Simple hacks for inclusive and autism-friendly work, community and family Halloween parties

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Costumes. Parties. Treats. Pranks...

For most kids and adults, Halloween is a fun holdover holiday between Labor Day and the December holidays. But for autistics, people with ADHD and other neurodivergent folks, the spooky season can increase anxiety and peer pressure, which can overtax our coping skills and interfere with mood and executive function.

Author Chaanda Bishop Weber wrote a lovely and illuminating Medium piece about her ten-year-old autistic son Jackson’s choice to opt out of donning a costume and trick-or-treating this year. …


We need basic income, not welfare

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Long before COVID got everyone from Thanksgiving uncles to politicians talking about universal basic income, activists and critics in Ontario have been sounding the alarm on the inadequacy of social assistance (also known as welfare) as it stands.

The problems are almost as well-known as the programs themselves; the most glaring being that rates fall far short of covering shelter, food and utilities. Moreover, in Ontario, social assistance rates have not kept pace with inflation. In 1995, a single individual received $520/month. In 2020, the same individual receives $733. These figures are not adjusted for inflation.

Social assistance recipients may…


Dispatches from the psychiatric ward

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Michelle Chiu on Unsplash

[Content warning: discussion of self-harm, suicide, substances, abuse, ableism, classism and transphobia]

Ideation

“I’m trying to figure out how to get a gun.”

The Discord chat comes to life, my good friend and comrade typing their response. “I’ve seen suicidal people fade. I’ve been there myself. I see it in you – ”

Discord indicates they are still typing.

“Then block me. I don’t want to bring you down with me.”

“Bullshit. I’m not going to live with that guilt. Namek, we don’t want to mourn you.”

Up until June 2020, when my spouse kicked me out during the COVID-19 pandemic…


‘Insane’ and ‘crazy’ have got to go.

Image for post
Image for post
(Kav Lakshmi, via The Voice)

It’s 2020. A deadly pandemic is raging, causing millions to get sick and lose their employment. Families and communities are coming apart at the seams, while the police execute innocent Black people. Donald Trump may secure four more years.

From Twitter to our dinner tables to anchors on the news, we find ourselves reaching for words that sufficiently capture the relentless parade of horrors characterizing this year. English is diverse enough that we can be heard and avoid using terms that hurt our disabled and neurodivergent family and friends.

Ableist language runs rampant in Liberal and leftist media; its unchallenged…


An open letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford on behalf of families and educators.

Image for post
Image for post
Premier Ford loading boxes of masks at an Ontario auto plant (via BayToday.ca)

Dear Ontario Premier Doug Ford,

We’ve come a long way from this past spring, when you worked with the feds and Ontario factories to get production lines making PPE and wrangled Ontario’s order of N95 masks from 3M out of Trump’s kleptocratic hands.

From March through the summer, Ontario families, workers and small business owners have made personal and professional sacrifices in the name of personal and community health. We’ve witnessed the catastrophe unfold next door and worried about relatives and friends stuck behind the US-Canada border.

So, given that coronavirus is still infecting over a hundred folks per day


Ask yourself this question before hitting ‘Tweet’

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ravi Sharma on Unsplash

Welcome to Decentering Whiteness, a new Medium publication dedicated to critical analysis of Whiteness/White supremacy culture.

Taking a seat before sending a Tweet

Decentering Whiteness, a cornerstone concept in critical race theory, constitutes an essential tool in every White anti-racist activist’s toolbox.

It’s not a nice-to-have, or even recommended.

It’s a prerequisite.

If you’re White and are engaged anti-racist work without practicing it, you’re a part of the White supremacy problem.

Black thinker Paul Thomas identifies Whiteness as the western social, political and cultural status quo: decentering it requires a conscious effort on the part of White folks to reject everything we think we know about racism.


Three simple actions you can take today to support the neurodiversity self-advocacy movement

Abled privilege, much like White privilege, is so pervasive as to be the norm. And instances of discrimination against neurodivergent folks and people with mental health diagnoses are often hard to detect and even harder to prove.

Image for post
Image for post
(Rebeca Horne, via Twitter)

Whether or not you or know (or don’t think you know) anyone diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder such as autism and/or ADHD, here are three simple things you can do to empower neurodivergent folks in your personal and professional lives.

1. Offer us opportunities

Many families, communities and governments invest heavily in special education and therapy for autistic children. While the end is admirable, the means can…


And we’re not going back to pre-pandemic poverty… Here’s how

This year, my birthday fell on the first weekend after Ontario declared a state of emergency in response to the accelerating coronavirus pandemic. My spouse and I went into our shared workplace, only for me to be let go and he furloughed. We fought the rest of the day - how would we cover the rent, student loan payments and the other bills?

Image for post
Image for post
I’m with you, kiddo (via thesun.co.uk)

Before the pandemic, our situation had already been desperate, as it’s nearly impossible for autistics like me to find accommodating employment that offers a living wage. Only 10–15% of autistic adults in Ontario are employed at all

EarthNamek

Autistic/queer activist & race traitor reporting critically on autism, gender/LGBTQ+ issues, politics & White supremacy | MSW | ko-fi.com/namekkin

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store