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RESOURCES

Click on any of the green links in the bulleted list below to be taken down to that section of this resources webpage. Under each section you will find a series of purple links to the resources. If you would like for me to add any additional resources, simply provide me with the resource's name and/or URL link in the "Let's Work Together" contact form at the bottom of this page.

First Steps in Your Neurodivergent Affirming Journey

First Steps in Your Neurodivergent Affirming Journey

Embrace Autism 

This website offers a number of evidence-based questionnaires that may be beneficial as you begin to explore your Autistic experience. I am happy to go through each of these questionnaires with you and review the results. Please note that this is not a formal assessment.

"Seeking an Autism Diagnosis? Here’s Why You Might Want to Rethink That" by Devon Price, PhD

If you are considering pursuing a formal diagnosis, please be aware of some difficulties in doing so. I can talk further about this during a therapy session if you would like to do so.

Directory of Specialists Diagnosing Autism in Adults by NeuroClastic

If you wish to pursue a formal diagnosis, this is a list of neurodiversity affirming clinicians who are able to provide you with one. Please note that, within the Autistic community, diagnosis does not have to be a formal process. Your lived experience is valid. Moreover, formal diagnosis can be both expensive and riddled with difficulties. Please see Dr. Devon Price's article linked above for further information on this topic.

Start Here! – Aucademy

This webpage offers great videos and neurodiversity affirming information created by Autistic educators.

Autistic Science Person – Resources

This website offers many links to introductory resources about autism.

Theories about Autistic Experience – Aucademy

There are many theories out there about autism, some of them are misguided myths. This webpage offers an in-depth review of autism theories and debunks a number of these myths and poorly conducted research.

I’m Autistic, Now What??? – Dr. Christine Henry

Dr. Henry's blog entry discusses the multiple topics that often need to be processed in therapy as you take your first steps in understanding your authentic Autistic self.

Matt Lowry LPP – Meme gallery

This fun gallery contains a number of great graphical representations of autistic traits, which indicate that autism goes well beyond what is written in the DSM-5-TR.

The Inside of Autism - The Autistic Advocate

This year long membership provides access to an incredible amount of information about autism through both video seminars and print resources. In addition, members are able to participate by Zoom in a monthly question and answer session focused on topics addressed in the video seminars.
 

An Introduction to the Double Empathy Problem – The Autistic Advocate Kieran Rose

The Autistic communication style differs from that of the allistic (non-Autistic) communication style. This can sometimes cause misunderstandings with others. Therapy often allows you to process these misunderstandings without engaging in masking.

Books, Blogs, Podcasts, Social Media, and Videos

Books Blogs Social Media

Not an Autism Mom – Books

This website provides an extensive list of books on autism and neurodiversity.

 

Talking to Young People About Autism

This incredibly helpful resource offers an overall understanding of the type of language and ideas that we can use to discuss autism with young people. But, if you scroll down, it also offers links of autistic people to follow on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

Onward and Upwards Psychology (located in Australia) – Resources

Here you can find books for children and adults including LGBTQIA+ materials, podcasts, videos, clinical skill resources for therapists, and workshops.

Autism Inclusivity (Facebook Group for Parents/Caregivers)

This Facebook groups offers parents and caregivers of autistic children the opportunity to ask questions of autistic adults. The group centers autistic voices in order to provide a window of understanding of and a greater level of support for young autistic people.

LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC Resources

LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC Resources

Autistic Gender & Sexual Divergence Resources by Aucademy

This resource provides several wonderful links that further discuss the many intersections between the LGBTQIA+ and Autistic communities. 
 

Autistic Black/Indigenous/People of Color & Latinx Advocates to Follow

This Facebook post of BIPOC advocates was compiled by Jules Edwards, who is an Anishinaabe woman from Onigamiinsing (Little Portage), and is known online as "Autistic, Typing".

Identity-First Language

Identity-First Language

Neuroqueer – Neurodiversity Affirming Language

Dr. Nick Walker's (she/her) work on neurodiversity and neuroqueer theory has allowed her to provide a wonderful guide to the meaning and use of neurodiversity affirming language.
 

Identity-First Language - ASAN

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network's website provides a concise view behind the importance of identity-first language.

 

A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell…of Stigma (or, the Psychologically Important Difference between Being a “Person with Autism” or an Autistic Person)

Dr. Chloe Farahar discusses identity-first language as a key factor in reducing stigma and encouraging Autistic individuals to be their authentic selves.

Does Language Matter? Identity-First Versus Person-First Language Use in Autism Research: A Response to Vivanti

In this article by Botha, Hanlon, and Williams (2021) the authors discuss "how we talk about autism in research ought to follow the guidance of autistic people themselves."

Avoiding Ableist Language: Suggestions for Autism Researchers (2021)

This article addresses ableist language in research and provides alternatives to current terms used in the literature.

Anti-Ableist Language is Fully Compatible with High-Quality Autism Research: Response to Singer
This response to the work of Singer et al. (2022) argues that the language used by the Autistic community not only better addresses the lived experience of Autistic people but that it is more scientifically precise than research that uses stigmatizing language.

Autistic Masking and Autistic Burnout

Autistic Masking and Autistic Burnout

Autistic Masking and Autistic Burnout
Kieran Rose (also known as The Autistic Advocate) is an expert in the area of autistic masking and autistic burnout. This webpage discusses the concerns and includes links to videos, trainings, and research in this area.

An Autistic Burnout

This blog entry by Kieran Rose (also known as The Autistic Advocate) describes the nature of autistic burnout, provides a list of autistic burnout warning signs (and how they can be confused with depression), as well as a personal narrative of his experience with autistic burnout.

The Autistic Burnout Symptom Checklist (ABSC)
Dr. Alice Nicholls has created a list containing common areas affected by autistic burnout. Additional materials may also be found in the blogs located on the website of Dr. Nicholls

Supporting Pupils through Autistic Burnout (Teacher Guide)

This teacher's guide provides an overview of the nature of autistic burnout in children and provides concrete steps to support students in an academic setting.

Autistic Burnout – Clinician's Version

Dr. Megan Anna Neff has created a workbook that clinicians can purchase to use with their clients to further discuss autistic burnout.

Autistic Burnout Guide and Worksheets – Personal Client Version 
Dr. Megan Anna Neff has also created an autistic burnout workbook for clients to purchase.

Towards the Measurement of Autistic Burnout
Arnold et al (2023) created the Autistic Burnout Measure questionnaire in order to provide an assessment tool for autistic burnout. 

Sensory Awarenss

Sensory Awareness

Pearson Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile

This assessment explores the way that you process sensory input. When I explore this with you, we can better understand whether you are sensory seeking or avoidant and how you can make your environment work for you.

The Regulator 2.0 – Autism Level UP!

This assessment addresses how various types of sensory input affect level of energy and enjoyment. This will allow you to find ways to self-regulate in the moment.

Exploring Interoception and Alexithymia: How Are the Two Linked?

This resource defines both alexithymia (difficulty identifying and expressing emotions) and interoception (perception of the internal body state) as well as offering videos, tips, and resources about the connection between them.

Parent/Caregiver and Teen Resouces

Parent/Caregiver and Teen Resources

Five Helpful Tips for Explaining Autism to Kids and Teens, According to Autism-Affirming Experts
This Cassandra Miasnikov article addresses the concerns many caregivers may have about telling kids and teens about autism.

Talking to Young People About Autism

This incredibly helpful resource offers an overall understanding of the type of language and ideas that we can use to discuss autism with young people. In addition, it offers links of autistic people to follow on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

A Parent's Introductory Guide to Neurodiversity-Aligned Therapy and Educational Practices for Autistic Children

This guide for caregivers by Emily Harvey covers several important areas about neurodiversity, autism, the abusive techniques inherent in applied behavioral analysis (ABA), and how to advocate for Autistic children.

Parenting Your Autistic Child Course by AUsome

These courses, developed and presented by Autistic people, offer multiple opportunities to increase one's knowledge about autism and create a neurodiversity-affirming environment for children.

Neurodiversity, Autism and the Joy of Parenting Differently Wired Children Workshop

Reframing Autism provides several workshops that assist caregivers with supporting Autistic children's well-being through patience, empathy, and respect.

Sincerely, Your Autistic Child

Written by multiple Autistic writers, this book offers caregivers information on how to avoid common mistakes and ways to overcome difficult challenges.

 

Supporting Pupils through Autistic Burnout (Teacher Guide)

This teacher's guide provides an overview of the nature of autistic burnout in children and provides concrete steps to support students in an academic setting.

Start Here! – Aucademy

This webpage, created by Autistic educators, offers a huge number of videos and an extensive list of links to neurodiversity affirming information about autism. 


An Advocate’s Guidebook for Caregivers of Autistic Kids

This guide offers several answers to important questions regarding autism, therapy options, and information about academic accommodations and modifications. 

Autistic Science Person – Resources

This website offers many links to introductory resources for caregivers who are new to autism and information about how Autistic people experience the world.


The Great Big ABA Opposition Resource List

The scientific literature and the lived experience of Autistic people demonstrates the traumatic harm that can come from the use of applied behavioral analysis techniques. This website provides an in-depth look at the negative emotional and physical effects of ABA.

Autism Inclusivity (Facebook Group for Parents/Caregivers)

This Facebook groups offers parents and caregivers of autistic children the opportunity to ask questions of autistic adults. The group centers autistic voices in order to provide a window of understanding of and a greater level of support for young autistic people.

Neurodiversity & the Nervous System A Six-Week Workshop Series for Parents of Sensory NDs

This six-week workshop, provided by The Art of Self-Healing Center, engages caregivers in exploring the Autistic nervous system and strategies that can be used at home to address sensory challenges.

ABA is Ineffective and Detrimental

ABA is Ineffective and Detrimental

Research Review Demonstrates ABA is Ineffective, Ethically Problematic, and Emotionally Harmful

This whitepaper reviews the current research literature as of 2021 and demonstrates ABA’s ineffective nature, its ethically dubious foundations and current applications, as well as the emotionally harmful results from its use. Autistic Self Advocacy Network (2021). For Whose Benefit? Evidence, Ethics, and Effectiveness of Autism Interventions, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, https://autisticadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/ACWP-Ethics-of-Intervention.pdf. 

Largest Scale Study Conducted to Date Demonstrates that ABA is Ineffective for Autistic Clients

The largest scale study conducted to date demonstrates the lack of effectiveness of ABA. The largest study on the lack of effectiveness of ABA was conducted by the US Department of defense as part of its TRICARE system. 

APA Meta-Analysis Shows No Effectiveness for ABA in RCT Designs with No Risk of Detection Bias
Sandbank, M., Bottema-Beutel, K., Crowley, S., Cassidy, M., Dunham, K., Feldman, J. I., Crank, J., Albarran, S. A., Raj, S., Mahbub, P., & Woynaroski, T. G. (2020). Project AIM: Autism intervention meta-analysis for studies of young children. Psychological Bulletin, 146(1), 1–29.

ABA’s Use with Non-Speaking and Higher Support Needs Clients Has No Research Support
Sandoval-Norton, A., Shkedy, G., Shkedy, D. (2019). How much compliance is too much compliance: Is long-term ABA therapy abuse? Cogent Psychology. 6:1641258.

ABA Has a Detrimental Impact

McGill, O., & Robinson, A. (2020). “Recalling hidden harms”: autistic experiences of childhood applied behavioural analysis (ABA).

Autism Assessments and Considerations

Autism Assessments and Considerations

A Formal Diagnosis is Not Always Needed

As always, please remember that you do not need a formal diagnosis to join the autistic community. Self-diagnosis is considered to be absolutely valid and your lived experience matters as much as a formal diagnosis. If all you are seeking is self-knowledge, you may even enjoy taking the assessments discussed above or additional assessments available at the Embrace Autism website. 

 

Considerations Involved in Receiving a Formal Diagnosis

However, if you are considering pursuing a formal diagnosis, please be aware of some difficulties and benefits involved in that process. I can talk further about this during a therapy session if you would like to do so. You can also find a great discussion of these considerations in Dr. Devin Price's article, "Seeking an Autism Diagnosis? Here’s Why You Might Want to Rethink That."

 

Reasons to not pursue a formal diagnosis include:

  • The usual expense involved in comprehensive assessments.

  • A clinician's inability to assess adults in general and individuals from marginalized communities specifically.

  • The lack of access to beneficial mental health interventions.

  • Potential restrictions on receiving gender identity affirming care.

  • The inability to immigrate or become a citizen in some countries.

  • The loss of legal autonomy through court-appointed guardianships and conservatorships.

  • The loss of parental and reproductive rights.

  • The potential denial of organ transplants.

  • The rationing of medical care to autistic individuals.

  • The placement of non-consensual DNRs (do not resuscitate) orders into a patients medical record without their knowledge and/or consent.

  • The detrimental effects of being perceived as less competent by doctors, school officials, and employers.

  • The increased risk of discrimination against autistic individuals.

  • The potential for others to dismiss the validity of an autism diagnosis. 

Reasons to pursue a formal diagnosis include:

  • Greater knowledge of one's lived experience.

  • A better understanding of factors that: positively influence mental health; facilitate resilience; increase ability to develop coping mechanisms; improve distress tolerance; and reduce meltdowns, shutdowns, and autistic burnout.

  • The possibility for receiving functional accommodations at work and/or school.

  • The ability to receive alternative medical treatments (for example, a medical marijuana card).

  • The greater likelihood of prevailing in legal action based on discrimination by an employer, landlord, or business (which, of course, also depends on your financial resources, evidence, and energy available to initiate and/or pursue the legal action).

  • Increased access to government benefits (for example, SSDI).

  • The opportunity to take disability leave at school and or work.

  • Access to accommodations in a work and/or school environment.

 

Differential Diagnosis Concerns

When engaging in the process of diagnosis, I find that it is important for clinicians to understand the expansive view of the nature of autism in general. The key factor here is that clinicians might unknowingly interpret autism traits as being part of the clinical picture of other differential diagnoses. To better understand the differential diagnosis between neurodiversity traits and other diagnoses, please visit Dr. Neff's Misdiagnosis Monday website.

MIGDAS-2 (Monteiro Interview Guidelines for Diagnosing the Autism Spectrum)

Many clinicians who are autistic (like me) believe that, while the ADOS-2 (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - 2nd Edition) is often required by entities that provide benefits or accommodations to clients, it is actually the MIGDAS-2 (Monteiro Interview Guidelines for Diagnosing the Autism Spectrum) that is the most neurodivergent affirming assessment.

Pearson Sensory Profile

It is often helpful to use a Pearson Sensory Profile, not just by answering the questions but by digging deeper through follow-up questions that address the reasoning behind the sensory sensitivities. Exploring the day-to-day sensory difficulties of autistic individuals allows for opportunities to reduce meltdowns, shutdowns, and autistic burnout. An Adolescent/Adult Version and the Birth to 14-Years-Old Version are both available. 

CAT-Q (Camouflaging Autistic Traits Questionnaire)

One key factor in diagnosis is the internalizing vs externalizing presentations of autism and the key concerns involved in camouflaging, also known as masking. Some researchers try to define presentations according to the sex that a person was assigned at birth, but that is a reductive presumption that is not based adequately on either research data or lived experience. Thus, a very important assessment to include for adolescents and adults is the CAT-Q, as it addresses the masked presentation of autism.

RAADS-R (Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale–Revised)

The RAADS-R is especially important, as according to the website Embrace Autism it is "designed to identify adult autistics who 'escape diagnosis' due to a subclinical level presentation."

SAAT (Self-Assessment of Autistic Traits)

There is a recent (March 13, 2023) clinical self-report measure of autistic traits as described by autistic people called the SAAT. The article detailing this assessment is called "Centering the Inner Experience of Autism: Development of the Self-Assessment of Autistic Traits" by Ratto et al. The assessment itself can also be downloaded.​

Training for Therapists

Training for Therapists

The Inside of Autism - The Autistic Advocate

This year long membership provides access to an incredible amount of information about autism through both video on demand seminars and print resources. In addition, members are able to participate in live Zoom question and answer sessions every month that are focused on topics addressed in the video seminars.

Mental Health Therapy with the Autistic Client

This 30-hour training covers autistic mental health and wellness, the history of autism and its criteria formation in the DSM, the fundamental framework in initials sessions with autistic clients, diagnostic checklist of autistic traits, common co-occurring conditions, adapting evidence-based modalities, and implementing the therapeutic plan.

Becoming a Neurodivergent-Informed Clinician: Understanding ADHD and Autism through a Strengths-Based, Neurodivergent-Affirming Lens

This six-week course provides an interactive opportunity to gain an overall awareness of autism and ADHD, as well as to further explore therapeutic interactions with Autistic and ADHDer clients. I would suggest that you sign up soon if you plan on taking this. They have quickly sold out of several earlier series dates and who knows how long the September to November 2023 training will be available.

 

Practitioner Certificate Training Course by AUsome

AUsome offers multiple training courses that are ideal for clinicians who wish to expand their understanding of autism and related. One of these is a Practitioner Certificate course that has 10 sessions over a six-month period from October 2023 to March 2024.

Demystifying The Autism Spectrum & Autistic People

This three-part webinar series, conducted by Matt Lowry and Maisie Soetantyo, discusses the nature of autism, Autistic identity, and support modalities over an Autistic person's lifespan. Video available following each session.

Neurodiversity and the Nervous System

This YouTube presentation by Phoenix Rising, LSW addresses neurodivergent traits, diagnostic considerations, nervous system responses and challenges, and therapeutic strategies.

Neurodiversity & the Nervous System – Six-Week Training for Mental Health Providers

This six-week training, offered by The Art of Self-Healing Center, provides clinicians with an understanding of neurodivergent traits, the nervous system's method of responding to perceived threats, sensory challenges, and solution-focused therapeutic strategies. An six-week consultation group is also available for an additional charge.

Interoception and Self-Regulation Trainings

Kelly Mahler is an expert in interoception and self-regulation. This website contains multiple training opportunities and materials for professionals, caregivers, and self-help.

Challenging Myths about Autism – What Assessors and Therapists Need to Know: Lessons from the Neurodiversity Movement

This video on demand training by Joel Schwartz, PhD provides an overview of neurodiversity-affirming theory and research on autism, as well as a better understanding of assessments and therapy with Autistic clients.

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