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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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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