Recently there’s been a rash of anti-vaxxers, particularly in America, who claim that vaccines can lead to autism and so no one should vaccinate their kids. This is patently untrue, and it’s also very ableist. For example, if it were true, you’re basically saying that as a parent, you’d rather your kid had measles or the whooping cough than be on the autism spectrum. Autism is far from some kind of death sentence. There are many places doing in-depth research on autism, and there are many websites which look into how to live more comfortably as an autistic person. Today’s web crush, Autistic Life Hacks, is one of the latter websites.
Autistic Life Hacks does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s run by three mods, all of whom are autistic, and it answers questions about social anxiety issues related to autism, accessibility issues related to autism, and stimming. Stimming, or things that people with autism do to stimulate certain senses, is particularly important. In the past, many autism educators believed that stimming should be prevented so as to make the person with autism appear “normal”, but that sort of pedagogy has fortunately been revealed to be as harmful as making a Deaf person stop using sign. Now, educators and therapists encourage stims as a way of calming the nerves and encourage changing unhealthy stims for healthy ones. Autistic Life Hacks helps with these by introducing its audience to new, useful products which people can use to stimulate, or different methods of stimming which are more convenient or appear more normal to the neurotypical.
The site has a great sense of community to it. The three mods don’t presume to speak for all autistic people, and they often serve as a switchboard of advice, answering a question and then publishing more answers from autistic members of its audience who might have different, more useful advice. It’s also very welcoming to those who aren’t autistic, often fielding questions from people who have questions for their autistic friends, family members, or students, and from people who aren’t autistic but have stimming- or anxiety-related issues. This site has been a great look at autism from a layman’s level—it’s not cold, abstract academia and it’s not dry scientific terminology (nor is it an ableist we-should-pity-them party, a trap into which many autism organizations fall). Rather, it’s a look at real issues that autistic people have to deal with, written in an easily accessible manner.
You should definitely check out Autistic Life Hacks here on Tumblr today!