Why a Feminist

Autism and Activism

dat.activism is a website for data-driven activism around Autism, women’s issues, disability and the world in general. All articles are in English and Portuguese.

dat.activism é um site para activismo baseado em dados relacionados com Autismo, assuntos feministas, incapacidades e do Mundo em geral. Todos os artigos são escritos em Inglês e Português.

Latest from the Blog

  • ABA therapy Part 5 – Arguments against ABA by autistic adults and new research
    Some new research is focusing on autistic experience with ABA, opening a channel to change the systemic way we approach autistic experiences and bad reviews on therapeutical practices, to start to listen, instead of to ignore. Reason number 1: ABA in it’s purer form, is a compliance-based therapy, not independent thinking According to the study […]
  • ABA therapy series Part 4- The response to JRC from ABA organizations
    Although JRC had been a controversial figure and there were a lot of therapists trying to deny their work, I will talk today of ABA organizations and ABA experts that supported JRC and that do not forbide or denounce the use of punishment in ABA therapy, even after these cases reached the press, and how […]
  • ABA therapy Part 3 – Judge Rotenberg Center
    “I’ve never used electric shock,” he says in his calm, soft voice. “I wouldn’t rule it out. Particularly if we were deprived of other procedures. It’s more effective, and you wouldn’t bruise or cut the skin.” said Matthew Israel. Trigger warning: descriptions of torture and abuse And so he did. In the late 1980s, by […]
  • ABA therapy Part 2 – Behavior Research Institute
    Trigger warning: descriptions of torture, violence and abuse The founder Matthew Israel and the Behavior Research Institute Matthew Israel studied behaviorism with Skinner (to the people that wanted me to mentioned him, here it is) and got his PhD from Harvard in the 60s. Inspired by Walden II, he tried to create an utopia based […]
  • ABA Part 1 – Ivar Loovas opinions on Autism
    I wanted to add a part 2 of part 1 about founder Ivar Loovas, with his quotes and opinions about autistic people, since the initial post was already too big. This serves only to see exactly what he supported and his therapy was based. Some therapists still take Lovaas as a pioneer, and it is […]
  • What is Activism?
    I got a lot of “feedback” from my last post so I wanted to stop the several part posts on ABA to talk about the responses I received for showing a piece of history. My last post was a gathering of history and facts. In no part whatsoever I say I am completely against therapies. […]
  • ABA Part 1 – The Founder Ivar Lovaas
    I promised to do a serie of information relating to the ABA or  applied behavior analysis  history and this is part 1 – their founder Ivar Lovaas. Although Lovaas was not the sole helper in the development of ABA he was one of the major forces in implementing, studying it and supporting it. So I […]
  • Happy New Year – Goodbye 2020
    The year is ending and it feels like decades since it started. So much happened to all of us, that a review on the year almost seems a bit sadistic. However, there was a lot that we learned this year. In the beginning of 2020 I found out I am autistic. Yes, it seems a […]
  • Using Autism as a legal defense
    Alek Minassian was a self-proclaimed incel that drove a rented van into dozens of pedestrians on Yonge St., and his new legal defense is that his mental state was impaired, since he is Autistic. Alek killed 10 people and injured another 16. This is not new either, since Jason Berlin, convicted of rape, had his […]
  • Christmas, overwhelm and toxic people
    Christmas is a time to spend with family, friends and loved ones in general, but unfortunately, for some this might mean spending time with toxic people that hurt them, for several reasons. It is also a time for a lot of socialization, a lot of noise, a lot of touch. I always struggled a little […]
  • Yale and Autism in 2020 study: scaring autistic toddlers for research
    The Yale Child Study Center is a center for Yale School of Medicine in Yale University. They have a center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research where several studies on Autism are developed. On 7th of December 2020, they release a new study called “Attend Less, Fear More: Elevated Distress to Social Threat in Toddlers With […]
  • Pandemic, lockdown and their impact in autistic people
    Someone asked me this week what I advise for the pandemic, since their child was getting more aggressive with the pandemic, and they didn’t knew exactly how to help them. In my experience there are several things that changed that bother me, and hope something of it might help. Just be aware that every autistic […]
  • Wearable devices for monitoring anxiety (and how a shutdown looks like)
    I recently got a Garmin smartwatch (like Fitbit), to try to record my levels of stress, sleep, record hidration, and general physical wellbeing to try to be more mindful of my own body, which is not always easy since I have alexythimia and I am hyposensible in Interoception, meaning I have both difficulty in identify […]
  • Is the Anti-ABA movement denying science?
    Yesterday I did a talk on University of Aveiro to show new studies that support the view and experience of autistic community, and to give some sense of how autistic traits are felt by us. In the end, there was one question that was made, that I knew it was controversial, and that was: What […]
  • Happy International Day of People with Disabilities!
    Did you know that 1 in 5 people has a disability and that 80% of them are invisible disabilities? We have to celebrate all kinds of disabilities, because it’s not an ugly word, and avoiding saying it ends up making who we are a taboo, and to not talk about our needs and who we […]
  • Autistic representation in movies and TV shows
    Although 20% of the population has some kind of disability, 95% of the roles with disabled characters are played by actors without disabilities. So I decided to make a small list about autistic representation in movies and TV shows, to talk about the importance of the inclusion of our voices in their development. Here are […]
  • Online Talk Universidade de Aveiro 9 de dezembro 16h30
    *only in Portuguese Vou dar um workshop online para a Universidade de Aveiro sobre Autismo, da perspectiva de uma autista. Se quiserem assistir, estão convidados. Autismo – mitos, estigma e experiências de vida contados por uma autista9 de dezembro de 2020, 16h30 Departamento de Educação e Psicologia, online Resumo: Sabia que a proporção de autistas […]
  • High tolerance to pain: super-power or kryptonite?
    This week I was having a shower and noticed a bump on my leg. It was a spider bite, already infected, and next to it a bruise. Everything is ok, and I managed to clean it up and to disinfect it, but this made me think about the bad part of having high tolerance to […]
  • Autism Speaks, the Autism non-profit turned hate group
    As I promised, I will write about how the autistic people do NOT support Autism Speaks, and the reasons we actually see them as a hate group and a very problematic non-profit. Autism Speaks was founded in 2005 by Bob Wright and wife, Suzanne Wright, grandparents of an autistic child, Christian. They founded Autism Speaks with the […]
  • Shops owned by people with disabilities or chronic illnesses
    Christmas is coming and COVID made a lot of people, especially people with disability to lose their jobs or to struggle due to the risk for their own health. I decided then to only shop from small business made by people with disabilities. People with disabilities, and specially autistic people, that are also added to […]
  • Environmental causes of Autism?
    What is Environmental Factors and how they may be associated with Autism? Some people still don’t understand exactly what the scientists mean with environmental causes relating to Autism, so I thought about trying to explain it as best as I can. When talking about environmental causes they DO NOT mean vaccines, food, or environmental causes […]
  • Sia’s new Music movie about Autism controversy
    I had to take a day to process how it made me feel, since it was very heartbreaking and overwhelming. This is a big one, since it includes most types of Ableism available, so brace for it. Sia made a new movie called “Music” that follows a non-verbal autistic teen called Music and her older […]
  • Failure as a social concept
    I never understood failure in the true sense of the word. Not because I didn’t passed by it. I did. A lot. But failure is a social concept, and as all social concepts I have difficulty understanding it. The truth is for trying new things, help your community, create better societies, failure is a part […]

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