Help Me Learn About Autism and Education


I have a plan and a goal, and I need your help.

One of the things I learned from teaching was that I had to change my focus in order to keep learning and growing. Some of the time I had to keep my classroom door open: I had to read books and go to workshops and talk intensely with my colleagues. Other times I had to close the classroom door because the only people who could teach me what I needed to know were my students.

This feels like a time to close the door.

 

The response of the autism communities to the Newtown shootings ends an era for me. We rose to the occasion in a way that we rarely have in the past. I feel like, for now, that I am not needed as an activist or a cop. Other people better suited to those roles are doing what needs to be done there and I can put those hats away.

I can be what I am: a teacher and an artist.

 

Have I told you lately how proud I am of you?

The thAutcast community-- the people who read this page and participate on Facebook-- you are my greatest treasure. Having assembled this brilliant and beautiful group of autistic people, family members, and friends (over 20,000 of you!!) is what I am proudest of. You are an incredible resource, of tremendous experience, wisdom, and kindness.

 

It's time to close the door and learn from each other.

 

And I need to start by learning about education. One reason for this is because I think, although autism is also other things, it is sometimes very useful to think of it as a learning disability. Another is that I think the interventions that have been most successful for autistic people so far have been educational in nature. Undoubtedly the biggest reason is that I think what I have the potential to do best is help teachers do a better job of working with autistic people and their families.

Throughout the month of January, and maybe longer, I will be asking questions about autism and education. I want very much to know your answers to these questions. I will post them both here and on the Facebook page. You may answer publicly there or privately here.

I intend for this to be a book and maybe more.

 

First question:

What do you want to know about autism and education?