What is an autism-friendly city and how does one go about declaring an entire city to be autism-friendly?
Thursday night, October 25 at 9 pm Eastern/6 pm Pacific, on our weekly Mental Health Social Interest Group call, my guest is Dr. Linda Barboa.
Dr. Barboa is Co-founder of Stars 4 Autism, author of more than twenty books on autism and the author of the book, Blueprint for an Autism Friendly City: How Battlefield Became the First Autism Friendly City in Missouri. Call information is below.
But to answer the above question, as someone on the spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, it would look like a place where I was understood and accepted, even though they knew I was different.
It would be a place where people knew the difference between a meltdown and a tantrum (even an adult tantrum) and accept it for what it is.
It would also be a place where those of us who are non-verbal would be understood for using different methods of communication and not looked at as some big dummy who can’t talk.
It would be a place where discussions would be full of, “Why?” Or “Can you explain that to me?” because discussions would be taking place between those on both sides of the spectrum.
That’s a really important one for those off the spectrum to learn. We crave knowledge and use it to make our decision. If we ask why or ask for more information, we’re not questioning you; we simply want ore information to understand it better.
That’s what I’d like to see in an autism-friendly city. What would you like to see?
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Photo credit: Photo Courtesy Stars 4 Autism