Understanding behaviors that support functioning of autistic people

Autism typical behaviors are often described as limited and restrictive. This enlightens quite well, how autism can appear to the outside completely different from what it feels inside. So far, I haven’t meet a single autistic person who would describe their autistic behaviors, beloved routines or order that brings them joy, this negatively. Clearly, what […]

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What makes ”neuropsychiatry-” terminology biased and misleading?

The term ”neuropsychiatry” is based on historical misunderstanding from a time when autism and other neurominorities were believed to be psychiatric conditions. Today, it fuels and keeps alive many harmful prejudices and misconceptions about neurominorities. Even so, it is still going on strong and is favored especially by neurotypical-identifying people when they discuss issues pertaining […]

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On suicide prevention day

Son lei ábi čábbodat Gáddeguoras gilddii Vahágis gáiddai fávlái iige gáddái boahtán šat. áhpi, go áhpi, áhpi. Olmmoš gal lea áhpi. Das ii geahči lea. Áhpi/ Sofia Jannok Today, 10.9., is suicide prevention day. Suicidality among autistic people is many times higher than in general population. According to research, factors increasing the risk further are […]

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Autism and the essence of bad behavior

“Autism does not justify bad behavior” -folk wisdom- “After learning, what makes them special, some people indulge in autism. Now I am allowed to be just as autistic as I am, and others must understand.” (A so-called autism expert in Helsingin Sanomat 3.5.2023, translation mine) Takes such as these have been flying around lately among […]

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If the love of your life were autistic…

This essay is my response to an offensive article published a few weeks ago in Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest newspaper. The original article was such a mixture of outdated and misleading information, prejudice, nentism and discrimination, that the term hate speech is quite fitting. In addition to publishing this essay, Kaiao contacted Finnish non-discrimination ombudsman’s […]

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Why autism should not be called a disability (for the time being)

”What’s wrong with seeing #Autism as a disability?” This is a good and common question! Many people, autists included, do identify as disabled and part of disabled community. They are not wrong, either -for one thing, autism traits and environments in which autistic people live vary a lot and it is only natural for lived […]

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Intense worlds within

When autistic people are not accused of being emotionless and “robotic” due to mistaking our quiet or unusual body language as lack of emotional capacity, we are often blamed as being “too much” in some way. Too intense. Too absorbed in our special interests. Too thorough in our exploration. Too passionate for the causes we […]

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Chaos taming itself

To be human is to struggle with troubling emotions. To be autistic is to sometimes struggle with strange emotions that are difficult to understand or put into words. Many people still seem to believe that autists do not experience emotions, or at least deep emotions. I believe this prejudice also explains in part dehumanization of […]

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In soft time

Takiwatanga*, the reality of autistic people, is a gentle world. In fact, it is so gentle that even time has a softness to it. Arrow of time exists here just like it does in neurotypical reality, as it originates from entropy. However, as far as current physics allows variations in experience of time, there appear […]

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Guest post: Autism Friendly Holiday Season

Time before holidays and holidays themselves can be stressful time even for neurotypical people. Autistic people feel this stress many times over. Autistic mother Riina Vallin compiled a list of good tips for autist friendly holidays. Each person and family are unique, but if something seems to cause trouble, the root cause is likely to […]

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