this youtube series is brilliant
3/28/19 - April 2019:Subjects Addressed in this Episode: Personal Management Issues- Drugs and Coping with Life - Starts at 2:40 Dealing with Change- Changing Tasks - Starts at 6:30 Self-Esteem/Self-Identity and "Faking It"- Finding Myself - Starts at 8:46Intimacy, Dating, Sex and Marriage- Discussing Issues - Starts at 11:08- Dating Tips - Starts at 15:53 - Breaking Up with an Aspie - Starts at 17:47 Gender Dysphoria- Find out "Why?" - Starts at 20:20 Meltdowns - Tips to Diffuse - Starts at 24:54 Anxiety - What's Causing? - Starts at 29:29 - Meds and School - Starts at 32:05 Living With Autism - Is it Increasing? - Starts at 35:45 - Companion Animals - Starts at 38:32 - Autism and PTSD - Start at 40:37 Thriving with Autism - Not. Giving. Up. - Starts at 42:14 Previous questions to Dr. Attwood have been incorporated into a book titled "Ask Dr. Tony", published by Future Horizons and is now available at a book store near you (or online).
Found alot of his stuff brilliant, but he does make alot of joke at autistic peoples expense at his live talks. He admitted that at a conference in Sheffield recently when talking to some autistic advocates. He is scheduled to be doing a live cast with agony autie towards the end of the month which should be very good.
I was shocked to recently realise the extent of Tony Atwood’s ‘jokes’ about Autism! Should. Know. Better!
Yeah I was disgusted to, so were the autistic advocates that pulled him up on it mid speech in Sheffield! He has agreed that he does need to change the narrative, hence the live cast with agony autie, that should definitely be worth a watch. But at least he is arguing against the myth autistic people lack empathy and that women can be alot more subtle and are going undiagnosed so at least that's something
Genuine question: When does relating an anecdote about an autistic person become a joke at their expense?
I've not read any of his books or seen his talks - I've only read his forewords to other writers books or read his words in those books where he's referred to, so I don't have any direct knowledge of the types of 'jokes' he's made.
Also, is he pitching autism to NTs or to autistics?
If the former, then the 'jokes' could just be bad attempts to 'humanise' autistics... which literally as I write that has struck me as disgusting...
If the latter then maybe it's a poor attempt to show he 'gets' us?
Does he have ASD? If not, then I'd dispute how he can be the "World's foremost expert on autism" - mind you that's NT slippery speak conflating 'best known' / 'most published' i.e. 'popular' with 'factually correct' and 'knowledgeable'...
There are a bunch of scientific discoveries for example credited to NT scientists that were likely actually made by autisties/aspies - but they didn't publish so someone else got the credit...
I think he has an son with autism, remember him. Mentioning in a talk
I found his explanations for the female representation of autism really useful.
Iistened to a few of his talks didn't hear the jokes, maybe that's just my trait not always getting jokes.
Yes, he has a son with autism. The son had a really bad time, with drugs and prison. In fact, the son was diagnosed in prison in his 30s
Yes, his female phenotypes are invaluable. he helped me "diagnose" my partner.
Good to know.
Agreed autism people have empathy.
The reading I've done since my diagnosis has highlighted there seems to be a lot of conflicting views about what auties/aspies do/don't do:
"They/we don't have empathy" vs. "Have excess empathy"
I suspect "Don't show empathy in a way recognised by NTs and probably get overwhelmed by an excess of empathy so have to protect themselves against it, just as with any stimulus"
"They/we don't make eye contact" vs. "Stare too much"
Leaving aside the fact that making/not making eye contact has strong cultural associations, sure we CAN do anything if we set our mind to it it's more about the 'cost' - a frequent issue is that:
"They/we have no/poor theory of mind (ToM)" vs. "We're starting to think that ToM maybe isn't really a 'thing' once you reach adulthood..."
- I read that Simon Baron Cohen was 'climbing down' from his ToM stance
"They/we have poor executive function" vs. "Superpowers of memory, focus, problem-solving, analysis, planning to the Nth degree etc."
It goes back to the focus on 'diagnosis through identification of areas of deficit'... vs. recognising the broad spectrum of unique individuals that make up the human population...
Pffft... I'm bored and it makes me grouchy, ignore me...
Taken from a post from several autistic advocates who were at his Sheffield conference
I don't doubt that he is good he has a massive audience within the field and freely admits some of his narrative is off but wants to work on it, this was from agony autie who was there with several others there is also a video run down as I said he is doing alot that is great but a bit needs improvement that's all. His work on women and girls was fantastic.
I’m in Sheffield for Tony Attwood’s ...”What you need to know about Autism” Conference.
UPDATE: I asked Tony to talk through our differences in a live Agony Autie Chat this year; he agreed responding “Educate me” and “Correct Me” ♾ He’s Open. Let’s build bridges and make changes ♾
Tony was educated in autism from the 1970s where he concedes, they used to view autistics as Childhood Schizophrenia or psychosis. But times have changed. And I would like to invite Tony Attwood to join me in a live discussion so I can break down the problems in his rhetoric against the Autistic community he so frequently & openly speaks about. (He said yes!)
I asked him “Tony, do you think your energies would be better spent helping autistics to understand their differences, rather than mask them and perform from Neurotypical Social Scripts you have devised?”
I also elaborated a lot of “why” our Autistic Sensory, Emotional, Cognitive & thus behavioural differences need to be explicitly taught & understood by ourselves in order to reduce harm and improve self-awareness FOR autistic people.
Tony was kind enough to come and thank me for my question & we spoke a short while. I explained we do not like “person with autism” preferring Autistic and used my few short minutes to try and elaborate on my points raised in the questions. He also briefly met my son & we discussed self harm.
Although I’m very grateful for Tony’s focus on Autistic Empathy (that we may miss the cues or not know how to respond to help), the reasons why people Home School and his much needed insight into our Emotional Sensitivities as being valid, the way Tony teaches Autism is in polar opposite to Agony Autie philosophy & advice.
Myself & the autistic advocates who attended together (Dr Kate Fox, Joseph Redford, Queerly Autistic, Spectra Blog & Eastbourne Autistics) are not supportive or fans of the way that Tony views autistic people and ultimately his overall rhetoric, when speaking about Autistic people is alarming to me;
• “I can throw a wobbly to get my way”
• “Oppositional defiance disorder are domestic terrorists” yes they’re anxious but they’re manipulative according to Tony.
• Autistic Women & masking are like “Cinderella when they mask, but watch them at midnight when the wheels fall off”
• Autistics are like Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
• And “be true to yourself ... at home! Wear the mask out - in your imitation, you’re cured and it’s intoxicating”
• On telling your child they’re autistic “They don’t need to know The A Word” ...in the afternoon Tony admitted that he knows autistic people wished they knew they were autistic from a young age.
“I can cure autism & dissolve the Diagnosistic criterion...how? Place them in the bedroom - then when they’re alone there is no Social Deficit”
“Video games - you are right, they are just like a drug addiction for the autistic child”
His narrative is steeped in relative but deeply pathological observations about autistic socialisation, communication, behaviour and the way we make sense of the world, with conclusions & advice that is very “normal” centred. This is what we were asking Tony to change or drop as a professional and today after the conference, he assured us he is listening.
We have so much to discuss. And hopefully a few bridges may be forged for the autistic people to provide their insights into “why” we emote, communicate, live, breath, behave and ultimately appear differently. And I hope Tony will be receptive towards our wealth of information when we all speak this Summer and make changes in his narrative.
#tonyattwood #autistic #autisticadvocates #challengethenarrative