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Non-Fluid Speech and Autism

I am a speaking autistic woman. Even so, I rarely have fluid access to my speech. Often times I have in mind something I would like to discuss with a friend so as to get their thoughts and ideas on the topic, but even though I know what I want to discuss the words are not available as speaking words. Oh, I know the words – they are in my head – I just cannot get them to come out of my mouth at will.

This often poses difficulties for me. One example is when I am with my friends who I consider to be brilliant in the field of autism. Most of the time I am with them for a purpose so we have an already planned agenda with little time for novel thoughts and musings sorts of discussions. We are all busy people in our professional and in our personal lives. Rarely is there time to get together for no reason at all – the times when I am most able to get the ideas in my head out through my mouth in speaking words.

Because I talk – and I can talk a lot – people who do not know me well are unaware of this difficulty.

People can easily see movement difficulties that are physical such as when a person has difficulty getting through a doorway or get stuck in a repetitive movement. However, nobody can see when the movement difficulty is internal such as words that cannot come out as speaking words at the time you wish to say them (Endow, 2013).

Over the years I have come up with several strategies to encourage the speaking words out of my head. The reason I need several strategies to try is that I never know which one might work when and sometimes, even though I try all the strategies, I still have no success. Here are the three main strategies that sometimes work for me to get the ideas in my head to come out as speaking words:

  • Begin speaking any words. Sometimes this allows the words I really want to speak to hook onto the random words and thus be carried out of my head through my mouth as spoken words. When the strategy doesn’t work at least I get credit for “being social” – an area I can easily get “down graded” in if not putting forth effort.
  • Use a research article that has some aspect I can use as a launching pad. Some- times if I can start speaking about a research article related to my thoughts, the ideas in my head can hook onto this with corresponding words coming out of my mouth. When the strategy doesn’t work at least the conversation was about some new and interesting research.
  • Use written words. Sometimes if I write down the words I wish to speak, then, when I am with the person I want to have the conversation with, I can pop up the picture of the piece of paper I wrote the words on and by seeing this in my head I am able to “read” the words as a launching into the conversation I wish to initiate. When the strategy doesn’t work nobody can tell because they cannot see the picture in my head so I do not get “faulted” socially.

I wrote about this last strategy more than twenty years ago. It was first published as a poem in my first book Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers (Endow, 2006). A few years later this one written poem became the catalyst that allowed the words of an entire new book called Paper Words: Discovering and Living With My Autism (Endow, 2009b) to be written. Here is that poem. Notice the unusual spacing. The empty spaces represent the pause in time it takes, even when writing, for the next word to come in so I might write it down. As you read please contemplate how internal movement differences might impact autistic individuals you know.

Paper Words

Paper words
                can be heard
                              so speak up ink
                                             and say them!

Speaking words
                are burdensome;
                              they get her
                                             lost      and tangled.

When speaking        words
                 two people should
                              take their turns
                                             to say them.

Start words                now 
                 then stop                   and wait
                              and listen                   some
                                             adds up to conversation.

But,     starting words
                 and     stopping them;
                               and                 seeing faces

                 is much          too much
                              to keep track             of
                                              when having                conversation.

So,                  paper words
                 are much preferred.
                                Speak up ink;
                                               now say them!

Listen people
                 to the ink;
                                you won’t get
                                               lost or             tangled!

NOTE: This selection comes from the bookAutistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology.

BOOKS   BY JUDY ENDOW 

Endow, J. (2019).  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic NeurologyLancaster, PA: Judy Endow. 

Endow, J. (2012).  Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic Adult. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing. 

Endow, J. (2006).  Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press. 

Endow, J. (2013).  Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press. 

Endow, J. (2009).  Paper Words: Discovering and Living With My Autism. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing. 

Endow, J. (2009) . Outsmarting Explosive Behavior: A Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing. 

Endow, J. (2010).  Practical Solutions for Stabilizing Students With Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing. 

Myles, B. S., Endow, J., & Mayfield, M. (2013).  The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment.  Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing. 

Reading Comprehension, Perspective Taking, and an Autistic Solution

Is perspective taking important to reading comprehension? Of course it is! Understanding why characters are behaving in certain ways is crucial to comprehension. We also need to be able to understand that different characters have different perspectives and to be able to shift back and forth between characters and their particular perspectives. Because of this, in reading and in life in general, autistics are often admonished to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes.”

To say something like, “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” assumes a shared experience in the way we think and handle information. That is likely not the case when it comes to autistics, meaning that because their brains likely do not handle information in a neuromajority manner they do not share your experience. That is why understanding HOW autistics think is crucial to understanding how they can come to comprehend what they read or find their place in a multifaceted, fast paced world.

I am intimately acquainted with this admonition – “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” – because I have heard it all my life! In fact, growing up and during my adult years I have been scolded with this saying because I have not been able to put myself in someone else’s shoes. These scoldings never helped me gain this skill.

Coming to understand how my own brain handles information is what made the difference. Here is how I see it:

Why it doesn’t work for me to take your perspective:

As an autistic, it doesn’t work well for me to try to follow the admonition “put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” suggesting that if I do that I will somehow magically wind up understanding exactly how this other person thinks and feels. It seems to me this involves a multistep process.

Step One: To “put myself in someone else’s shoes” means I am supposed to think about how I would feel if I were in the same circumstance.

Step Two: It is assumed that once I think this through, I will have a similar feeling to the neuromajority person.

Step Three: It is thought that I will be able to act, based on my now similar feeling, in a way that will be much appreciated by the neuromajority person experiencing a given circumstance or difficulty.

Looking at these three steps, I am very able to accomplish Step One. I can think about how I would feel if I were in the same circumstance.

Step Two is where the problem comes in, because very often if I were in the same circumstance, because of my autistic thinking style, I would NOT wind up feeling the same way a neuromajority person feels.

Then, when looking at Step Three, yes, I am able to act on MY feelings, but it won’t work out well socially for me because MY feelings likely will NOT match the feelings of the neuromajority. So that is why it doesn’t work out for ME to TAKE your perspective.

Personal Example: Take for example the time I left the home of a friend without say- ing good-bye. We were done visiting, so I left.

Later, I found out my friend’s feelings were hurt because I hadn’t said good-bye; she wondered what she had said or done to deserve what she considered rude treatment. She guessed that she had somehow offended me.

None of this was true for me. I had simply left when the visit was over! No matter how much I think on this, I will never arrive at the same feelings as my friend. So, it will be of no benefit for me to try to put myself in her shoes.

However, I can come to understand how my friend thinks and feels about me leav- ing without saying goodbye and then respond based on her take of the situation, which I have learned to do. I always say goodbye when I leave now – not only with this friend, but with everybody (Endow, 2012)!

For most of my life, people have assumed that I am lacking because I have been unable to take their perspective. The truth is I can come to understand others’ perspective and act on this understanding even though I do not naturally take their perspective. In fact, as an autistic it is not necessary for me to actually TAKE the perspective of others! I only need to understand their perspective to enable me to act in a way that will be socially desirable.

This isn’t rocket science! The ways of the majority is assumed to be “right” and becomes a societal standard. Anyone who doesn’t measure up to the standard is assumed to be deviant or “wrong.” I don’t believe most people even think about this. They are not trying to be mean or in any way think or behave badly to autistics. Instead, it is merely an assumption most peo- ple act on without giving it any, or very little, thought (Endow, 2013).

Solution for Perspective Taking Based on Autistic Thinking Style:

As an autistic, I have learned that when I understand the “majority-is-right” assumption, I can make the necessary accommodations to fit more comfortably into the neuromajority world around me.

Rather than trying so hard to take someone else’s perspective – when that perspective is very foreign to me – what has worked very well for me is instead to try to understand the thinking style of a neuromajority person.

Also, I try to understand the way the feelings of neuromajorites are attached to their thinking because it is often different from mine and has to be accommodated for in order for me to fit more comfortably into the world around me.

To do this, I think of the neuromajority person and myself as characters in a play. This enables me to understand how to act in a compassionate manner based on someone else’s perspective without having to figure out how to take that perspective as my own – something I am not able to do simply because my brain does not seem to work in the same way as the brains of neuromajority people’s brains work.

I understand that thinking elicits feelings and that most neuromajority individuals think in similar ways and that this, in turn, leads to shared feelings. However, because I don’t always share this experience, I have had to figure it out another way.

I can NOT understand by simply putting myself in others’ shoes because even though I could and did put myself in their shoes, my neurology would not allow me to arrive at the same conclusion of a shared feeling.

Instead, I have learned to fast-forward the (current life situation) AS IF it is a play. That way I can see in my head the various ways people might come to look as the scene plays out. I can work out the effects of various words and actions on the characters in the play I have running in my head. Fast-forwarding allows me to act in a way considered “appropriate” without having to understand what the characters are feeling and why.

The amazing thing is that the more I act in a way that makes scenes come out favorably, the easier it is to pull it up again at a future time. In addition, after I acted “right” several times, I could anticipate the responses of others, and it was this anticipation that allowed me a soft feeling of my own – of wanting to relate to and be a part of making the scene come out nicely for all!

It is important for autistics to learn how to take a perspective other than their own according to how it works for their autistic neurology. This, in turn, will lead to increased ability to comprehend written materials where different perspectives are discussed.

BOOKS   BY JUDY ENDOW

Endow, J. (2019). Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology.Lancaster, PA: Judy Endow.

Endow, J. (2012). Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic Adult.Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2006). Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2013). Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2009). Paper Words: Discovering and Living With My Autism. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2009). Outsmarting Explosive Behavior: A Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2010). Practical Solutions for Stabilizing Students With Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go.Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Myles, B. S., Endow, J., & Mayfield, M. (2013). The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment.  Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Murdering Autistics is WRONG

It happened again. An autistic was murdered by his mother. His name was Alejandro and he was 9 years old. The news media shares story as if the story is about Alejanro’s mother and not about him. For some reason, in our warped culture, being autistic  means you don’t count – you are not considered human being enough to count even after someone tries to murder you! In fact, you will likely not even be part of the story after the first few sentences. The story quickly becomes one of excuses for the mother or caregiver who murders the autistic.

At our core, as a society, we hold the belief that a disabled person is better off dead. We don’t actually talk about this belief, but it is what is underneath when so many can read the story and agree with and sympathize with the murderer. In no other murder scenario do we do this – sympathize with the murder and blame lack of services. Disabled people are construed as a burden to their families and are even thought to be the fault of their own murders! Sympathy starts pouring in for the poor murderer who had no choice and who, in fact, did what any one else would be driven to do under the same circumstances is what we are told by news stories and social media commenters.

WRONG

WRONG

WRONG

There are ever so many things wrong with this story line we see repeated about the “unfortunate tragedy” due to the “lack of services” for the family of an autistic person, while writing out the actual autistic person who was in fact murdered or had an attempt of murder carried out against her.

Here are some facts the news reports do not tell us:

1.  Autistic people are human beings. Human beings do not deserve to be murdered. PERIOD. NO ifs, ands or buts.

2.  Autistic people’s lives are not worth less than other people’s lives.

3.  Autistic people do NOT cause their caregivers to murder them.

4.  Lack of services is not a reason for murder.

5.  If you are a parent or caregiver and feel the only way out is to murder your child you are in crisis. Call a crisis line. Your child may be removed from your care temporarily. Foster care isn’t great, but it will keep your child alive while your crisis state can be addressed.

I know by writing this I will have many parents of autistic children jump all over me saying all the usual things they say. So, I will tell you a bit about me ahead of time.

I was “severe” enough as a child to be institutionalized. As a teen I lived in two foster care arrangements that were not appropriate for an autistic teen. One was a group home for mentally retarded adults (that word was not a bad word at the time) even though I was neither mentally retarded or an adult. The other was a group home for delinquent teens; I was a teen, but not delinquent.

It took me a long time to grow up, but I did grow up. As a parent I was told my autistic son  had failed all the services my county and state had to offer and that I should call the police when he became violent.

I foster parented a severely autistic teen for a short time. I went to college. I got a master’s degree in social work. I worked in clinical settings. Eventually, I limited my practice to autism. Today I have my own business. I am an author, consultant, artist and international speaker on autism topics.

I write all this about myself because, nearing retirement, I have experienced all sides of this many-faceted story. I know how it feels to be the victim, the mother, the caregiver and the social worker.  I understand foster care from the angle of the kid in the system, the foster parent and the social worker. And I can tell you that at the end of the day no matter how I look it I know this:

IT IS WRONG TO MURDER YOUR AUTISTIC CHILD.

If murder is looking like a solution to you it means you are near the breaking point and need help. Call your local crisis center and say these words, “I am thinking about murdering my autistic child and here is how I would do it.” Then tell them your plan. If you do not have a local crisis hot line go to the nearest hospital emergency room and say the same words. It is not a perfect solution. It is a crisis solution, but will ensure you get someone to help you in the moment because murder is not a solution to your problem.

Here is the link to the original news story from the weekend.

Image may contain: outdoor, water and nature

Photo Caption: Duck family by the side of a waterway on a sunny day.

BOOKS   BY JUDY ENDOW

Endow, J. (2019).  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. Lancaster, PA: Judy Endow.

Endow, J. (2012). Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic AdultShawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2006).  Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2013).  Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2009).  Paper Words: Discovering and Living With My Autism. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2009).  Outsmarting Explosive Behavior: A Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals With Autism Spectrum DisordersShawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2010).  Practical Solutions for Stabilizing Students With Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go.Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Myles, B. S., Endow, J., & Mayfield, M. (2013).  The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

The Autistic Experience of Wanting a Friend

In my experience of working with countless autistics over time I know that most of them express the longing for having a friend. They simply don’t know how to make that work. More specifically, they don’t know how to make conversation work for them to be able to participate in the social fabric of life.

Our society uses the medium of conversation for social participation. Through social participation most individuals discover an array of people, some of whom they wish to have as friends. For autistic individuals this often does not happen without lots of support.

Over time many social skills have been directly taught to individuals with autism. We then moved to teaching social understanding rather than individual social skills. We have developed lots of strategies such as cartooning, teaching hidden curriculum, social mapping and social narratives. While these strategies are helpful ways to deliver social information that autistics don’t automatically pick up, still autistics most often go away not having the skills and abilities to use conversation to make friends.

Assigned Friends Outcome

I was taught to say, “Thank you for being my friend.”
So I say it.
I was told to smile like I mean it.

So I smile.

I know I am supposed to feel grateful
That you are my friend
That you took the class
On how to be a peer mentor to me –

The good friends way –
A pal for six weeks
You have been defined

You are a good person
For giving up your spot
At the popular kids’ lunch table

To earn the community service hours
You need for graduation
By eating lunch with me,
By being my assigned friend.

I ask, “Do you know Jerry Lewis?”
Because I think you would like him

I think you are a modern day Jerry Lewis –
A Good Samaritan who calls himself friend.

You don’t have a telethon on TV,
But you have the Jerry Lewis Telethon
In you heart
Imparted by Mrs. Jones in her Good Friends Program.

You are a good person.
You are a trained Good Samaritan now called “friend.”

Definition of Good Samaritan
“A person who gratuitously gives help or sympathy to those in distress.”
Says dictionary.com

Next month you will get your community service credit.
Your lifelong attitude about people like me
Will have been shaped

Because the peer mentoring training
Has passed on to you
Society’s adoption of Jerry Lewis’ ideas about me –
A person in need of sympathy
And a person in distress
Only because I am me – an autistic

We have become fake friends
For six weeks –
A Mrs.-Jones-Good-Friends-Program-success!

Your benevolence
 My neediness
Having been defined

With a line drawn between us
Our two groups separated
Defined, distinct, different from each other –
Society’s wisdom at categorization…

When it is over
We say our goodbyes

And like I was taught I say, “Thank you for being my friend.”

And I remember I am meant
To smile like I mean it.
So I smile.

Goodbye peer mentor –
My assigned pal
From Mrs. Jones Good Friends Program.

You go on to your next project
I wait for my next assigned friend to eat lunch with
Both of us having been marked by the experience

Unbeknownst to Mrs. Jones and to us –
The indelible ink of societal attitudes
Wrote messages on both our hearts
Confirming my place in your world…

That it is indeed YOUR world
And thus, your right
To continually put me in my place

For which I am meant to say,
“Thank you for being my friend.”
And to smile like I mean it.

And this status quo could march on and on EXCEPT

Yesterday I stopped smiling
And for all the rest of my todays

I will no longer say
“Thank you for being my friend.”
Even though I know I am meant to.

Today autistics and those who work with them have an opportunity to use the strategies out- lined in Talk with Me: A Step-by-Step Framework for Teaching Conversational Balance and Fluency (Mataya, Aspy, & Schaffer, 2017). Implementation of this program goes way beyond teaching and practicing elements of conversation. Autistics have been able to develop critical mass (Myles, Aspy, Mataya, & Schaffer, 2018) in conversational fluency. Several individuals I know have gone on to be able to use the medium of conversation to allow them to develop friendships based on shared interests……(to continue reading please see  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. )

Photo shows two large white eggs on the ground in a wooded area.

BOOKS   BY JUDY ENDOW

Endow, J. (2019).  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. Lancaster, PA: Judy Endow.

Endow, J. (2012). Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic AdultShawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2006).  Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2013).  Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2009).  Paper Words: Discovering and Living With My Autism. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2009).  Outsmarting Explosive Behavior: A Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals With Autism Spectrum DisordersShawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2010).  Practical Solutions for Stabilizing Students With Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go.Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Myles, B. S., Endow, J., & Mayfield, M. (2013).  The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

 

Autistic Cognitive Processing Differences

Over the past 20 years we have begun to realize that people with diagnosed with ASD have a different cognitive processing style. Professionals have looked at autistic people and by observing their behaviors have come up with at least three theories that together impact reading comprehension in students with autism. Here are those theories along with aspects of their basic definitions:

Central Coherence:

  • the brain’s ability to process multiple chunks of information in a global way
  • and viewing them in context
  • in order to determine a higher level of meaning

Executive Function:

  • the set of skills or abilities involved in organizing cognitive processes

Theory of Mind

  • ·  the ability to recognize the thoughts, beliefs and intentions of others
  • ·  to understand these are different from our own
  • ·  and to use this understanding to predict behavior (Carnahan & Williamson, 2010)

We can now look at these three theories and know that it isn’t all together true that autistic people are lacking in these areas, but instead their brains function differently than the brains of neuromajority individuals. It has been more helpful to me in my practice to figure out how the neurology of the individual I am working with actually handles information and how his automatic style of autistic thinking works. It hasn’t ever turned out to be helpful when I have tried to get individuals with autism to think and handle information in a neuromajority manner.

For many years I have ascertained that it isn’t that I, as an autistic, do not have theory of mind, but that instead, I do not have YOUR neuromajority Theory of Mind. When I am with other autistics I discover we share our own Theory of Mind. Our brains work similarly to one another and differently from yours. Simply put – we have a different operating system. Just like you cannot adopt my Theory of Mind, I cannot adopt yours.

Additionally, when it comes to theory of mind aspects of interoception now inform us that individuals whose sensory system is not giving them typical and reliable feedback do not have the physiological basis – feeling and understanding their own bodily sensations that are connected with their emotions – that is the prerequisite to being able to understand how the thoughts, beliefs, intentions and feelings of others might be different from their own (Mahler, 2018, Personal Communication). Understanding this difference allows us to go on to predict behavior of the characters in a novel and of people in the world around us.

Neuromajority Theory of Mind is based on a shared experience of the functional interoception body mind connection. When experiencing a sensory system that is not integrated, autistics struggle to access participation in this shared experience. Today we can use The Interoception Curriculum: A Step by Step Framework for Developing Mindful Self-Regulation (Mahler, 2019) to support a more functional body mind connection.

Likewise, much of executive function happens differently for autistic people. Previously in this book you have read a few examples of the storage systems of autistic individuals. These storage systems are examples of the rudiments of executive function for that person. It is the way their brain is organizing the information. Left to itself, it is has been my experience that initial styles of organizations, being literal and concrete and starting at a young age, are often outgrown as youngsters age. They simply acquire too much information for their early years storage system to serve them well. When we understand their system we can impact the size, functioning, speed of retrieval, etc. to make it more efficient. In addition we can use the typical supports all human beings use to stay on top of the many things we need to keep organized both in our internal thoughts and in our external lives as we go about our days.

Central coherence allows us to figure out why it is that characters in a novel or people in real life are acting the way they are acting. It requires the ability to process many individual chunks of information in the story or in the context of life, hold all those individual things in place and then match them to the context or backdrop of what else is going on in the story (or life) – all of this to then surmise a higher meaning.

As for myself I have had lots of trouble doing this over my life, but have learned along the way just how my brain does it. Additionally, I have learned how to best support my autistic style of thinking and manner of handling information to be able to comprehend what I read and much of the social aspects that living entails.

Point to Ponder:

I simply think differently than neuromajority people think. It is not an inferior way of thinking. It is just different. Even so, because autistics are measured according our deviation from the typical standard of normal our different ways are often assumed to be inferior or less than.

This is another example of why it is not helpful to think of autistic people in terms of their diagnosis. Because a diagnosis is based on deviation from accepted normal, an autism diagnosis shows a picture of what autistics ARE NOT and highlights what we CANNOT DO as compared to the majority normal. A diagnosis says nothing at all about the human beings we ARE or what we CAN DO.Our abilities and skills often remain unnoticed and untapped.

The majority of the people in the world do not possess our autistic skills and abilities. Because of this they do not notice them and really do not have a good way to understand them. This makes it nearly impossible for neuromajority folks to support autistic skill development in us. For example, if my way of thinking in the movement and sound of color had been understood by those around me and then supported over my growing up years I likely would have been able to produce paintings well before my 50’s (Endow, 2013).

Taken from  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. 

BOOKS   BY JUDY ENDOW

Endow, J. (2019).  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. Lancaster, PA: Judy Endow.

Endow, J. (2012). Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic AdultShawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2006).  Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2013).  Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2009).  Paper Words: Discovering and Living With My Autism. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2009).  Outsmarting Explosive Behavior: A Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals With Autism Spectrum DisordersShawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2010).  Practical Solutions for Stabilizing Students With Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go.Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Myles, B. S., Endow, J., & Mayfield, M. (2013).  The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.