Missed in Childhood: Nearly All Autistic and ADHD Women

Our results indicate that there may be a substantial group of patients with ASD and other NDDs that are missed in childhood

Neurodevelopmental disorders and comorbidity in young adults attending a psychiatric outpatient clinic – ScienceDirect

Almost two thirds (63%) of the study group met criteria for ADHD or ASD. Most of the patients with NDD (particularly the “NDD females”) had not been diagnosed in childhood. Twelve percent of the females included had been given an ADHD diagnosis in childhood. In the current study we found that 48% of the females had ADHD. The high male:female NDD ratio reported among children, was not obvious in our NDD group. The results underscore the importance of screening for NDD in adult psychiatric services regardless of referral reason.

Neurodevelopmental disorders and comorbidity in young adults attending a psychiatric outpatient clinic – ScienceDirect

This paper on diagnosis of neurodivergence offers shocking confirmation of what neurodiversity communities have been saying: we’re missing a whole lot of people. Particularly women.

We are missing nearly all Autistic and ADHD women.

Content note: Medicalized language

NDD = Neurodevelopmental Disorders

AOP = Adult Outpatient Psychiatric 

More than two thirds of this young AOP clientele were diagnosed with a type of NDD. Almost two thirds of this young AOP clientele met criteria for ADHD or ASD (more than half meeting criteria for ADHD). The majority of these “NDD patients” (and particularly the women) had not been diagnosed in childhood. In addition, one third of the study group scored above cut off in the self-rating scale AUDIT, indicating risk use of alcohol, and although not significant, a high rate of those also fulfilled ADHD diagnosis. The NDD group (the vast majority of whom had ADHD, ASD or both) also usually met criteria for either affective, anxiety, OCD spectrum, or personality disorder.

When studying the prevalence of NDD within the more traditional psychiatric diagnoses we found that more than half of those with af- fective disorders, anxiety disorder, OCD spectrum, or personality disorders had an additional NDD. NDD was not as prevalent in the subgroup of those with eating disorder, however almost 30% in this group met criteria for an “additional” NDD. The results from our study accord well with the results from a recent study by Pehlivanidis et al. (2020) showing that adult patients with ADHD had a substantial co- morbidity with traditional psychiatric disorders (most commonly depression). For ADHD, the comorbidity rate with a traditional psychi- atric disorder was 73% and for ASD it was 50%. These traditional psy- chiatric diagnoses (affective disorders, anxiety disorders and/or personality disorders), are the ones most likely to be made in young AOP clientele, unless NDD is specifically considered and assessed for. What happens to all the young patients with these early onset developmental disorders in the transition from child and adolescent psychiatry and adult psychiatry? Is it possible that this group of patients have a certain kind of problems in childhood, but then change symptomatology when they grow up and end up with depression and anxiety instead? Or that adult psychiatrists when untrained or inexperienced in the field of NDD faced with young adult patients try to “fit them in” into diagnostic adult psychiatric diagnostic categories that they are familiar with? Our results support that there is a major comorbidity between NDD diagnosis and traditional adult psychiatric diagnosis. This may make it difficult to discover the underlying condition and might explain why NDD is underdiagnosed among adult patients (Fayyad et al., 2017).

Our results indicate that there may be a substantial group of patients with ASD and other NDDs that are missed in childhood. This is supported by the retrospective study of clinical charts of adults in two university services specialized in the assessment and treatment of adolescents and adults with ASD. They found that the mean age for the first formal ASD diagnosis was 22 years for men and 26 years for women (Fusar-Poli et al., 2020).

We found no gender difference regarding the rate of ASD after full assessment, suggesting that many female patients with ASD are missed in childhood, since studies from childhood show a male:female ratio of 3:1. (Loomes et al., 2017). Our results suggest also that female patients may be missed regarding ADHD in childhood, which have been reported in the study of Quinn et al. (2014). Only six percent of the females in our study had a previous ADHD diagnosis compared to 48% after full assessment in the study. The traditional gender ratio reported from childhood studies (Polanczyk et al., 2010) was not obvious in our NDD group. We found a trend for ADHD to be slightly more common in males but the difference was not significant.

We did not either find gender difference in the rate of previous NDD diagnosis established by external clinician when grouping all NDDs. However, more men than females had a previous ADHD diagnosis.

The results suggest the importance of screening for NDD, regardless of referral reason, in both adult psychiatric care and child and adolescent psychiatric care. The high rate found of women with NDD and additional psychiatric problems might suggest the notion that an early identification of NDD might have altered the outcome for this group.

Neurodevelopmental disorders and comorbidity in young adults attending a psychiatric outpatient clinic – ScienceDirect

Such staggering omission.

May 2022, so far, at Stimpunks: New Pages for the Website

We started a Research page that opens with a spicy assessment of the status quo of autism studies, “Facts, Fire, and Feels: Research-Storytelling from the Edges“.

We started an Access page.

There’s a subpage dedicated to Healthcare Access.

There’s a subpage dedicated to Education Access.

There’s a page for Interaction Access.

And there’s a page dedicated to Identity First Language.

Those are all rough drafts that we’re iterating in the open.

On uplifting notes, our collaboration with Randimals is a nice change from the wildly painful work we do. Here’s a Weird Pride piece we’re working on.

Our new Stim page features the audio visual art of Stimpunk AJ. Mix your own experience.

We’ll be adding stimmy shares from the community that visitors to the page can mix and layer.

Vendetta Music Fest (and everyone else) vs. Our Loved People: They’re Promoting and Funding Ableism in Our Name

You can’t have our neurodivergent art while advocating to eliminate neurodivergent people.

We can’t keep Austin weird by eliminating weird from society and the gene pool.

We must combat ableism throughout the SxSW and Austin communities. It’s hard to enjoy the party when people keep fundraising for your abuse and thanking themselves for abusing you.

We, Stimpunks

TLDR: Donate for Anti-Ableism and Against Radical Behaviorism

TLDR: Donate to Autistic People of Color Fund because events during SxSW promote radical behaviorism.

To Vendetta Music Fest and ATX Event Systems

This is Ryan Boren of Stimpunks Foundation, a nonprofit foundation and community by and for Neurodivergent and Disabled people. Unlike the autism charities your organizations and events promote, we do not support abusive autistic conversion therapy or eugenics.

I can tell you why your neurodivergent artists and their allies are upset and leaving.

Read stimpunks.org. Engage with it openly and honestly.

Then ask yourself if you can support what these autism charities do to autistic people, who have been eloquent and overwhelming in describing the legacy of abuse of ABA and other autism therapies. We have ABA and radical behaviorism survivors here at Stimpunks.

But even more compelling is the testimony of young people who understand the reality of this approach better than anyone because they’ve been on the receiving end of it. It is nothing short of stunning to learn just how widely and intensely ABA is loathed by autistic adults who are able to describe their experience with it. Frankly, I’m embarrassed that, until about a year ago, I was completely unaware of all the websites, articles, scholarly essays, blog posts, Facebook pages, and Twitter groups featuring the voices of autistic men and women, all overwhelmingly critical of ABA and eloquent in describing the trauma that is its primary legacy.

How is it possible that their voices have not transformed the entire discussion? Suppose you participated in implementing a widely used strategy for dealing with homelessness, only to learn that the most outspoken critics of that intervention were homeless people. Would that not stop you in your tracks? What would it say about you if it didn’t? And yet the consistent, emphatic objections of autistic people don’t seem to trouble ABA practitioners at all. Indeed, one critical analysis of ethics in this field notes that “autistics have been excluded from all committees, panels, boards, etc., charged with developing, directing, and assessing ABA research and treatment programs.”

Alfie Kohn, Autism and Behaviorism
The Effects of Behavior-Based Models on Neurodevelopment and Learning

Behaviorism is a repudiation, an almost willful dismissal, of subjective experience.
— Alfie Kohn

This is a child’s heart in fight or flight mode, constantly, that is being bombarded with all these instructions and prompting.
— Professor Elizabeth Torres

Some artists have decided they cannot be party to funding ableism. We must elevate ableism as one of the injustices of the world. These artists would not do business with an event promoting racism. Likewise, they will not do business with an event promoting ableism.

Ableism

  1. Oppression, prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination against disabled people on the basis of actual or presumed disability.
  2. The belief that people are superior or inferior, have better quality of life, or have lives more valuable or worth living on the basis of actual or perceived disability.

Source: Autistic Hoya – A blog by Lydia X. Z. Brown: Definitions

Will Vendetta Music Fest and it associates at ATX Event Systems change the charity for the event to one run by autistic people and supported by autistic communities?

Our communities are awaiting your reply. Our people who have survived the abuse y’all are about to celebrate and fund are waiting. Our neurodivergent artists who left in protest of this assault against our people are waiting. You can’t have our neurodivergent art while advocating to eliminate neurodivergent people.

Further, is a single autistic adult involved in planning this event that supposedly benefits us? I highly doubt it, because then you would know not to platform abusive therapies and eugenics universally rejected by us.

Ableism is a set of beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities and often rests on the assumption that disabled people need to be ‘fixed’ in one form or the other. Ableism is intertwined in our culture, due to many limiting beliefs about what disability does or does not mean, how able-bodied people learn to treat people with disabilities and how we are often not included at the table for key decisions.

Ableism – Center for Disability Rights

DisCrit empathizes with John Powell’s words, “I feel like I’ve been spoken for and I feel like I’ve been spoken about, but rarely do I feel like I’ve been spoken to” (cited in Dalton, 1987). A similar mantra in dis/ability rights circles, “Nothing about us, without us” (Charlton, 2000, p. 3), also speaks to this tenet. DisCrit, therefore, seeks to disrupt the tradition of ignoring the voices of traditionally marginalized groups and instead privileges insider voices (Matsuda, 1987).

DisCrit-Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory in Education (Disability, Culture, and Equity Series) (p. 21). Teachers College Press. Kindle Edition.

You’re throwing a party on the world stage of SxSW to fund our abuse and saying you’re doing it for us. It’s hurtful and obscene. Y’all are taking up all the autism fundraising that could be helping instead of hurting people.

And if it turns out that, contrary to widespread assumptions, behavior modification techniques aren’t supported by solid data even when used with autistic kids, why would we persist in manipulating anyone with positive reinforcement? A rigorous new meta-analysis utterly debunks the claim that applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is the only intervention for children with autism that’s “evidence-based.” In fact, it raises serious questions about whether ABA merits that description at all.

You might assume that those who use the phrase “evidence-based practice” (EBP) are offering a testable claim, asserting that the practices in question are supported by good data. In reality, the phrase is more of an all-purpose honorific, wielded to silence dissent, intimidate critics, and imply that anyone who criticizes what they’re doing is rejecting science itself. It’s reminiscent of the way a religious leader might declare that what we’ve been told to do is “God’s will”: End of discussion.

Autism and Behaviorism – Alfie Kohn

I think we’re just going to have to let the term “evidence-based” go. There seems to be an inverse relationship between the extent to which a practice is described as evidence-based, and the quality of evidence supporting its use.

Dr. Kristen Bottema-Beutel on Twitter

We educate CEOs and organizations on this stuff. We would like to educate you so that you understand the harm you are enabling. Attempts so far have been dismissed, ignored, and blocked.

In the city of weird, y’all are funding and celebrating radical behaviorism and eugenics that seek to eliminate weird from society and the gene pool.

Every barrier that Autistic adults break down today is one that Autistic children will not face tomorrow.

When I was a little girl, I was autistic. And when you’re autistic, it’s not abuse. It’s therapy.

QUIET HANDS | JUST STIMMING…
ABA is a dinosaur.

Until ABA updates its scientific methods, its functions of behavior, and incorporates modern day psychology – including neurology, child development, educational psychology, and other vital research – it cannot be considered to be a safe, effective, or ethical field.

Behaviorism Is Dead. How Do We Tell the (Autism) Parents?

Note: A representative of Vendetta Music Fest directly contacting neurodivergent artists was sent several revisions of this draft over the course of days. The progression of the drafts showed the processing and refining of our pain and anger and hope and despair into what you read now. They were offered opportunity to provide feedback and an official statement. They were given our targeted publication time. We offered honest, candid, and vulnerable communication, as is the way of our people. They went silent and had not replied at time of press, as is the way of too many.

The stress of this has been immense. I’m burnt out.

“A state of pervasive exhaustion, loss of function, increase in autistic traits, and withdrawal from life that results from continuously expending more resources than one has coping with activities and environments ill-suited to one’s abilities and needs.” In other words, autistic burnout is the result of being asked to continuously do more than one is capable of without sufficient means for recovery.

 THINKING PERSON’S GUIDE TO AUTISM: Autistic Burnout: An Interview With Researcher Dora Raymaker

“Being autistic has always given me a strong sense of justice and fairness, and a burning drive to do the right thing and to fight for it, even when it seems like struggling against the weight of the world. This seems very related to my extreme empathy, which is also tied to my experience of being autistic.”

“Knowing that injustice or violence exist anywhere is deeply painful for me, whether it directly targets me or not, and I believe that I must do anything within my capacity to work for a world where none of us have to be afraid anymore. If I were not autistic, I am certain I would not have the same drive as I do now.”

7 activists tell us the best thing about living with autism

To SxSW Community

We must combat ableism throughout the SxSW and Austin communities. It’s hard to enjoy the party when people keep fundraising for your abuse and thanking themselves for abusing you. It’s hard to enjoy SxSW Edu when it also needs to be tended for radical behaviorism. See stimpunks.org for our upcoming track at Conference to Restore Humanity on this very issue. Mainstream ed-tech is dominated by behaviorism that should not be platformed. It teaches educators to systematically abuse us. The deficit model is a business model, and ed-tech is a monster.

The number of autistic young people who stop attending mainstream schools appears to be rising.

My research suggests these absent pupils are not rejecting learning but rejecting a setting that makes it impossible for them to learn.

We need to change the circumstances.

Walk in My Shoes – The Donaldson Trust

There are monsters because there is a lack of care and an absence of justice in the work we do in education and education technology.

 The Curse of the Monsters of Education Technology

SxSW should be a venue for being different. It is, but also isn’t, not for us, the most different. You are trying to correct and prevent us instead of help us be our authentic selves, selves that are accepted despite our spiky profiles, inability to speak, and inability to tie shoelaces.

Is Stephen Hawking low-functioning? Is being able to tie one’s shoes the pinnacle of human achievement?

We’ve been on quite a journey trying to change things, especially here in Austin. But it’s so hard to compete with these highly profitable non-disabled led charities. They can be so distracting. Disability led orgs find ourselves battling them instead of doing the work we set out to do.

SxSW seems like a likely ally for neurodivergent people such as ourselves. We are looking for support in building spaces where we can show up, be who we are, and share our art without being distracted by our oppressors who still find ways of overshadowing and silencing us.

To Certain Former Partners

Imagine-a-Way Foundation funds and promotes autistic conversion therapy.

The Broad Institute effectively practices eugenics.

You advertised them on your flyers, after being told about the psychological scarring and long lasting harmful effects. That really hurt. Seeing those images on your flyer broke me, because it made clear how little people care. I regret coming at y’all so hard with an early and emotional draft of this piece, but I felt that hurt deeply. I’m sorry if I hurt you deeply.

Your response to us explaining the harm on your flyer was to block us.

To All

We exist as friction. The work that I do; it’s wildly painful.

Changing the Disability Design Narrative – UX Cake Podcast

Blocked. Ignored. Dismissed. Abandoned by allies who can’t leave money on the table. Allies who won’t take the least little risk on our behalf. Who won’t speak a single challenging word to power. Who will never take a role in social change. Who will never pressure the status quo.

Over and over, because few care. Ableism doesn’t count. We’ve been on quite a journey getting anyone to care about the funding and platforming of ableism and radical behaviorism in our community, facing ableist aggression, micro and macro, along the way. Presumed incompetent because we use a wheelchair. Presumed drunk or on drugs and denied opportunity and audience when we slur our speech even after informing people we’re neurodivergent. Yelled at to neurological consequence. Presumed all kinds of ignorant things when we tell someone we are autistic.

Few really give a shit about the truly weird in the city of weird. Autistic children are just marketing and grist for industry as everybody hustles to bank on our misery.

Against all that, we exist and resist as friction.

If we were not threatening to the social order in some way, there would not be therapies designed to control how we move our bodies and communicate.

THINKING PERSON’S GUIDE TO AUTISM: ON HANS ASPERGER, THE NAZIS, AND AUTISM: A CONVERSATION ACROSS NEUROLOGIES

Very Grand Emotions

Society feels thoughtlessly and consistently sub-ethical and uncurious compared to our very grand emotions.

Justice, equality, fairness, mercy, longsuffering, Work, Passion, knowledge, and above all else, Truth. Those are my primary emotions.

Very Grand Emotions: How Autistics and Neurotypicals Experience Emotions Differently » NeuroClastic

Black and White

This is the clincher. You have to live up to autistic standards of honesty if you are to convince us to follow a different path or to change our minds.

If you aren’t willing to make sure that what you ask of us or want us to believe is reasonable, fair and true, then you won’t have our respect and the relationship is doomed.

The influences that distort the morality of those around us simply don’t penetrate our conscious minds.

Let’s get black and white.

If you wouldn’t support gay conversion therapy, you shouldn’t support autistic conversion therapy.

Autistic and queer folks share some dark history-and some bad actors. Chapter 7 of NeuroTribes, Fighting the Monster, shares the legacy of Ole Ivar Lovaas, the twisted father of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and conversion therapy. He applied his abusive, torturous techniques to autistic kids and “sissy boys” to make them “indistinguishable from their peers“. He had little regard for their humanity-they were engineering projects.

Neurodiversity and Gender Non-conformity, Dysphoria and Fluidity

Everyone involved in Vendetta Music Fest and other events platforming radical behaviorism and eugenics has an important ethical decision to make. Show them stimpunks.org so they can make that decision informed.

I will move carefully and fix things. I will make things that help people, and I will not make things that harm people. I will bake ethics into everything I do.

Creed – Stimpunks Foundation

What’s your creed?

What do you call the suppression and elimination of an identity group, of a community, of a culture, of a people?

I call it violent bigotry.

Violent bigotry against our loved people.

Do you support violent bigotry against neurominorities?

That is the question. That is what it boils down to.

stimpunks.org explains why.

Therefore, eugenics is an erasure of identity through force, whereas radical behaviorism is an erasure of identity through “correction.” This all assumes a dominant culture that one strives to unquestionably maintain.

EMPTY PEDAGOGY, BEHAVIORISM, AND THE REJECTION OF EQUITY

Use Your Power; Ethics are Demonstrated

Every single one of us has a moral obligation to use whatever resources we have – time, money, knowledge, skills, emotional energy, access to physical resources – … in service of justice, and fighting against injustice and oppression and violence in all of its forms, structural and individual, subtle and overt.

Making Work Accessible, Wherever it Happens – Distributed.blog

Just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.

Toni Morrison Talks Love

Those associated with events supporting harmful autism charities have a chance to demonstrate that you don’t support profiting off and funding the misery of our people. You have a chance to take an ethical stand, of whatever size you can take. You have a chance to help out the punks. Even after these events conclude, build pressure by letting organizers know you don’t like their choices and behavior. Become an ally to people so marginalized that abusive therapies were invented to control how we move and speak. Be help against the onslaught, not part of the onslaught.

I would like to honour all the autistic people who survive the care system somehow.

All those who survive extreme ‘therapy’.

All those who are brought to their knees, reading hellish descriptions of their loved people.

And all who did not survive this onslaught.

ANN MEMMOTT PGC🌈 ON TWITTER

Read stimpunks.org. Read our Mission page. Read our Creed. That’s worth fighting for, with whatever power you have. Little acts of pressure against power add up. Without y’all, we are easy to ignore.

You Can’t Have This Art

These artists did the work of allies. They used what power they had to talk to organizers about our concerns and then pulled their art, leaving money on the table. Doing the first is what we ask all allies. Doing the second is next level. Our thanks to them is bottomless. Few choose to be allies. Fewer still take action like these folks have. They are going to bat for some of the most marginalized people on earth. They load-shared our burden of existing as friction.

Those with the least power in the industry of SxSW are making the biggest sacrifices. Ain’t it the way?

They platform our destruction. We build community in response.

These artists did what they could to exert pressure. You don’t have to pull your work to join us. We know you gotta eat in this dystopian world. Just talk to the organizers and say you are not okay with this and maybe even say you won’t work with them in the future if their events fund against autistic community preferences. Heck, just reading this far merits some ally cookies. Thank you, thank you, thank you for witnessing our appeal.

Now, feast your senses.

Anti-Ableist Art

These artists join us in a message of anti-ableism and celebration.

Heike Blakley is a self-taught, emerging artist working with a wide array of mediums such as acrylic, oil, watercolor, pencil, charcoal, pastel, mixed media, pen & ink.

Also specializing in resin art, jewelry making, woodwork, clay sculptures, fabric art and poetry.

Using her creativity as a form of learning and for meditative purposes, she is determined to, “absorb as much “collective knowledge,” as she is able to grasp in one lifetime and effectively communicate understanding through art.”

Home | Heike Blakley, Heike Vogt (@hblkly) • Instagram

The artist hopes to convey this: that the universe is given forth folded and unfolded. Although explicit understanding helps, it is too cumbersome, and should only provide refinement to something already greater that exists.

That greater thing is what was given to the artist first by the practice of origami. An enlivening of the intuitive mind, experience with a universe of many dimensions, and the promise of creation revealed when one folds a flat square into the likeness of a higher dimensional thing. That inspiration reaches a young mind in a powerful way.

The artist wants the viewer to see proof of what their intuitive mind already knows is true, the universe is a multidimensional phenomenon and the ability to understand its nature already exists within us each.

The artist hopes the viewer will be inspired to seek the understanding of freedoms available to the individual inspired by the exposure to artistic expressions, and of a nature of dimensionality unimaginably greater than the object presented here.

Adriel Jeremiah Wool
Pseudo Proxima by Adriel Jeremiah Art

Raised between the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and a small farming community in Wisconsin, Kyle gained an appreciation of the land, wildlife and the beauty of nature.  Kyle grew up as a 3rd generation artist, his grandfather was an oil painter and his mother ran a stained glass business out of their home in Wisconsin.  There was no shortage of art projects, outdoor activities, hunting, fishing, camping and gardening.  Post college, Kyle traveled and moved back to Colorado, Seattle and now Austin.  He has been living in downtown cities since college.  The clash of these two timelines reflects the duality expression in most of his work. This duality can also be seen through his passion for the skate, snow, music, tattoo and architecture world.

Custom Artwork | Cryptic Creative | Austin
Kyle Duce (@cryptic_creative) • Instagram photos

More artists coming as we gather images, bios, rights, and informed consent.

Special thanks to the artists at PunkFlowers–a neurodiverse artist coalition led by neurodivergent and disabled people–who have been steady allies through all of this. We are allies in return. We got your backs.

The marginalized are the only ones helping the marginalized. Again, ain’t it the way?

We realize that the only people who care enough about us to work consistently for our liberation are us. Our politics evolve from a healthy love for ourselves, our sisters and our community which allows us to continue our struggle and work.

The Combahee River Collective Statement – COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE

A Good Autism Charity

The Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence

The Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment exists to provide direct support, mutual aid, and reparations by and for autistic people of color.

Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment

Join Stimpunks Foundation in donating to the Autistic People of Color Fund. They are a legitimate autism charity run by and for autistic people. Your money will help instead of harm when sent to Lydia.

Give to the Fund

The Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment practices redistributive justice and mutual aid by returning and sharing money directly to and with autistic people of color. We provide microgrants to Black, Brown, Native, Asian, and mixed-race people in the autistic community for survival, organizing, leisure, and pleasure.

Stimpunks and Vancerts Presents: The Bobby Lees and Forty Feet Tall

The music of The Bobby Lees resonates with my neurodivergent life and neurology. I love this band so much. When Stimpunks got the chance to help secure a venue for them during SxSW, we jumped at it. Thanks, Vancerts, for including us. Thanks, Cryptic Creative, for the connection.

Stimpunks and Vancerts Presents: The Bobby Lees and Forty Feet Tall

Free Fest ATX Day Three

The Bobby Lees

This is Pure stim music

3 seconds in, I lost my shit and straight into head banging

A Neurodivergent CriP
The Bobby Lees performing live on stage with the lead singer captured mid head swing. Image Credit: Kyle Duce

This’ll get your juices flowing.

We feature The Bobby Lees on our Mission page in the Keep on Livin’ section.

The work we do here at Stimpunks can be wildly painful. The songs in Keep on Livin’ help me process pain and emerge into hope. Keep on Livin’ concludes with the affecting “Last Song”.

I watch you dancin' and
I watch you cry
I watch you look up and
Scream out why
Oh now my dear you got
So much to give
I heard them talkin' and
You're gonna live
So hold me closer and
Hold me tight
A little closer till we're
Into the night
Cause you and I we've got
So much to give
I heard them talkin' and
We're gonna live
That's right
It's alright

— Last Song, The Bobby Lees

Forty Feet Tall

I’m new to Forty Feet Tall, but I like ’em a lot and am exploring their catalog in preparation for the show.

Cryptic Creative

There will also be a live painting by our friend and ally Cryptic Creative.

Raised between the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and a small farming community in Wisconsin, Kyle gained an appreciation of the land, wildlife and the beauty of nature.  Kyle grew up as a 3rd generation artist, his grandfather was an oil painter and his mother ran a stained glass business out of their home in Wisconsin.  There was no shortage of art projects, outdoor activities, hunting, fishing, camping and gardening.  Post college, Kyle traveled and moved back to Colorado, Seattle and now Austin.  He has been living in downtown cities since college.  The clash of these two timelines reflects the duality expression in most of his work. This duality can also be seen through his passion for the skate, snow, music, tattoo and architecture world.

Custom Artwork | Cryptic Creative | Austin
Kyle Duce (@cryptic_creative) • Instagram photos

Crank This Up

To conclude, crank this up and stim dance your ass off.

Stimpunks, Vancerts, and Cryptic Creative Logos arranged in a grid

Graph of an Autistic Heart Confronting Injustice

“Being autistic has always given me a strong sense of justice and fairness, and a burning drive to do the right thing and to fight for it, even when it seems like struggling against the weight of the world. This seems very related to my extreme empathy, which is also tied to my experience of being autistic.”

“Knowing that injustice or violence exist anywhere is deeply painful for me, whether it directly targets me or not, and I believe that I must do anything within my capacity to work for a world where none of us have to be afraid anymore. If I were not autistic, I am certain I would not have the same drive as I do now.”

7 activists tell us the best thing about living with autism
This heart rate graph shows my average resting heart rate before and after confronting injustice. My heart rate trends higher by 25bpm for 5 days on this graph. The trend continued after the confrontation concluded.
This heart rate graph shows my average resting heart rate before and after confronting injustice. My heart rate trends higher by 25bpm for 5 days on this graph. The trend continued after the confrontation concluded.

This is a hyper empathic autistic’s heart under the stress of injustice. My resting heart rate rises for days and weeks at a time, contributing to meltdown and autistic burnout. I started trending higher the day I knew I had to confront injustice and start writing and organizing against it. This is constant adrenaline poisoning that goes for long periods. I feel it all through me from the moment I wake to the moment I finally pass out from exhaustion and into my stress dreams while sleeping. It’s a hell.

“A state of pervasive exhaustion, loss of function, increase in autistic traits, and withdrawal from life that results from continuously expending more resources than one has coping with activities and environments ill-suited to one’s abilities and needs.” In other words, autistic burnout is the result of being asked to continuously do more than one is capable of without sufficient means for recovery.

THINKING PERSON’S GUIDE TO AUTISM: Autistic Burnout: An Interview With Researcher Dora Raymaker

Justice, equality, fairness, mercy, longsuffering, Work, Passion, knowledge, and above all else, Truth. Those are my primary emotions.

Very Grand Emotions: How Autistics and Neurotypicals Experience Emotions Differently » NeuroClastic

The Benevolence of Surrender: Connected, Trusting Relationships

I’m rewatching The Benevolence of Surrender, reflecting on Swamburger’s words:

Let’s make it personal.
You have to know the person, and that person has to believe in you.

The Benevolence of Surrender by Solillaquists of Sound

Here are related quotes on autistic ways of developing trust:

Autists conceptualise the world in terms of trusted relationships with unique people…

Source: The beauty of collaboration at human scale

…many autistic children reported flourishing at home both educationally and personally. For these children and families, we identified three key ingredients essential to this flourishing, including: (i) the importance of connected, trusting relationships (‘people’); (ii) the sensory and social safety of home (‘place’); and (iii) the flexibility to pace and structure learning to suit the individual child (‘time’).

Source: “It just fits my needs better”: Autistic students and parents’ experiences of learning from home during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Autistic way of developing trust is based on experienced domain-specific competence. Autistic people:

(when young) assume everyone is telling the truth;

(when older) can become very cynical;

can be fooled by people who appear to be logical but who have no scruples fabricating evidence;

are slow in learning the cultural significance of social cues, and can’t reliably read social cues in an environment of sensory overload.

A common Autistic way of making friends

To construct trusted relationships and friendships, Autistic people apply an explicit goal oriented approach:

  1. Search for people with shared interests, usually online
  2. Confirm a shared area of interest
  3. Start having fun by openly sharing knowledge, personal experiences, and related gaps of knowledge and questions
  4. Explore what can be achieved with joint capabilities and capacities
  5. Embark on significant joint projects (examples) to have more fun

Source: A communal definition of Autistic ways of being | Autistic Collaboration

Mutual trust. Connected, trusting relationships. That’s how I operate. I default to trust. That need and tendency is wired in deeply.

It might seem naïve, but then again it’s just really honest.

Solillaquists of Sound – The Benevolence of Surrender

Solillaquists of Sound build community and culture. They’re an inspiration to Stimpunks.

Thank you for your patient timing

I’m in debt to you forever

Grateful to have with you grown

Every city really feels like a home

Live this truth so I hope it shows

Love you all it’s important to know

4 People by Solillaquists of Sound

The Listener’s Trilogy

Through 3 carefully crafted albums released over the last decade, the Solillaquists create a world of art, music, & philosophy to immerse the listener in and reveal the power they themselves hold.

Solillaquists of Sound – Second Subject

🫀 We’re Presenting: Conference to Restore Humanity

DIY at the Edges: Surviving the Bipartisanship of Behaviorism by Rolling Our Own

DIY at the Edges: Surviving the Bipartisanship of Behaviorism by Rolling Our Own

To be hosted by Ryan Boren, Inna Boren, Chelsea Adams, & Kristina Daniele of Stimpunks. Stimpunks combine “stimming” with “punks” to advocate for neurodiversity and push back against systems that restrict our humanity and harm our unique identities. 

Behaviorism is dead. Despite that, Behaviorism won. And neurodivergent and disabled students lost. Behaviorism is everywhere. The All Means All of public education is made meaningless by the bipartisanship of behaviorism. The neurodiversity and disability rights movements well-understand the ubiquity of behaviorism, and its tremendous costs. This course fights against behaviorist practices in the classroom.

Conference to Restore Humanity

July 25-28, 2022

How can we design neurodiverse spaces that push back against behaviorism?

Visit Stimpunks Space for how and Stimpunks Foundation for why.

Stop, Hammer Time: It’s not Science vs Philosophy … It’s Science + Philosophy. When you measure include the measurer.

It’s not Science vs Philosophy … It’s Science + Philosophy. When you measure include the measurer.

MC Hammer

I would insist on the embodied nature of all vision and so reclaim the sensory system that has been used to signify a leap out of the marked body and into a conquering gaze from nowhere. This is the gaze that mythically inscribes all the marked bodies, that makes the un-marked category claim the power to see and not be seen, to represent while escaping representation.

Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective

The interpretation of objectivity as neutral does not allow for participation or stances. This uninvolved, uninvested approach implies “a conquering gaze from nowhere” (Haraway 1988). In many ways, claims of objectivity allow one to “represent while escaping representation” (Haraway 1988) and mimics the construction of Whiteness2 in the racialization of marginalized peoples (Battey and Leyva 2016Guess 2006). Indeed, there is extensive evidence suggesting that STEM cultural norms are traditionally White, masculine, heteronormative and able-bodied (Atchison and Libarkin 2016Chambers 2017Eisenhart and Finkel 1998Johnson 2001Nespor 1994Seymour and Hewitt 1997Traweek 1988). Thus, while purporting to be a neutral application of a generic protocol, science-and STEM more broadly-has a distinct set of cultures that governs legitimate membership and acceptable behaviors. The concept of a meritocracy is often used to justify who succeeds in STEM cultures. However, far from “leveling the playing field”, meritocracies exist in cultural systems that prioritize people who have, or to a lesser extent closely emulate, these traits. Success in science, then, tends to privilege cultural traits associated with the above identities and often marginalizes scientists who can not or will not perform these identities. This introduces structural inequities in the pursuit of science that align with social manifestations of racism, colonialism, sexism, homophobia and ableism (Cech and Pham 2017Wilder 2014).

Defining the Flow—Using an Intersectional Scientific Methodology to Construct a VanguardSTEM Hyperspace

The failures of autism science are not random: they reflect systematic power imbalances.

Autism and Scientism

Additions to Our Philosophy on Tech Ethics, Algorithmic Oppression, Power, Accommodations, Accessibility, Care, Inclusion, Diagnosis, and Reframing

Our philosophy page collects quotes we steer by. They are compasses and stars that align us on our mission. We recently added quotes on tech ethics, algorithmic oppression, power, accommodations, accessibility, care, inclusion, diagnosis, and reframing.

The accommodations for natural human variation should be mutual.

Affordability is a part of accessibility.

We need a counterculture of care.

We must not allow pressure for resilience to permit broken systems to persist.

Reframing is self-care and social change.

In politics our frames shape our social policies and the institutions we form to carry out policies. To change our frames is to change all of this. Reframing is social change.

When we successfully reframe public discourse, we change the way the public sees the world. We change what counts as common sense. Because language activates frames, new language is required for new frames. Thinking differently requires speaking differently.

The ALL NEW Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate

Self diagnosis is not just “valid” — it is liberatory. When we define our community ourselves and wrest our right to self-definition back from the systems that painted us as abnormal and sick, we are powerful, and free.

The lens of power can really help us see what’s going on.

What ‘Cancel Culture’ Ignores About Free Speech

Name the systems of power.

Inclusivity involves looking at a space and seeing all the ways it’s set up to benefit those in power.

And then redesigning and resetting that space to support, affirm, and amplify marginalized folks.

Requiring diagnosis was counter to trans liberation and acceptance. The exact same is true of Autism.

Self diagnosis is not just “valid” — it is liberatory.

Technology should create opportunity, not deny it.

In Our Tech Reckoning, People with Disabilities are Demanding a Reckoning of their Own

A COMPUTER
CAN NEVER BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE

THEREFORE A COMPUTER MUST NEVER
MAKE A MANAGEMENT DECISION

1979 IBM Presentation

Like gods, these mathematical models were opaque, their workings invisible to all but the highest priests in their domain: mathematicians and computer scientists. Their verdicts, even when wrong or harmful, were beyond dispute or appeal. And they tended to punish the poor and the oppressed in our society, while making the rich richer.

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy
What's the problem with my genius?
Too attached to ever leave it
Silent for the new achievement but
What I long to witness is the equal shift
Of lifted gadgetry to intuition by
Genius giving up its selfish tact
And bringing praise of spirit back (Hey)
Pay respect upon the debt incurred
By non-belief when soul was speaking
Called simplistic by a name familiar to
Those regulars who think intelligence a competition
Missing opportunity to be a real show embarrassment
The care is not
The care is NOT spewing tools to ax the problem
Rather asking have or how they aptly solve themselves
...
What if love said: Hear me out a bit before the future comes around
...
This isn't anger, no, it's passion so let's live the way we should
As if we existed

"As If We Existed" by Solillaquists of Sound

Header image credit: Adriel Jeremiah Art

Stimpunks in a Minute

Stimpunks Foundation challenges the typical approach to helping people who are neurodivergent or disabled. We know what it is like to live with barriers and what it means to not fit in and have to forge our own community. Stimpunks knows that neurodivergent and disabled people have human needs. We offer a humane approach to help our community thrive.

Through Stimpunks Foundation, we:

  1. Offer financial and mutual aid;
  2. Hire our community members as consultants;
  3. Provide a learning space designed for our community; and
  4. Support our community’s open research efforts.

One in seven people has a disability. However, our community receives only 2% of US grant funding and makes up only 18% of the US workforce. We can’t just let that be the truth. We have to challenge the norm and change the narrative around people who are neurodivergent or disabled.

Stimpunks Foundation seeks to do just that. You can learn more and join us at stimpunks.org.

Stimpunks is created by and for neurodivergent and disabled people. We provide mutual aid, learning opportunities, human-centered research, and living wages for our community. We presume competence, and we believe in self-determination.

We, Stimpunks
Navigating Stimpunks

Need financial aid to pay for bills or medical equipment? Visit our guide to requesting aid.

 

Need funds for your art, advocacy, or research? Visit our guide to requesting funds.

 

Want to volunteer? Visit our guide to volunteering.

 

Need a table of contents and a guide to our information rich website? Visit our map.