• Launch of Reframing Autism

    Launch of Reframing Autism

    On Saturday 26 October, Reframing Autism was launched at the Now and Next Family Conference. The following blog is the speech given by Reframing Autism’s CEO and founder, Dr Melanie Heyworth, at the launch.

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  • What is play?

    What is play?

    Play is synonymous with enjoyment: it implies engagement, fun, immersion. The definition does not — and I say again, emphatically NOT — prescribe what play is. It describes the feeling that we experience when we play (enjoyment); it does not prescribe what activities constitute ‘play’.

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  • Hosting an inclusive event for Autistic participants

    Hosting an inclusive event for Autistic participants

    Are you having an event that includes Autistic participants or delegates (adults or children)? Do you want to ensure that your event is accessible and respectful of Autistic sensory and communication needs? These guidelines will help you to support the needs of the Autistic individuals attending your event.

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  • Passions and motivation: Why passions aren’t rewards

    Passions and motivation: Why passions aren’t rewards

    Although I have had some very positive feedback about my Manifesto for Allies, one part of the Manifesto has prompted more questions and discussion than any other section. My stance on Autistic passions has caused some consternation (or at least uncertainty), so I wanted to spend some time expanding and explaining my thinking on this matter further. Bear with me: this post is another long one!

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  • A manifesto for allies adopting an acceptance approach to Autism

    A manifesto for allies adopting an acceptance approach to Autism

    • Blogs
    • February 15, 2019

    If you are reading this manifesto, you are likely in the privileged position of being able to be an ally, and to help the Autistic people with whom you live or work or interact to realise their rights and feel loved and welcomed in the world, as they are, not as you (or anyone else) would like them to be. You have the chance to shape the narrative of Autism to one that unites us as a community defined by mutual respect and appreciation. I invite you to see Autism from an Autistic viewpoint, and to join our Autistic community on our journey to acceptance.

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  • The gift of unconditional love

    The gift of unconditional love

    Very often when I talk with parents of Autistic children, especially parents of Autistic children who are non-traditional communicators, one of their deepest and most abiding fears is that their child will never say the words, ‘I love you’ to them. It seems to many parents to be such a fundamental and profound need, to hear those words, spoken by their child, in their child’s own voice, like it is the ultimate proof of the bond between child and parent, the paramount evidence of shared devotion.

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  • Investing in relationships: The core business of parenting

    Investing in relationships: The core business of parenting

    There is no doubt that parents are busy. The struggle of the juggle is real. Work, domestics, parenting … they all very often result in parents being stretched too thinly. Let’s face it, it makes me exhausted just thinking about the never-ending rotation of cooking, cleaning, washing, groceries, ironing, not to mention the diplomacy required to negotiate the tricky business of sibling interactions, or the extra-curricular routines that require a dedicated taxi service, or the day-to-day skirmish required to achieve clean bodies, hygienic teeth, full tummies.

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  • Introspection on education

    Introspection on education

    • Blogs
    • September 10, 2018

    Currently in Australia, parents are scurrying to find the right educational setting for their Autistic children beginning school for the first time. Or for their children changing schools for the first, or second, or third time, as previous educational settings have become untenable or unworkable or detrimental to their child’s mental, emotional, social or academic health. Or all of those things. Our school year follows the calendar year, and I know many, many parents who are searching desperately to find the perfect fit for their Autistic poppet for the new year. Or, more accurately, who are searching for an adequate educational fit for their child.

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  • #TakeTheMaskOff (but what if I don’t know how?)

    #TakeTheMaskOff (but what if I don’t know how?)

    This afternoon I was describing the concept of Autistic masking to a close friend, who is not directly a part of the Autistic community. I explained that currently there is a robust campaign for Autistics to take their masks off, and to be who they are, authentically and genuinely, without censure, guilt, discrimination or repercussions.

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