WBAI 99.5 fm Pacifica Radio NYC, “Neurodiversity Experts Talk” interview with Julie Roberts, M.S. CCC-SLP, Founder of the Therapist Neurodiversity Collective. Fri, Apr 16, 2021 14:00 PM

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Therapist Neurodiversity Collective Infographics

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Links to Free pdf Downloads:
8 Signs of a Respectful Therapist 
Ableism White
Ableism Black
Self Advocacy
We don’t train social skills
Why We Don’t Use Social Thinking® (or any commercial Social Skills programs
IEP Makeovers for Neurodivergent Students
IEP Makeovers Part 2
Superflex Project
Terms therapists should know
Parents Guide to ABA Therapy
Collective Membership Commitment
How to Be an Ableist Therapist
Eye Contact Goals
ABA Therapy in Skilled Nursing Homes
The Double Empathy Problem
Consumer Beware
Diversity in Social Intelligence
Contrasting Therapy Approaches
Social Skills Training & The Research
Learn Neurodiversity Terminology
Shocking Pro-Neurodiversity Therapy Practices
Question of the Day – Setting Boundaries
Be Aware of These Buzz Phrases
Relevant Themes in Institutional Racialisation in Autism and Research Practice
Explicit and Implicit Biases Toward Autism
A Conceptual Analysis of Autistic Masking_ Understanding the Narrative of Stigma and the Illusion of Choice
Social Cognition, Social Skill, and Social Motivation Minimally Predict Social Interaction Outcomes for Autistic and Non-Autistic Adults
You might be an ableist therapist if
AAC Connection and Autonomy
ABA has not changed
Multimodal Communication
Q & A with Kieran Rose – Autism
We don’t treat Autism
We Practice Like This
AAC Myths
The Tone Police

How do you introduce Autism to an Autistic Person? To a Neurotypical Person? Here are some fantastic resources from the Autistic Community:

Welcome to the Autistic Community – The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network – ASAN

Start Here: a guide for parents of autistic kids – The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network – ASAN

Welcome to the Autistic Community – The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network – ASAN

Understanding the Autistic Mind, Volume 1 – NeuroClastic

Coming Out to Family and Friends as Autistic – NeuroClastic

How Do I Tell My Autistic Child About Autism? – NeuroClastic


“This open access book marks the first historical overview of the autism rights branch of the neurodiversity movement, describing the activities and rationales of key leaders in their own words since it organized into a unique community in 1992. Sandwiched by editorial chapters that include critical analysis, the book contains 19 chapters by 21 authors about the forming of the autistic community and neurodiversity movement, progress in their influence on the broader autism community and field, and their possible threshold of the advocacy establishment.” Editor: Steven K. Kapp

The Neurodiversity Paradigm
“Neurodiversity is the diversity of human brains and minds, the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species. The Neurodiversity Paradigm is an emergent paradigm in which neurodiversity is understood to be a form of human diversity that is subject to the same social dynamics as other forms of diversity (including dynamics of power and oppression).”
Download a pdf copy: The Neurodiversity Paradigm

The Therapist Neurodiversity Collective uses Identity First Langauge. We always identify people how they wish when conversing with them, but when writing reports, discussing clients or students or in presentations, we use the non-stigmatizing language of Identity-First. Examples: “Autistic person”. “Autistic child”. “A child diagnosed as Autistic”. “An Autistic student”.

Avoiding Ableist Language: Suggestions for Autism Researchers
“In this commentary, we describe how language used to communicate about autism within much of autism research can reflect and perpetuate ableist ideologies (i.e., beliefs and practices that discriminate against people with disabilities), whether or not researchers intend to have such effects. Drawing largely from autistic scholarship on this subject, along with research and theory from disability studies and discourse analysis, we define ableism and its realization in linguistic practices, provide a historical overview of ableist language used to describe autism, and review calls from autistic researchers and laypeople to adopt alternative ways of speaking and writing. Finally, we provide several specific avenues to aid autism researchers in reflecting on and adjusting their language choices.”

Does Language Matter? Identity-First Versus Person-First Language Use in Autism Research: A Response to Vivanti
“There will not always be consensus on what autism is or how we should talk about autistic people—even among autistic people ourselves—but to ignore those autistic voices that have broken through into the academy lest they not be representative of every single autistic person is short-sighted. Linguistic framing, including the use of PFL, has material consequences for the autistic community, especially those who are non-speaking. The priority of research should be to centre autistic people (both speaking and non-speaking, and with, and without learning disabilities) in the conversation around the language used to describe autism and autistic people. If current studies are not representative enough of the entire autistic population the solution is to conduct more research.”
Botha, M., Hanlon, J. & Williams, G.L. Does Language Matter? Identity-First Versus Person-First Language Use in Autism Research: A Response to Vivanti. J Autism Dev Disord (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04858-w

Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community
“The term ‘autistic’ was endorsed by a large percentage of autistic adults, family members/friends, and parents but by considerably fewer professionals; ‘person with autism’ was endorsed by almost half of professionals but by fewer autistic adults and parents.”
Kenny L, Hattersley C, Molins B, Buckley C, Povey C, Pellicano E. Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community. Autism. 2016;20(4):442-462. doi:10.1177/1362361315588200

Regarding the Use of Dehumanising Rhetoric
Rose, K (2020). Regarding the Use of Dehumanising Rhetoric

Reframing Professional Language Around Autism: Reflecting on our use of language in professional contexts
Psychology Today, June 10, 2020

Reframing Professional Language Around Autism in Practice: A practical guide to using respectful language in the professional context.
Psychology Today, June 11, 2020

Subject Matter Articles

Neurodiversity is the range of differences in individual brain function and behavioral traits, regarded as part of normal variation in the human population.

Neurological differences can include such differences as dyspraxia, dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Down Syndrome, and others. Acquired neurodivergence can include such things as traumatic brain injury, post-stroke, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Increasing Neurodiversity in Disability and Social Justice Advocacy Groups – ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network)

Autism, Inc.: The Autism Industrial Complex

We contend that, within capitalism, the Autism Industrial Complex (aic) produces both autism as commodity and the normative cultural logic of intervention in relation to it. Comprised of ideological/rhetorical as well as material/economic infrastructure, we argue that the aic is not the myriad businesses and industries that capitalize and profit from it; rather, these constitute its epiphenomenal features. In the production of autism as commodity, the aic also simultaneously produces that commodity’s market, its consumers, and its own monopoly control of that market through production for consumption of need for, consent to, and legitimacy of interventionist logics. Within this apparatus, almost anyone can capitalize on and profit from autism. And within the aic, autistic people—their very bodies—function as the raw materials from which this industrial complex is built, even as autistic people—their very identities and selves—also become unwitting, and often unwilling, products of the aic.

In: Journal of Disability Studies in Education E-ISSN: 2588-8803 Print ISSN: 2588-879X Publisher: Brill


§482.13(b)(2) The patient or his or her representative (as allowed under State law) has the right to make informed decisions regarding his or her care. The patient’s rights include being informed of his or her health status, being involved in care planning and treatment, and being able to request or refuse treatment.Dec 2, 2011

The Patient Self-Determination Act. A matter of life and death.
Physician Assist. 1995 Mar;19(3):49, 53-6, 59-60 passim.
The Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) is a federal law, and compliance is mandatory. It is the purpose of this act to ensure that a patient’s right to self-determination in health care decisions be communicated and protected. Through advance directives–the living will and the durable power of attorney–the right to accept or reject medical or surgical treatment is available to adults while competent, so that in the event that such adults become incompetent to make decisions, they would more easily continue to control decisions affecting their health care. Without advance directives and the proper adherence to such directives, former President Richard Nixon and former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis might still be alive today, in persistent vegetative states. This article examines the history of the act, its importance to each individual, the clinical, ethical and legal issues, and the role of health care professionals in effectively implementing and ensuring compliance of the PSDA.

Law for Older Americans – Health Care Advance Directives. What is the Patient Self-Determination Act?

Neurodiversity, Quality of Life, and Autistic Adults: Shifting Research and Professional Focuses onto Real-Life Challenges
This article examines challenges to the quality of life experienced by autistic adults.1 The author, who is an autistic researcher, first shares how a neurodiversity perspective offers an important alternative to the deficit model of autism. Whereas the deficit model portrays autistic people as ill, broken, and in need of fixing, the neurodiversity perspective portrays it as a form of human diversity with associated strengths and difficulties. The article’s discussion then shifts to presenting Schalock’s (2000) quality of life framework as a neurodiversity-compatible lens through which domains of quality of life can be viewed. The article analyzes in detail these core domains in relation to the lives of autistic adults. The author suggests that a collaborative approach between professionals/researchers and autistic adults is needed to develop meaningful solutions to these challenges, and he presents possibilities for collaboration.

Protect your loved ones and yourself from being subjected to the abuses of applied behavioral analysis (ABA) in the medical, rehab or skilled nursing setting:

Know the clinical background of anyone who is working with your loved one.  SLPs and other clinical staff who use ABA models, and BCBAs and ABA Techs work in

  • Acute care hospitals
  • Inpatient rehabilitation facilities and private care clinics
  • Traumatic Brain Injury clinics and facilities
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities

ABA is used to control and manipulate the behavior of patients with Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-stroke, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Age-Related Depression, Anxiety and Challenging Behaviors.
The push for the use of ABA in medical settings is a strategic business model, financially incentivized by the ABA industry at the expense of human dignity and patient rights. 
Expanding the Consumer Base for Behavior-Analytic Services: Meeting the Needs of Consumers in the 21st Century
Leblanc, Linda A et al. “Expanding the consumer base for behavior-analytic services: meeting the needs of consumers in the 21st century.” Behavior analysis in practice vol. 5,1 (2012): 4-14. doi:10.1007/BF03391813

What you can do: Create a medical power of attorney and discuss your wishes with anyone who will be making medical decisions for you for how you wish to be treated if you should have a stroke, a TBI or be impacted with any cognitive injury. Address your wishes for swallowing and feeding therapy. Address your rights to refuse to participate in therapy which is disrespectful, manipulative or controlling. Put in your medical power of attorney whether or not you agree to be subjected to punishments and aversion therapy, including the withholding of foods, drinks, activities, and personal items in order to manipulate your behavior. The maximization of respect for patient autonomy and bodily integrity, rather than the imposition of the therapist’s professional values, is what the application of “informed consent” should endeavor to achieve.

Keep in mind that BCBAs and Behavior Techs pledge to treat all patients “consistent with the philosophical assumptions and principles of behavior analysis.” (Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts)

For more information: Acquired Neurological Conditions

Books by Alfie Kohn:

It is primarily Alfie Kohn’s work that shapes the Therapist Neurodiversity Collective’s position on no use of behavior modification through positive reinforcement, or as he eloquently states, “control by seduction”. 

Punished by Rewards: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes

“Alfie Kohn’s landmark challenge to carrot-and-stick psychology, featuring updated reflections and research in a major new afterword by the author
Our basic strategy for raising children, teaching students, and managing workers can be summed up in six words: Do this and you’ll get that. We dangle goodies (from candy bars to sales commissions) in front of people in the same way that we train the family pet.
Since its publication in 1993, this groundbreaking book has persuaded countless parents, teachers, and managers that attempts to manipulate people with incentives may seem to work in the short run, but they ultimately fail and even do lasting harm. Drawing from hundreds of studies, Kohn demonstrates that we actually do inferior work when we are enticed with money, grades, or other incentives—and are apt to lose interest in whatever we were bribed to do.
Promising goodies to children for good behavior, meanwhile, can never produce anything more than temporary obedience. Even praise can become a verbal bribe that gets kids hooked on our approval.
Rewards and punishments are two sides of the same coin—and the coin doesn’t buy much. What is needed, Kohn explains, is an alternative to both ways of controlling people. Hence, he offers practical strategies for parents, teachers, and managers to replace carrots and sticks. Seasoned with humor and familiar examples, Punished by Rewards presents an argument that is unsettling to hear but impossible to dismiss.”

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason

Book by Steve Silberman:
Steve Silberman is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in Wired, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, the MIT Technology ReviewNatureSalonShambhala Sun, and many other publications. He is the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (Avery 2015), which Oliver Sacks called a “sweeping and penetrating history…presented with a rare sympathy and sensitivity.” The book became a widely-praised bestseller in the United States and the United Kingdom, and won the 2015 Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction, a California Book Award, and a Books for a Better Life award. It was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2015 by The New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Boston Globe, The Independent, and many other publications, and is being translated into 15 languages.”

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

Books by Ross W. Greene, PhD: “Kids do well if they can.” 

Amazon: “Ross W. Green, PhD., is the originator of the empirically supported model of psychosocial treatment described in his influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, Lost & Found, and Raising Human Beings. Dr. Greene was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, and is the founding director of the non-profit Lives in the Balance (livesinthebalance.org), which provides vast free resources on his CPS model and advocates on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their caregivers. He is on the faculty of the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech and the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. He and his colleagues at Lives in the Balance consult to families, schools, inpatient psychiatry units, and residential and juvenile detention facilities throughout the world.”

Explosive Child, The: A New Approach For Understanding And Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

Treating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach 1st Edition

Lost and Found: Helping Behaviorally Challenging Students (and, While You’re At It, All the Others) (J-B Ed: Reach and Teach) 1st Edition

Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child

Books by Katja Rowell MD and Jenny McGlothlin, M.S., CCC-SLP:

Katja Rowell MD is a family doctor and childhood feeding specialist. Described as “academic, but warm and down to earth,” she is a popular speaker and writer.

Jenny McGlothlin, M.S, CCC-SLP developed the STEPS feeding program at the UT Dallas Callier Center to support and promote feeding development in children and provides training for graduate students, therapists, teachers, and parents. More information may be found at Extreme Picky Eating Help.

Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating: A Step-by-Step Guide for Overcoming Selective Eating, Food Aversion, and Feeding Disorders

Conquer Picky Eating for Teens and Adults: Activities and Strategies for Selective Eaters 1st Edition

Books by Julia Bascom:

Julia Bascom serves as Executive Director at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and is an SLP Neurodiversity Collective Board Member. Julia is an autistic writer and activist who has served on the New Hampshire DD council and is the founder of the Loud Hands Project. She writes about autistic identity, community, and language; disability rights; theory vs. praxis; and autism acceptance on her website, Just Stimming…

The Obsessive Joy of Autism

Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking

And Straight on Till Morning: Essays on Autism Acceptance

Recommended Autistic Voices making a thought-provoking and informative impact: a list compiled by Kieran Rose, SLP Neurodiversity Collective Executive Board Member, Managing Director of Infinite Autism and Chair of The Autistic Cooperative:

Autism Explained Online Summit – FREE TICKET

“The following is an inexhaustive list of Positive of practical Blogs by Autistic people aimed at both parents of Autistic children and newly diagnosed Autistic Adults that will offer insight and understanding to various aspects of being Autistic and also help frame Autism in a way that encourages acceptance from self and others.” – Kieran Rose

Autism Blogs

The Autistic Advocate

Frank L. Ludwig – Autism Appreciation

Autistic Hoya – A blog by Lʏᴅɪᴀ X. Z. Bʀᴏᴡɴ

Neurodivergent Rebel


Non-Speaking Autistic Speaking

Ollibean – Amy Sequenzia Archives


The Outcast Post

BorenBlog – Ryan Boren

Autisticate Dalmayne


Hello Michelle Swan

Un-Boxed Brain


Ann’s Autism Blog


Actually Autistic Blogs

Specific Blog posts

SilverArabian’s Stuff – Ages of Autism

Tales by the Unexpected – How it Feels

Ragged Edge Online – Critic of the Dawn


Kieran Rose, The Autistic Advocate

Sara-Jane Harvey, Agony Autie

Christa Holmans, Neurodivergent Rebel

Paul Micallef, Aspergers from the Inside

Amythest Schaber

Examples of positive support sites that showcase Autistic voices

Autistic Allies: not fixing autistics everywhere

Learn From Autistics


Some books positive and proactive books written by pro-Neurodiverse positive people

10 Rules, Damian Milton

A mismatch of Salience, Damian Milton

Anthology, All the weight of our dreams

Neurotribes, Steve Silberman

The reason I jump, Naoki Higashida

Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight: A young man’s voice from the silence of autism, Naoki Higashida

Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Understanding Life Experiences from Early Childhood to Old Age, Sarah Hendrickx

Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Adults, Dr. Luke Beardon

Anthology, Bittersweet on the Autism Spectrum (Insider Intelligence)

The Guide to Good Mental Health on the Autism Spectrum, Contributions

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar, Chris Packham

The Autism Spectrum Guide to Sexuality and Relationships: Understand Yourself and Make Choices that are Right for You, Emma Goodall

It’s an Autism thing, Emma Dalmayne

An Insider’s guide to Asperger Syndrome, Ian Hale

Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder), Lianne Holliday Willey

Loud Hands: Autistic people speaking, Anthology

Authoring Autism, Melanie Yergeau

Difference Not Disorder: Understanding Autism Theory in Practice, Dr. Catherine Harvey

Naming Adult Autism: Culture, Science, Identity, James McGrath

Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women, Dr. Sarah Bargiela

The Parents’ Practical Guide to Resilience for Preteens and Teenagers on the Autism Spectrum, Dr. Emma Goodall, Jeanette Purkiss

Representing Autism: Culture, Narrative, Fascination, Stuart Murray

Worlds of Autism: Across the Spectrum of Neurological Difference, Joyce Davison

Understanding and Evaluating Autism Theory, Nick Chown

Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life, Cynthia Kim

I Think I Might Be Autistic: A Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis and Self-Discovery for Adults, Cynthia Kim

Nobody Nowhere: The Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic Girl, Donna Williams

Girls and Autism, Barry Carpenter

Re-Thinking Autism: Diagnosis, Identity and Equality, Katherine Runswick-Cole

Trauma, Stigma, and Autism: Developing Resilience and Loosening the Grip of Shame, Gordon Gates

The Nine Degrees of Autism: A Developmental Model for the Alignment and Reconciliation of Hidden Neurological Conditions, Phillip Wylie

Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism: Voices from Across the Spectrum, Eva Mendes

Inclusive Education for Autistic Children: Helping Children and Young People to Learn and Flourish in the Classroom, Dr. Rebecca Wood


Therapist Neurodiversity Collective is a collective that believes that our therapy practices must contribute to a world in which autistic and other neurodivergent people equitable equal access, rights, and opportunities. We advocate neurodiversity, self-determination, dignity, respect of individual rights, sensory preferences, and the power to say “no”. Every member pledges to provide culturally competent, trauma-sensitive, empathetic care.

We believe that it is critical for us to really listen to autistic and other neurodivergent people, to be mentored, and to conduct our therapy practices accordingly. In no particular order, these are some of the neurodivergent educators, advocates, and activists, we follow on Facebook:

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

The Autistic Advocate

Autistic Allies

Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint

Autism Inclusivity

The Autistic Cooperative


Better Ways Than ABA

Thinking Persons Guide to Autism

ABA UK Autism Discussion

Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Lending Library

The Autistic Avenger

Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network

Âûtistic News Feed

Autistic UK

Communication First

A4A: Public Page