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Autism Affirming Resources

A collaboration project with Lisa Chapman, Speech and Language Therapist (@CommonSenseSLT) and resources from the Epic Autism Padlet hosted by Spectrum Gaming.

All resources can be found here in the Epic Autism Padlet

The original Twitter / X thread

The original FaceBook thread

You can download a free copy of the calendar here. 

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Resources from Beacon House Therapeutic Services and Trauma Team


Developed by Dan Hughes PACE stands for Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity & Empathy, all essential to create feelings of connectedness and safety.

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Acceptance & identity are incredibly important for wellbeing

A focus on Acceptance building on from yesterdays PACE resource & also part of the ABCs of Love = motto from Anna Freud National Autism Training Programme

Sharing this amazing video 'It's good to be me' created by the young people from Spectrum Gaming which is in the Epic Autism Affirming Padlet and also on YouTube 

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Following on with the theme of the ABCs of = motto from Anna Freud National Autism Training Programme.
A = Acceptance
B = Belonging
C = Connection

We are sharing this wonderful resource from Spectrum Gaming Epic padlet of autism affirming community resources from NeuroWild about the double empathy problem that can occur between autistic and non autistic people and how it is important that people have different communication styles and differences are not wrong.
Everyone needs to learn that 'communication is a 2 way street, be kind and learn about how others communicate and connect as this can help people feel accepted and foster a sense of belonging.
 

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EMPATHY

Showing empathy is key to reducing stigma, supporting wellbeing & ensuring everyone has a seat at the table

. This is about curiosity, not judging but listening, understanding by being with others & validating their experiences.

A great cartoon explaining the double empathy problem of how
"Being autistic often feels like being a cat in a world of dogs"
(developed byTzipporah Johnston - Embroiderer & Visual Artist for Neuk Collective ) 

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Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication

Great visual reminder in the resource by AssistiveWareAugmentative and Alternative Communication (#AAC) includes all forms of communication

Great visual reminder in the resource by AssistiveWare

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Stimming-an essential part of being autistic.

“Autistic adults highlighted the importance of stimming as an adaptive mechanism that helps them to soothe communicate intense emotions/thoughts"

Resources from the amazing Spectrum Gaming Epic Autism Padlet

"You are not broken"

and also StimPunks

 

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Spoon Theory by Miserandino explains how social & sensory energy is used.

A way to visualise energy levels, helps you plan your day & time around events.

Resource by Reachout ASC - Autism, ADHD & PDA Support

More great resources in Spectrum Gaming Epic Autism Padlet here:
 

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Passions/(Special) Interests (SpIns) are essential to autistic identity.

They are a way of sharing, caring, & connecting with others.

A place of safety, where autistic people of all ages can thrive & be their

authentic self

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Many autistic and neurodivergent people also have co-occuring physical health difficulties including EhlersDanlos syndrome/ joint hypermobility syndrome
(EDS & JHS) more support and accomodations may be needed.

Great resources SEDSConnective

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Autism+Environment=Outcome
(Luke Beardon, 2017)

Environments include physical, sensory, social & political factors.

The SPACE (Sensory, Predictability, Acceptance, Communication Empathy) acronym is useful in health & education developed by

Doherty, McCowen & Shaw (2023), Autistic SPACE: a novel framework for meeting the needs of autistic people in healthcare settings



 

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There are lots of different ways to learn about autism. One way is reading books written by autistic people. 

There is a great list here collated by Autistic Girls Network
 

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Neurodiversity =a biological fact.

It isn't something you can have/suffer from.

Accepting differences, being 'ND-informed' & avoiding deficit based approaches and thinking helps everyone & is everyone's business

Great resources from National Autism Implementation Team
(NAIT Scotland), Third Space

 

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Sensory & interoception differences (internal body sense) can make eating & food choices difficult for many autistic people.

Eating the same food can help people feel safer & reduce anxiety

Thinking Person's Guide to Autism article 'Rethining being a picky eater'

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The theory of monotropism was developed by autistic people (Murray, Lawson & Lesser, 2005), it helps explain inner autistic experiences & ways of thinking/ being. Understanding these concepts can help you navigate life and also find moments of joy.

Monotropic minds tend to have their attention pulled more strongly towards a small number of interests at any given time, leaving fewer resources for other processes. 

More information www.monotropism.org
 

 


 

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Autistic Play
Play may look different for autistic children & adults. All play is ok!

Play brings joy, a way of learning in an enjoyable meaningful way & also supports sensory regulation.

Lots of great info here from Kerry Murphy shared by Tapestry Online Learning Journal 

Also a great resource from Nanny Aut about Autistic Play

Stimpunks Autistic Play Page

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All different types of communication is valid. 

Find out more and discover lots of great resources to support autistic communication here. 

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Clothing choices are important for everyone, for autistic people there may be added and different things to think about due to sensory needs.

There’s often expectations at Christmas to dress up for parties. Often Christmas themed clothes are sparkly or fluffy and may be a sensory nightmare!

Sensory factorstexture, smell, colour, size. Preferences = personal and may change frequently.

To support wellbeing, listen to people’s needs & be flexible, especially with rules (uniform) and expectations for party clothes

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Gaming can be a ‘game-changer' for our autistic young people.

Building on Anna Freud National Autism Training Programme motto
Acceptance, Belonging, Connection

For many children gaming can be huge fun, giving energy (spoons) & a space to focus on other things (online school, creative tasks), a safe space to just 'be' and connect with others in a way that feels good and meaningful for them.

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Embracing authentic Autistic identity supports good mental health & enables
autistic people to thrive.

'Exploring Being Autistic with my Child'
A NEW FREE E-BOOK from AUsome Training

This is also great about understanding masking, stigma and autistic identity from Kieran Rose, The Autistic Advocate

 

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Christmas can be difficult for many people for many reasons. You may be feeling the complete opposite of joyful at the moment.

This post is about celebrating the little moments and glimmers that can be found within us and that can be created being with those we care for.

Moments of embracing a sensory experience of enjoying the Christmas lights, or watching (or joining in) with your child as they spin around to certain songs or sounds.

For me, Autistic Joy means:

Hyperfocus & being immersed in my attention tunnels,

Info-dumping (about autism!)

Penguin-pebbling 

Joy "over things which seem small to other people (but definitely aren’t!)", an individual, but often whole body experience.

More great shared blogs and resources about autistic joy here in the Epic Spectrum Gaming padlet
Including from @itsEmilyKaty

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Routines can reduce anxiety & are helpful for many autistic people to increase predictability & feelings of safety.

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“Autistic people can struggle with their autism diagnosis, and we wanted to make a video about it... This video was created by Spectrum Gaming community members for the Greater Manchester #BeeWell initiative” 


A wonderful video about the positives of being autistic by the Spectrum Gaming community.

“It’s good to be me” YouTube video

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