I received a message from the contact for of my site regarding a challenge a manager was having with an autistic employee. The initial message follows:
"I am a supervisor and have a high functioning employee with "Asperger's". I am going to call her Sue in the message as I cannot use her real name. I cannot divulge that Sue is on the spectrum to my other employees who are constantly complaining about how Sue ignores them, doesn't pic up on social cues, talks "to them" not "with them", etc. Do you have any resources for me as a supervisor to 1) help my other employees accept Sue without my telling them she has autism. 2) have any resources I could give Sue to read that might give her instructions as how interact with the other employees. I have an adult son with Asbergers, so I am confident and comfortable interacting with Sue, and she is with me."
This is my initial reply to gather more details:
First you deserve major kudos for the effort you are taking to help Sue. The world would...
I had the chance to be a guest on the Beyond Tech Skills https://www.beyondtechskills.com podcast by Liron Amitzi and Jim Czuprynski. Interesting and unique podcast as the focus is everything in the tech world, except tech.
The full episode releases end of August 2022. As a teaser this post has a short excerpt in video form from the studio camera I had recording even though it was for a podcast.
Check out the podcast when it releases. Liron asked me a very interesting question. Growing up and living in Israel until a few years ago gave him an interesting insight which made me think autism and other neurodistinct conditions might best be looked at as their own unique culture. You will have to listen to the podcast for the details.
Judy Singer created the very useful concept of Neurodiversity. While I like and teach the neurodiversity concept I had a problem with the term neurodivergent. I have another post on my blog which gets into the details of why I created the term.
In this very short video Dr Ireland explains how the term Neurodistinct is a healthcare innovation. Listen to her explain.
Fate works in odd and mysterious ways. For a while I had been frustrated about having no clue about the impact my efforts in the adult autism world was having. Then I got an email which lead to a discussion. The outcome was Learning Tree is letting me build a neurodiversity course bases on my concepts and taking it mainstream into the tech and tech management space.
The course introduces neurodiversity and recognizes that among the neurodistinct it is not just autism. But the focus of the course is on the stereotypical tech geek that most autism at work programs focus on. I go far beyond "those people are this way" and into ways the autistic mind perceives, process, and thinks. Building on the foundation of understanding students are also give simple easy to implement tips which will improve their communication with everyone, not just the autistic.
While aimed at the tech department and tech management it is also a...
Jude Morrow shares his experience of being autistic from the lens of his childhood. Amazing insight into the real life experience of being autistic.
I've had long conversations with Jude. His ability to tell of his lived experience of autism in a way that is easy to relate to is incredible. While he does clearly explain how you can be a hero to an autistic child, an even bigger message is that being autistic is normal for us, not something to be squashed out of us.
If schools, providers, and parents all took the approach Jude recommends we would see a huge reduction in the employment challenges us autistics face. Building autistic adults who can function in the adult world starts by building confidence in what we can do well. Instead the medical community and well meaning, but misguided, neurotypical created and run community say we need to eliminate as many of these differences as we can so the child can have a normal life. Jude does an amazing job explaining that our...
A wonderful guest post by Tas Kronby. Check out their Bio at the end of the post.
Trigger Warning: fictional description of a medical appointment, mention of hospitalization, mistreatment by mental professionals, mention of mental health diagnosis terms ie. anxiety, suicidal ideations, depression. Discussion of autism and the lack of awareness in the medical field.
Imagine for a moment you walk into a doctors office seeking medical attention for pain in your shoulder. You stand in line, check in, and the nurse takes you back to the exam room. You sit down on the cold examination table and they begin to ask questions. Health questions, maybe some small talk here and there. Finally, it happens. The moment of dread hits you when they ask, "What is your diagnosis?"
Why is this so terrifying? Often, the lack of awareness from physicians and other healthcare professionals leads to problematic treatments, lack of treatments, or even being invalidated because you have a...
2020 has been a unique and unfortunately challenging year for much of the world. I know we are all dealing with different aspects of the unique events and especially COVID as it seems to be flaring up globally. I have had a little extra challenge from something many would consider the holy grail.
The company I was working for was acquired by Google and I am now a Google employee (AKA: Googler). Yes amazing opportunity and a culture of doing not talking. The challenge came from COVID-19. The day we moved to the Google payroll and became Googlers is the same day Google began their proactive efforts and canceled all none essential business travel, off-sites and other steps. Due to the size of the acquisition a lot of upper management effort was needed to fit an entire company into the organization and merge us into the Google processes and culture. Unfortunately this same people were suddenly busy on a huge range of efforts to keep the world connected and functioning as lockdowns...
Australian social scientist Judy Singer coined the word "neurodiversity" in her theses paper. It was a great advance in viewing the relationship of an individual with certain traits or group of traits to the to the larger group, the maker of societal norms. Her concept uses terminology which, while appropriate in the academic setting of her work, is hard to approach for the average person, confusing in how the items fits in the whole, does not align with how we speak of other human capability challenges, and uses a word that make groups of people sound bad. Judy's concept has created a movement of seeing people with distinctly different perceiving, processing, and thinking patterns as normal human variation, not as broken human needing to be fixed to be "normal".
In science, concept mature and develop as others add to the idea. This has happened with neurodiversity as it has moved from academic discussion to real life identities. As with much science, the academic body of...
So many terms surrounding autism are confusing to start with. Then different groups try to make the terminology theirs and another definition joins the fray. Because most of the definitions you find are written by people who study autism they are often quite different from a definition of the same thing as seen from the perspective of an autistic person living it. Sort of the difference between knowing the chicken crosses the street and knowing why the chicken crosses the street. To bring the perspective of an adult with Asperger's I created this set of definitions to start with. I have updated this post with more clear definitions and utilize the Neuro Cloud™ terminology of Neurodistinct to indicate individuals or groups that are clearly distinct from Neurotypicals.
Abbreviation for Autism Spectrum Disorder. In the USA and much of the world mental health conditions are defined and diagnosed with the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). In the...
Just a quick mini review of Jude Marrow's book "Why Does Daddy Look so Sad?" So far I have only skimmed it and read sections of random chapters. I am already so impressed I felt it worth sharing initial impressions and thoughts.
Jude is autistic with a presentation which previously would have been called Asperger's. As is common with many of us bright autistic boys, poor social grace and diminished ability to sense and interpret emotion lead to disruptive behavior and being branded a trouble maker in school. Jude had a very different experience than I did with a 30 year more advanced school system. While I continued being treated as a bright trouble maker, Jude was give extra support. This became something which in adulthood both helped and hurt in dealing with his own autism.
Links to purchase the book on Amazon:
Jude had an event which made him recognize the...