Special Episode: Interview with Steve Silberman

Autistic Flappy Hour Episode 2: Autistic PassingThis episode of Autistic Flappy Hour is a special edition: an interview with Steve Silberman (author of Neurotribes) by Laurine and Megan (guest co-host).

Special episode means special music! Sumita is a musician who is autistic, and she kindly agreed to let us use bits of her beautiful music.  They come from the album “Shapes and Ladders” – intro is from Magic Sheepskin Rug, stings are from Mr Dandylion, and the closing bit is from Shapes and Ladders.

Meeting Steve Silberman

Back in May, Laurine went to Norwich to watch a talk/discussion given by Steve Silberman, accompanied by autistic poet Joanne Limburg.

Meeting Steve Silberman was a great experience. He is a lovely person, and – important point for Laurine – he did not reach for a handshake. Laurine always feels very weird rejecting a handshake.

The Interview

In this interview, we talk about differences between the US and the UK as well as public perceptions of autism. We also touch on the subject of pop culture, and wonder what Steve would do the same and differently in hindsight. We close by discussing how the book could be used as a resource for young autistics, and mention the issue of translating Neurotribes into other languages.

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Get in touch

Episode 5 will be about autistic people who work in the field of autism. We also have an interview with Jon Adams in the works. In the meantime, please rate or review us on iTunes or get in touch by leaving a comment on this post, emailing us at flappyhourcast at gmail dot com or sending a message on one of our social media accounts listed below.

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Episode 4: Sensory Issues

Autistic Flappy Hour Episode 2: Autistic PassingAutistic Flappy Hour’s fourth episode is all about sensory issues. We also explain why we disappeared for so long, and discuss things that have made us flappy.

Flappy Things

Cisco was proud of an article he wrote about Autchat, and talked about recent chainmaille orders he has carried out. Laurine spoke about local advocacy she has been doing, and the positive experiences she has had with people who work for her council. Finally, Nat talked about Neurotribes and its impact – stay tuned for our next release, which will be an interview of Steve Silberman, the author.

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Discussion – Sensory Issues

Our main discussion was about sensory issues.

We discuss our own sensory issues, and define what we mean when we talk about sensory issues, as they are wider than the initial five senses you may think about. We then talk about oversensitivities and undersensitivities in more detail, before talking about sensory overload and our strategies to avoid it.

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Get in touch

Episode 5 will be about autistic people who work in the field of autism, but we will release a special episode before that: an interview with Steve Silberman. In the meantime, please rate or review us on iTunes or get in touch by leaving a comment on this post, emailing us at flappyhourcast at gmail dot com or sending a message on one of our social media accounts listed below.

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Episode 3: Autistic Spaces

Autistic Flappy Hour Episode 2: Autistic PassingAutistic Flappy Hour’s third episode explores the topic of autistic spaces, with a discussion recorded at Autscape, featuring two guests who presented at the conference. Laurine and Nat also talk about the flappy things making them happy since we last recorded.

Flappy Things

Both Nat and Laurine were happy because of a discussion Nat ran at Autscape focusing on autism comics and visual representation of autism. Laurine discovered new comics and read the archives of some favourites that she was reminded of by the discussion. Nat has since been inspired to start making daily art.

Nat was also excited to have discovered that Meredith K Ultra, aka Ink-and-Daggers on Tumblr, has announced an upcoming online graphic novel about a queer, autistic runaway.

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Discussion – Autistic Spaces

Our main discussion was recorded at Autscape in late August. Autscape is an autistic run conference and retreat. As there were four people sharing one microphone, the audio quality isn’t up to our usual standard. If you have problems, please refer to the transcript. We were joined by two guests who’d been presenting at Autscape that weekend, Yo and Martijn Dekker.

Yo is an autistic person with two autistic children. She’s taken part in autistic spaces since shortly after her diagnosis in the early 2000s. She was previously the Autscape company secretary and was heavily involved in devising the Autscape constitution. She currently works in social care and education in areas mostly related to autism. Martijn was diagnosed autistic 1995 at the age of 21 and shortly after formed the online community Independent Living On The Autistic Spectrum. Since then he’s presented at numerous conferences, and has been involved in running Autscape since 2006. He is currently the chair of the Autscape board. Both Yo and Martijn were speaking in a personal capacity and not as representatives of Autscape.

We discuss what makes a group or event ‘autistic space’ and how in person and online autistic spaces first developed. We ask how Autscape differs from smaller social groups and initiatives, and how in person autistic spaces differ from online alternatives. Within our discussion we explore the benefits of being in autistic space, such as developing a concept of ‘autistic normal’ and having access to activities that usually exclude us, and the challenges that come with trying to make a large event like Autscape accessible to all autistic people. Finally Martijn raises how poor access for autistic needs can be in wider society and suggests the lessons that can be learned from autistic spaces like Autscape.

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Get in touch

Cisco will be returning for our next episode, which will be about sensory issues, with Nat as the main host. In the meantime, please rate or review us on iTunes or get in touch by leaving a comment on this post, emailing us at flappyhourcast at gmail dot com or sending a message on one of our social media accounts listed below.

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Episode 2: Autistic Passing

Autistic Flappy Hour Episode 2: Autistic PassingWelcome to Autistic Flappy Hour, a podcast with an autistic angle! For our second episode we share the ‘flappy things’ making us happy since we last recorded and discuss the concept of passing as it relates to autism. In short, ‘passing’ is the ability to appear as being neurotypical or non-autistic in some contexts.

Flappy Things

Laurine’s flappy thing was the release of the schedule for Autscape, the UK autistic-run conference and retreat. Nat was also excited about it as both our UK co-hosts be there from the 21st to the 24th of August.

Nat’s flappy thing was all the nice comments we have been getting about the podcast. Thank you so much to those who took the time to send us their thoughts! Nat is also pleased to report that the communication cards they talked about in our last episode are now in stock.

Cisco’s flappy thing was that following a Washington Post article which he felt does not represent a full picture of neurodiversity, he has decided to write his own article about it, based on people’s experience of #Autchat. Do contact him if you would like to be part of it!

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Discussion – Autistic Passing

We discuss what passing means with regards to autism. Nat gives an overview of the origins of the term and how it is and has been used in racial, historical and gender contexts.

After explaining what passing means to us personally and our relationship with passing, we debate whether it is a concept we are critical of (spoiler alert: we are). Acknowledging that there are still situations where we feel it is necessary for us to pass, we talk about these as well as situations when we feel able not to pass.

Finally, we wonder whether we can differentiate between passing as having to control ourselves in a way that feels arbitrary, and learning social skills in order to be ‘the best autistic person we can be’.

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Get in touch

We hope you’ll be back for our next episode, which will be about autistic spaces, with Laurine as the main host! In the meantime, why not get in touch by leaving a comment on this post, emailing us at flappyhourcast at gmail dot com or sending a message on one of our social media accounts listed below.

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Episode 1: Our Autism Stories

Autistic Flappy Hour Episode 1: Our Autism StoriesWelcome to Autistic Flappy Hour, a podcast with an autistic angle! For our first episode we introduce ourselves and the podcast, share the ‘flappy things’ making us happy this week and tell our autism stories; describing how autism has affected our lives and we’ve come to be a part of the autistic community.

Introduction

We explain our motivations for the podcast. Nat mentions their previous podcast Bridging the Rift and explains why we decided against ‘Autcast’ as a name, to avoid being mixed up with Landon Bryce’s blogazine thAutcast. We also mention the Positively Autistic radio show for another source of autistic-run podcasts.

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Flappy things

Laurine’s flappy thing was that the National Autistic Society has published some new research about how we should speak about autism and autistic people, resulting in them deciding to phase out the use of ‘person with autism’ as the default, preferring ‘on the autism spectrum’.

Nat’s flappy thing was that they helped design new autistic communication cards, which will be available shortly on Hannah Ensor’s shop, Stickman Communications. The cards will be available from the 1st of August if you would like to order them.

Cisco’s flappy thing was that he recently started a storefront to sell the products of his special interest: chainmaille. Cisco’s chainmaille store has a twitter account where you can see what he makes and find a link to his shop if you would like to make any purchase!

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Discussion – About us and our autism stories

We get into more detail about our childhood, teenage years and adulthood and how we came to be identified as being autistic. We also speak about the importance of diagnosis and labels and how they can be helpful.

We finish off by talking about our involvement in the autistic community at large and what we hope to achieve with this new podcast.

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Get in touch

We hope to see you for our next episode, which will be about passing, with Cisco as the main host! In the meantime, why not get in touch by leaving a comment on this post, emailing us at flappyhourcast at gmail dot com or sending a message on one of our social media accounts listed below.

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