Hey society! We need to talk about how we talk about autism. There’s been a big push in the last few years in pursuit of “autism awareness”. If you’ve reached this site, you probably think you’re aware of autism, but unless you are on the spectrum yourself, your understanding has probably been skewed by the highly stereotypical and inaccurate portrayals of autism and the experience of being autistic that have been widely popularized in the media.
This site has two primary, interconnected goals:
1. Be a resource for those on the spectrum to learn how to be successful not in spite of their autism, but because of it, and to motivate people with autism to improve their lives!
2. Make the neurotypical public more aware of the autistic experience so they are more (accurately) informed, supportive, understanding and encouraging of those on the spectrum. The number one way to help people with autism is to see them not as being limited by a disability, but as uniquely-challenged individuals who have limitless potential!
So the first step toward designing a site that can accomplish these goals was to design a logo which fits that theme. You’ve probably seen this ribbon before
This ribbon, while probably crafted with great intentions, represents the problems associated with the current state of public knowledge of autism.
So the Autism Achiever logo was designed in protest to the state of “autism awareness”. being the standard of public discussion of autism.
So instead of a charity ribbon, how about an award ribbon, representing success?
It’s time to move beyond awareness. Instead we need to aim for autism acceptance and achievement. Together we can change the way the world talks about autism and improve the lives of everyone on the spectrum!
Welcome to Autism Achiever! My name is Courtney and I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 3 when I was nonverbal. I was diagnosed at a time when information about autism was nonexistent and success was considered impossible. Everything I learned was through painful trial and error but today I am a Ph.D. Candidate Scientist who has learned how to turn autism from my disability into my superpower!
My goal is to share the information I have learned along the way to help those on the spectrum reach their full potential. Whether you are learning what autism is for the first time, are a parent, teacher professional or are on the spectrum, you will find information here which is insightful and accessible. As a scientist, especially one who grew up in a time of sparse autism knowledge I recognize the value of peer-reviewed research and will cite and summarize relevant research where appropriate, though I will also be drawing most heavily from my own anecdotal experiences.
If you are on the spectrum, this site will help YOU be successful no matter what challenges you face. You will learn to face your fears, smash limitations, defy expectations and show the world that autism succeeds!
So what can you look forward to seeing at Autism Achiever?
In the future, I’ll be making posts with practical, actionable advice on topics like:
How to create structure and organization in your life
How to be more effective socially
How to prevent and manage meltdowns
How to manage sleep issues
How to manage sensory issues
The elements of success
How to build a winning mindset
How to stay motivated
Coping with anxiety and depression
…and much more!
In addition to these practical spectrum-survival topics I will answer questions on our new Q&A page, bust autism myths, break down interesting peer-reviewed literature about autism, provide spectrum-perspectives on autism-related news stories, and encourage everyone to go out and achieve more!