In this relatable blog, a member of the Reframing Autism team shares how the convergence of her demand avoidance, extreme performance anxiety, perfectionism, ADHD and insecurity almost froze her into complete inertia. She describes how she was able to silence her inner critic with self-compassion: “My inner critic was still there, as she will always be. But the more I began to peel back the layers and understand myself more fundamentally, I noticed another figure in the front row … she is still an indistinct, elusive construct, often overshadowed by the domineering and ruthless voice of the critic. She watches me too but it is with unconditional love.”
Celebrating and nurturing Autistic identity.
Are you ready to celebrate Autistic identities, embrace the Autistic community, and empower Autistic individuals?
Join Reframing Autism as we work to change the world to achieve respect, acceptance and citizenship.
What we do
Our vision is a world in which the Autistic community is supported by its families and allies to achieve genuine acceptance, inclusion, and active citizenship, and in which Autistic culture and identity is celebrated and nurtured.
At Reframing Autism, we want to change the narrative to fit a strengths-based neurodiversity view. Ultimately, our goal is to improve long-term Autistic mental health and wellbeing for both our current and future generations.
Respect. Accept. Embrace. Empower.
We want to change the frame through which society views Autism. The frame we choose to see Autism through is neurodiversity, which means that we see Autism as a valuable, worthy and naturally occurring brain difference.
Our organisation is unique: we are run by Autistic people, and we primarily employ and contract Autistic people. We take this approach because we believe that giving Autistic people the opportunities they deserve to lead and share their lived experiences, is the first step to inclusion, justice and emancipation for our community.
Reframing means acceptance, inclusion, equity and employment.
And that means that we are free to be our Autistic selves.
Let’s talk about Autism
How we understand and view Autism is potentially different to the views you have heard elsewhere.
You see, RA is run mostly by Autistic people. Those of us who aren’t Autistic are neurodivergent.
But our perspectives on Autism don’t come from professional training or university study or book-learning. They come from our lived experience, as professionals, as parents, as Autistic people.
We have lived as Autistic individuals our entire lives, and we each have a deep, personal knowledge of what it is to live Autistically.
It is that experience that informs what we do and why we do it.
You can learn more about the way we view Autism by following the link below.
NEW! Professional Development: An introduction to teaching Autistic children
Reframing Autism invites educators and educational support staff to join Dr Melanie Heyworth for an introductory workshop on teaching Autistic children. Very often, Autistic children find schools overwhelming and challenging environments. We will give teachers and other support staff Autistic-endorsed and practical strategies for including Autistic children in your classroom so that everyone, Autistic and non-autistic alike, can thrive.
A professional development certificate will be issued upon completion of the workshop and feedback survey.
Does Learning You Are Autistic at a Younger Age Lead to Better Adult Outcomes? A Summary for Non-Academics
Does learning you’re Autistic at a younger age lead to increased wellbeing and quality of life? That is the question researchers sought to answer when they embarked on this study. They asked 78 university students how they learned they were Autistic, how they felt about Autism when first learning they are Autistic and now, and when they would tell Autistic children about their Autism. Read this research summary here to find out the results.
Today is R U OK? Day, a special day for checking in on the mental health of others. But it can be hard to ask this question and offer support if you, yourself are struggling. So for all of those who do want to show concern for others without taking on their mental health concerns, we created these downloadable guidelines for you to share on how to select a neuro-affirming healthcare provider. Because sometimes even asking R U OK? can be beyond our capacity, and that is OK too.
In this research, published in 2022, researchers set out to discover how Autistic people use camouflaging to cope within a largely neurotypical world. The study is the first to show how Autistic people use a range of camouflaging behaviours to cope when in conversation with someone. Knowing this information helps people to understand how to improve social outcomes for Autistic people, and to reduce prejudice and discrimination.
In this webinar, Marion McLaughlin and Flick Goodhall discuss the power of Autistic storytelling. Video Transcript Marion – Hi, everyone, and welcome to our webinar on “Autistic Storytelling,” and thank you so much to Reframing Autism for giving us this lovely opportunity. We’d like to introduce ourselves, let you know who it is that you’re […]
We have recently updated our position statement on therapies and interventions given new evidence and research. You can read our updated statement here.
Whether you’ve had a “light bulb” moment when reading of other Autistics’ lived experiences or have realised that you share an uncanny number of characteristics with your Autistic child – Welcome! from a community of people who will understand and accept you for who you are. But what do you do next?
Have you ever wondered how to articulate your needs at work? In this enlightening guest blog, Autistic Lawyer, Justine Field shares how she learned to advocate for her rights in a workplace environment full of practices, processes and attitudes that are shaped to fit the needs of neurotypical people.
"We are taught, intentionally or unintentionally, to think that disability is a bad thing. From teasing at school, gung-ho attitudes to capability, and media displays of inspiration porn, right down to lacklustre workplace accommodations and social stereotyping, we are taught that disability is somehow not okay. In truth, this is BS," writes Esme Jay aka Pixie's Big Why.
Founder of Finding Autism, Amy Cramb, shares the ‘sweet spot’ that can be found when an Autistic person and their non-Autistic partner meet each other halfway: "If both sides work their way up the wall through compromise and acceptance, they can meet at the top – the halfway point – where true connection, understanding, and even love, can arise."
Ahead of our Symposium on Autistic Relationships, we're exploring the magnetic attraction of neurodivergent love. We interviewed the Director of Studio Misfits, Chloe, and her husband, LGBTQIA+ and mental health advocate Riley, on the benefits of being similarly (and differently) neurodivergent.
Join our community
The Reframing Autism team would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we have the privilege to learn, work, and grow. Whilst we gather on many different parts of this Country, the RA team walk on the land of the Birpai, Cammeraygal, Wattamattagal, Wadawurrung, Wajuk, Amangu and Bunurong peoples.
We are committed to honouring the rich culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this Country, and the diversity and learning opportunities they provide us with. We extend our gratitude and respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to all Elders past, present, and emerging, for their wisdom, their resilience, and for helping this Country to heal.
Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.