Show Notes

Discover what’s possible when communication breaks down both ways. 

Our guests this week are Terra Vance and Kate Jones. Terra is the founder of NeuroClastic, an autistic-led non-profit organization that publishes articles by autistic writers and professionals advocating for autistic representation and human rights. Kate is an artist and visual designer at NeuroClastic. 

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • Being diagnosed later in life and growing up without proper support
  • Anxiety and autistic burnout
  • The medical model vs the social model of disability
  • The consequences of masking
  • The double empathy problem
  • How to teach neurotypical children to interact with autistic peers
  • Utilizing special interests
  • Interdependence and collectivism
  • Advice for allies 

We also touch on the controversial topic of Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, which Terra and Kate strongly oppose. In previous episodes, you may have heard from Autistic guests who have reported positive experiences from receiving ABA therapy, as well as autistic behavior analysts currently practicing ABA. 

As many self-advocates have repeatedly reminded us on this podcast, if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. As we intentionally share different, and even opposing views in this space, we encourage you to step outside the realm of right and wrong and engage with the wide range of nuanced perspectives coming from the autistic community on hard topics like this. 

I invite you to listen to this episode from a place of openness and curiosity. If you hear something that triggers an immediate thought of, “No, that’s not true!”, I encourage you to pause, and instead ask yourself, “Could this be true?” I know how hard this can be, mainly because it has happened to me many times since we started this podcast... But how much can we really learn if we’re not willing to lean into discomfort? What's possible lives in the realm of curiosity. 

If you have any questions or comments, please join us in our online Global Autism Community, where very diverse opinions are continuously engaging in these types of conversations. 

To learn more about Terra, Kate, and NeuroClastic, please visit neuroclastic.com

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