzzle piece with a slash through it
Text reads: “Autistic lives are valuable.

Therefore, I will not promote theAutism Speaks cruel brand of ‘awareness’ hatred in April.”

I’ve really enjoyed seeing things like this, lately. Keep them coming and I’ll keep sharing them :)

(via ananiujitha)



This is basically a post for people who think that the world is accessible for those who are disabled, although this is centred around those who use a wheelchair. 

And this doesn’t include when people park in disabled spaces without a badge, or question those who park in disabled spaces who don’t use a chair.

The first picture is of a disabled parking space, where the snow has been pushed into that space whilst people were clearing the car park. This also happens when snow ploughers push the snow to the side of the road and onto the pavement as it blocks the dipped down pavement where wheelchair users can get on/off of the pavement and most wheelchairs struggle to be able to push through the snow.

The second picture is of a lift/elevator in Boots a store in the UK, where there are baskets and cases in front of the lift, which block wheelchair users from using it and accessing other levels in the store.

The third picture is of a zebra crossing with a lowered pavement for wheelchair users, and there is an island in the middle with a normal height curb, which blocks wheelchair users, and it means they have to go around, along with having bollards near the entrance which don’t look wide enough to fit a wheelchair through.

The fourth picture is that of a ramp, which has a step in order to get onto the ramp. (I’m pretty sure they didn’t even try.)

The fifth picture is of a ramp with a tree in the middle, which doesn’t have enough room on either side for a wheelchair to get through.

The sixth picture is of a very very steep ramp, which even if you have someone pushing your chair you probably won’t be able to get up it!

The seventh picture is of a disabled parking space, which has a ramp leading to the entrance, which again has steps in order to access the ramp.

The eighth picture is of ‘disabled parking’, where non of the spaces have room to allow chairs to get out of the car, except at the back. They are just normal spaces where a blue sign has been placed in an attempt to make the parking ‘wheelchair accessible’.

The ninth picture is of a reception desk which is too high for wheelchair users to access, as they can’t be seen, due to the fact that they are smaller than the desk.

The final picture is of a ramp which only goes halfway up the curb, essentially meaning there is a step at the top of the ramp.

If anybody still thinks the world isn’t staked against those who are disabled, then I honestly worry about you.


And these are the visible and commonly known disabilities here. When even these are treated like this, the invisible ones like autism are essentially never accounted for. The world is hard for all of us disabled folks :(

(via fourloves)


It’s April!

Whilst I’m sure you all mean well, please remember not to support or donate to Autism Speaks this month (or any month for that matter) as they are a terrible organisation who hurt the autistic community

Instead I recommend actually taking time to look at writing from autistic people and learn from them and, if you really want to help and donate, consider ASAN instead

Thank you xx

I couldn’t say it better

(via rayvenloaf)




Extremely personal piece. Doesn’t really need that much explanation.

*apologies if it turns up pixelated, just click the picture for a full res. view



Brilliant visualization of something almost all of us deal with.



I finally found one of these for me!



I finally found one of these for me!

Great advice from Tyrion. I live by this motto.

Great advice from Tyrion. I live by this motto.

(via hotrodsparrow)

Ruined Day

On Fridays, I only have one class and it runs from 8AM-8:50AM. I already feel like it’s a waste of time to drive the 18 miles to school and back just for this single hour. That said, I always go.

Today, our teacher was late. He was looking for a centrifuge to show us. Since he’s too stubborn to use computers for anything, he had to find one. We started at about 8:08AM. He began with a review on what we discussed Wednesday. At 8:20AM, while he was still reviewing, a fire alarm went off.

I am far from fond of fire drills. The alarm, itself, is overwhelming for me and causes sensory overload. The crowds leaving the building are the next thing that freak me out. When it started, I at least had the alertness to gather all my belongings to take with me. As I got outside, the sidewalk split left and right. Everyone else went left, so I went right. I hit a patch of ice and almost came crashing down. In my struggle, I twisted one of my knees awkwardly, and it still hurts.

Outside, it was cold and very windy– about 40°F. Since I anticipated being indoors all day, I only wore my scrubs with nothing under them. Scrubs are very thin, so my legs were quite cold, not helping the pain in my knee. The alarms continued to go off for about 15 minutes. After five minutes passed, I decided to try and find my car and just leave. It was obvious that I wasn’t going to recover from the stress this causes. After walking a bit, I realized that the parking lot I was in wasn’t connected to the one I parked in, in any way. If I wanted to get to my car, I had to go back inside where the alarms were going off. I was stuck.

At 8:35AM, the alarms finally stopped. No one went back in at first. At 8:40AM, the crowds began to go back in. When I realized the time, I was confidant in just leaving. It would take five minutes to get everyone back into class for only five more minutes until it let out. I was still frazzled and not thinking clearly because of the stress, though. I got to my car and headed home.

Once home, I realized that by leaving, I wasn’t given the lab handout that’s due on Monday, meaning I can’t do it. My other teachers would email me the packet if I asked nicely, but this teacher won’t do that for me.

That stupid fire drill ruined my day. It’s been hours and I’m still too stressed to start my homework, which I wanted to do hours ago. I’m going to get a zero on the pre-lab work because of it, as well.

The moral here is that colleges really need to make their autistic students (and likely those with other disabilities) aware of scheduled fire drills in advance. These drills may be nothing to most students, but to us they’re extremely debilitating. If I’d had a warning, I could have done something to limit the stress: worn ear plugs, exited in a way to get to my car, stayed in the class since it was only a drill (didn’t know it was at first), or even stayed home. My previous college in Oklahoma would email students with the planned time for these 24 hours in advance. Why can’t a New York college do that as well?

This goes for many, many things that have happened in my life due to my autism. I’m often left afraid to say no, then scolding when I admit how uncomfortable I am with whatever it was.

This goes for many, many things that have happened in my life due to my autism. I’m often left afraid to say no, then scolding when I admit how uncomfortable I am with whatever it was.

(via rayvenloaf)



UC San Diego researchers have found clear and direct new evidence that autism begins during pregnancy, reporting that patches of disrupted brain development occur in the womb.

Patches of Cortical Layers Disrupted During Early Brain Development in Autism

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Allen Institute for Brain Science have published a study that gives clear and direct new evidence that autism begins during pregnancy.

The study will be published in the March 27 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.  

The researchers – Eric Courchesne, PhD, professor of neurosciences and director of the Autism Center of Excellence at UC San Diego, Ed S. Lein, PhD, of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, and first author Rich Stoner, PhD, of the UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence – analyzed 25 genes in post-mortem brain tissue of children with and without autism. These included genes that serve as biomarkers for brain cell types in different layers of the cortex, genes implicated in autism and several control genes.

“Building a baby’s brain during pregnancy involves creating a cortex that contains six layers,” Courchesne said. “We discovered focal patches of disrupted development of these cortical layers in the majority of children with autism.” Stoner created the first three-dimensional model visualizing brain locations where patches of cortex had failed to develop the normal cell-layering pattern.

“The most surprising finding was the similar early developmental pathology across nearly all of the autistic brains, especially given the diversity of symptoms in patients with autism, as well as the extremely complex genetics behind the disorder,” explained Lein.

During early brain development, each cortical layer develops its own specific types of brain cells, each with specific patterns of brain connectivity that perform unique and important roles in processing information. As a brain cell develops into a specific type in a specific layer with   specific connections, it acquires a distinct genetic signature or “marker” that can be observed.

The study found that in the brains of children with autism, key genetic markers were absent in brain cells in multiple layers. “This defect,” Courchesne said, “indicates that the crucial early developmental step of creating six distinct layers with specific types of brain cells – something that begins in prenatal life – had been disrupted.”

Equally important, said the scientists, these early developmental defects were present in focal patches of cortex, suggesting the defect is not uniform throughout the cortex. The brain regions most affected by focal patches of absent gene markers were the frontal and the temporal cortex, possibly illuminating why different functional systems are impacted across individuals with the disorder.

The frontal cortex is associated with higher-order brain function, such as complex communication and comprehension of social cues. The temporal cortex is associated with language. The disruptions of frontal and temporal cortical layers seen in the study may underlie symptoms most often displayed in autistic spectrum disorders. The visual cortex – an area of the brain associated with perception that tends to be spared in autism – displayed no abnormalities. 

“The fact that we were able to find these patches is remarkable, given that the cortex is roughly the size of the surface of a basketball, and we only examined pieces of tissue the size of a pencil eraser,” said Lein. “This suggests that these abnormalities are quite pervasive across the surface of the cortex.”

Data collected for the Allen Brain Atlas, as well as the BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain was developed by a consortium of partners and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. It allowed scientists to identify specific genes in the developing human brain that could be used as biomarkers for the different layer cell types.

Researching the origins of autism is challenging because it typically relies upon studying adult brains and attempting to extrapolate backwards. “In this case,” Lein noted, “we were able to study autistic and control cases at a young age, giving us a unique insight into how autism presents in the developing brain.”

“The finding that these defects occur in patches rather than across the entirety of cortex gives hope as well as insight about the nature of autism,” added Courchesne.

According to the scientists, such patchy defects, as opposed to uniform cortical pathology, may help explain why many toddlers with autism show clinical improvement with early treatment and over time. The findings support the idea that in children with autism the brain can sometimes rewire connections to circumvent early focal defects, raising hope that understanding these patches may eventually open new avenues to explore how that improvement occurs.

What I wish would happen as the result of autism research: Better and more focused treatment options and services for autistic people like me.

What will probably happen instead: increased pressure on people to have eugenic abortions.

Additionally, before anyone jumps in with the wrongheaded idea that I’m again abortions for anyone who needs one: no. I’m against stigma, ableism, misinformation, and the total lack of informed consent and abuses that go on in the medical community when prenatal testing for any disability becomes available, as has occurred with Down Syndrome:

Many women are unprepared to make prenatal decisions about fetuses diagnosed with Down Syndrome because of societal pressures to have “normal” children, a negative view of persons with disabilities by many in society, a fear of legal liability by those in the medical community, the lack of genuine informed consent before undergoing genetic testing and abortion, and the failure of non-directive pre-abortion counseling in the medical community.

Moreover, medical professionals fail to communicate correct and unbiased information before and during the genetic screening, diagnostic testing, and abortion decision-making process. This article addresses the contributing factors and causes that ultimately lead to a lack of informed consent and a very high abortion rate for fetuses diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

I’m not against increasing our knowledge; it’s the LACK of information I’m against. I think information like this will be used to try and prevent autistic people from existing instead of trying to help autistic people who are alive right now, and heavily stigmatized, abused, and murdered because we’re autistic.

This is huge news. I really hope this puts the cause of autism debate to rest and we can move on to using all the money researching that to supporting families and adults with autism. Supports are desperately needed.