This is the last time I’m going to say this

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Why I Left ABA

The more I know about ABA, the more I want to prevent anyone from undergoing it.

Socially Anxious Advocate

Trigger Warning: ABA, ableism, institutionalized child abuse

[Image Description: A bright red door with a brass knob and a faded mail slit. To its left, there is a long, dark windowpane with some decoration and smudges. The door itself has chips in its paint and markings on it, despite the bright color. It is closed, possibly locked.]

When I first became an ABA Therapist, I was thrilled. I was actually going to use my psych degree, get paid more than minimum wage, and above all, make a positive difference in Autistic children’s lives. Or at least, that’s what I thought.

Now I look back, and the year I spent working in ABA is my single greatest regret.

When I left, it wasn’t a decision I made overnight. It was a long, difficult process, full of denial and confusion. I don’t enjoy talking about it because I did so many wrong things that…

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Very important reading for anyone who loves an autistic for whom Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has been recommended.

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Autism Speaks – hate speech and eugenics

Crusading Against Hate: Why I #BoycottAutismspeaks

Written by FoxTears

Originally posted HERE

If you’ve heard of autism, you’ve probably heard of Autism Speaks. For those who haven’t, they’re a USA-based “charity” (scare quotes entirely justified), and one of the biggest voices out there when it comes to talking about autism.

Autism Speaks is not a very nice company.

First, there’s the fact that all of the positions of power in the organisation are held by non-autistic people. This is about as appropriate as a bunch of white people making decisions for a charity claiming to be for the aid of people of colour, or a charity composed entirely of men discussing women’s rights. They had an autistic advisory board member once. He resigned as a result of Autism Speaks’s attitude towards autistic people. They’re too far removed from the reality faced by Autistic people. The fact is, though, that they don’t really cater for autistic…

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To Honor the Land is to Deal with the Dead

This is a well-written, thought provoking piece worth the read.

Gangleri's Grove

Some friends were having a discussion with Sannion last night and as I was passing through (swamped with preparations for my upcoming trip), he mentioned one of the things they were discussing and it just blew me away. This is so spot on, so powerful, so incredibly profound that I, half way upstairs, stopped dead in my tracks and asked everyone’s permission to write about it here. (Obviously they graciously allowed me to do so, or I wouldn’t be posting this!).

The latest issue of Walking the Worlds discusses the importance of regional cultus to the restoration of our polytheisms. We talk about regional cultus a lot but I don’t think many of us (myself included) ever really stop to parse it out or to figure out how all of the various parts of our praxis are organically (no pun intended, I swear!) connected. Part of regional cultus is venerating…

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Help fight racism

Petitions have recently been started to ask two Alabama schools to remove their racist mascots and choose less offensive ones.  If you care about all people being treated with a basic level of respect, please sign and share widely.

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Don’t cheapen heroism

I’m getting tired of people misusing the word “hero”. One has to do more than merely exist and be generally admirable to be a hero, and to call people heroic who have done nothing particular but die prematurely diminishes the word for people who have actually earned it. Heroism implies having gone above and beyond what was required in one or more acts of bravery that may endanger the hero, resulting in the lives of others being saved and/or significantly changed for the better in concrete ways. Heroism is NOT simply living a good life, being a pleasant person, or living through one’s own struggles without complaining.

For whatever reason, however, some people are not satisfied to simply extol the virtues of the person they admire in a truthful manner, but they also feel the need to tack on how “heroic” such people are or were. This phenomenon seems to happen more often once the admired person is deceased, when saying anything more moderate can feel insufficient to the level of grief felt at the death – especially if the demise was untimely.

It does a disservice to the true memory of such persons, however, not to simply say something more like, “This person is/was valuable and made a contribution to society,” instead of falsely equating such a life with heroism. It does not make it less tragic that someone died just because that person wasn’t actually a hero, nor does it lessen the esteemed living to acknowledge them in more honorable ways. Additionally, for all those who have put their lives, futures, reputations, families, security, etc. on the line in TRUE acts of heroism, it devalues the word to call anyone we admire in some way a “hero”.

People who are good at sports are not heroes just because they play well. Someone whose identity makes them stand out in socially difficult ways is not a hero just by quietly living as themselves. If someone saves a grandmother from getting hit by a bus, that person is a hero, whether or not s/he is any good at sports, lives an authentic life in the face of adversity, is a generally admirable person, or is endearing to others.

Let’s not cheapen the word “hero” by using it to mean anyone we like. Words become meaningless when they are overused to mean too many different things. Let’s value our real heroes by reserving the word for them.

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