Vaccines and autism: The link that doesn’t exist

Mental Health @ Home

teddy bear with a syringe and vial

Chances are, you’ve heard the idea that vaccines can cause autism.  This notion is championed by various organizations and individuals, one of the most prominent being actress Jenny McCarthy, whose son was diagnosed with autism at age 2.  She has an autism-related organization called Generation Rescue, and on its website is a guide to vaccine safety.  I was a bit surprised by how relatively toned down it was, but I got  more along the lines of what I expected with one of the places it directed people to go to for more information, the National Vaccine Information Center.  It includes a “cry for vaccine freedom wall” and a “vaccine victim memorial”.  They have a MedAlerts database of people’s reported adverse reactions to vaccines, and a search for autism spectrum disorder yields 391 case reports.  One thing that struck me as interesting was the seemingly random grab bag of multiple…

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Autism and toxic friendships and relationships

YennPurkis

This week I said goodbye to a friend I had known for a long time. I sent her a message explaining why I needed to distance myself and was blocking her. It was a very hard thing to do but it had become apparent that our relationship was not based on mutual respect and that she had become a toxic presence in my life. I did not do this lightly but it got to a point of no return. I won’t go into detail because this post isn’t really about my friendship. It is about understanding, identifying and managing toxic friendships and relationships for autistic people generally.

Autistic people can have significant challenges around managing toxic friendships. A friendship may start out toxic or become that way over time. For people who may be isolated and lonely, the offer of friendship can be a welcome thing and it may be…

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Welcoming Accessibility

This! This would make it so much easier to go out into the world…

Autism and Expectations

I am aware of my autism. Sounds are grating, they twang through my ears like over-extended elastic bands, and I wait for them to snap and hit me.

I have things to plan, and I am putting off planning them so that I don’t miss out on what is actually happening now. I don’t want to spend my time in a continuous cycle of minute detail, data analysis, and variable controlling, instead of living.

People are aware of my autism, I have had two such examples of adjustments given to me in the past week. Both were thorough and thoughtful and considered, one was unsought.

Can you guess which weighed less heavily upon me? There is something about listing your deficits to strangers, that is unsurprisingly horrible.

I hate having to say that I find things hard, I hate having to point out what I need to make things easier…

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Monday update of crafty meanderings

This is some of what I’ve been creating this week…

I found a mandala that had been started quite sometime ago and was about a quarter towards completion, so I finished it. I made the pattern up as I went along…

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As I enjoyed it so much I thought I needed to expand my skills so I purchased this…

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It’s published by Interweave Press so I knew it would be good.  As soon as it arrived I hooked up this one…

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I started and finished a pair of socks. Go me!…

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Eleonora continues to beaver away over at Coastal Crochet blog designing new rows for us each week. Here’s my blankets with their latest rows added…

There’s a couple of other items that I haven’t managed to work on this week. I have been spinning and I’m about halfway through a 350 gram bag mix of merino and silk from John Arbon Textiles. I can’t get the colour right but here it is thus far…

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I’m struggling at the moment and I’m not sure how to put it into words. It’s a lot of things and most of it underpinned by lack of self worth. I’m also affected by a lack of understanding by a person this week of the limitations of my sensory processing disorder. The person does not read my blog.

I’m letting you know as I sense myself withdrawing into myself even more than usual. I think it might help me to acknowledge this.

So that’s it for now. Thanks so much for dropping by ❤

Solitude

Blue Sky Days 365

I am alone but not alone
my eyes see no one
my ears, aware only
of birdsong
through my open window
yet voices speak within, their words
a jumble of sound

I am alone but not alone
as people walk by
absorbed in activity
their faces animated
talking, alive
mothers, daughters, fathers, sons
longing for belonging

I am alone but not alone
family, friends, acquaintances
they say they care
they say they’re there
compassion and empathy
willingly given, yet
lacking understanding

I am alone but not alone
in social situations, my body
there, yet my mind
emotionally distant
engagement minimal
awkward conversation
stilted, I fall quiet

I am alone but not alone
remain inside my walls
a physical barrier
like the walls
in my mind
keeping me safe, keeping you out
only my thoughts for company

KH 13.02.2018

Image: Solitude and the Sea, a theme by Jacques Bodin

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‘Just keep away from them’ – Saying ‘NO’ to victim-blaming

YennPurkis

I give a lot of presentations about autism and resilience. Right after the slide about what resilience is, I always add one about what resilience is NOT. There is a reason for this. One of the first presentations I gave about autism and resilience was at a large conference in Queensland a few years ago. Many of the attendees were parents of autistic kids. My resilience talk was in the big theatre and I was on quite a high stage. The whole way through my talk I noticed a woman in the second row on my right. I could tell she wanted to ask a question. I expected her to interject – she clearly had something important to say. As soon as I finished speaking and it was time for questions her hand went straight up. I gestured to her to speak and told me she had enjoyed my presentation…

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