The Autistic Experience of Overwhelm | The Aspergian | For #AllAutistics, #NeuroLurkers, and #NeuroDiversity

An autistic exploration and breakdown of how sensory overload, meltdowns, and shutdowns feel in the moment and after the fact.

Source: The Autistic Experience of Overwhelm | The Aspergian | For #AllAutistics, #NeuroLurkers, and #NeuroDiversity

Label Jars, Not People | The Aspergian | For #AllAutistics, #NeuroLurkers, and #NeuroDiversity

For most of his life, until he started typing, E was identified as a “low-functioning autistic.” These are his thoughts on function labels.

Source: Label Jars, Not People | The Aspergian | For #AllAutistics, #NeuroLurkers, and #NeuroDiversity

Issues with Addiction Advocacy in the Autistic Community | The Aspergian | For #AllAutistics, #NeuroLurkers, and #NeuroDiversity

Autistic people are often overlooked when it comes to addiction, as if they are too rule-oriented or childlike to become addicted. It’s time for that to change.

Source: Issues with Addiction Advocacy in the Autistic Community | The Aspergian | For #AllAutistics, #NeuroLurkers, and #NeuroDiversity

Many young autistic people harm themselves, others

Nearly one-third of autistic young people put themselves or others in danger in any given three-month period, according to a new study1. And nearly one in four of these young people will not have seen a mental health professional in that time.

The study, which looked at autistic people aged 3 to 25 years, is based on a parent survey.

The researchers sent the survey to a large database of families with autistic children; only 7 percent (462 families) completed it. The results may overestimate the prevalence of these events because families who have experienced them are more likely to respond, says Luther Kalb, assistant professor of neuropsychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, who led the biostatistical analysis.

The researchers adjusted their analysis to account for this bias. “It’s still common enough to warrant attention,” Kalb says.

In autistic children younger than 12, the incidents tend to be related to self-injury and to wandering or running away, the researchers found. In young people aged 12 to 25, the episodes more often involve physical and verbal aggression, usually aimed at parents.

The younger an autistic person is, and the lower her quality of life, as reported by a parent, the more likely she is to have one of these incidents. Poor language skills and having a mother with depression also increase a child’s chances of having an incident.

The findings were published in October in Autism Research.

The work may help parents and clinicians develop plans to preempt and manage dangerous behaviors in autistic children. “We can start identifying populations that may need more intervention than others,” Kalb says.

  1. Vasa R.A. et al. Autism Res. Epub ahead of print (2019) PubMed

Originally published on Spectrum

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Chicago cop suspended after unarmed, autistic teen shot

CHICAGO — An off-duty Chicago police officer was suspended Thursday for six months after authorities say he shot an unarmed, autistic teen in 2017 on the city’s South Side.

The Chicago Police Board voted to suspend Sgt. Khalil Muhammad during an evening meeting, the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune reported. The action stemmed from the August 2017 shooting of Ricardo Hayes, then 18, and police initially described it as an armed confrontation.

The ruling followed an agreement by Muhammad to plead guilty to several departmental charges, including unlawful or unnecessary display of a weapon, disobeying an order and failing to perform a duty. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which recommended the suspension, found Muhammad was not justified when he fired the shots.

Surveillance video released last year by the accountability office shows Muhammad shooting and wounding Hayes. That contradicted the earlier police description of an armed confrontation and echoed devastating dashcam video evidence against a white Chicago officer who claimed Laquan McDonald tried to stab him before he fatally shot the black teen.

Before the shooting, Hayes can be seen running along the sidewalk then stopping. Muhammad pulls up alongside, with parked cars between them. Hayes takes a few steps toward him and Muhammad shoots the teen in the arm and chest. Hayes turns and runs, despite his wounds.

The sergeant’s call to 911 after he shot Hayes also was released last year.

“The guy, like, he was about to pull a gun. Walked up to the car, and I had to shoot,” Muhammad told a Chicago Fire Department dispatcher. But according to the lawsuit filed by Hayes and his family, the teen “was standing almost perfectly still, facing Officer Muhammad’s truck, with his hands at his sides” when he was shot.

When the shooting happened, the police force was training officers on how to handle people with mental health issues. That training was prompted by a 2015 incident in which a police officer fatally shot a 55-year-old innocent bystander and teenager with a baseball bat who was suffering a mental health episode.

A police official said last year Muhammad hadn’t received the training at the time he shot Hayes.