Friday, December 30, 2011

2011: The TPGA Year In Review

Liz Ditz

What a year! We published 189 posts from 114 authors, many new to Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. The complete list is below the fold.

We branched out. I started to categorize the blog posts using the section headings from the book, and realized a lot of the posts didn't exactly fit. We published a lot more posts by autistics, and more on adult issues in autism. Advocacy wasn't a heading in the book, but was a big subject this year, and into the future. Technology and research were also covered with more posts than in previous years.

Thinking Person's Guide to Autism went to, and reported on, conferences: the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, Hacking Autism's App Hackathon, UCSF's Developmental Disabilities Conference, and BlogHer.  In terms of virtual events, we observed Autism Awareness Month by posting daily, and promoted and reported on Autistics Speaking Day.

In 2011, our  Facebook page ( developed a lively community of its own.  We use it not just to publicize posts here, also but to put up short articles and links of interest to the community.

There were two big events here: One was the Self-Advocate/Parent Dialogues, which began on September 19 and ran until September 30. About these conversations, TPGA editor, self-advocate, and autism parent Carol Greenburg wrote:
The thing about conflict resolution is that it requires conflict, which is messy, no matter how sensitively it's handled. Just because it's inevitable doesn't mean it's not annoying. In fact, in my experience, speaking as an individual unable to fully represent any community of any kind, the more annoying the task, the more important it is.
Editor Shannon Rosa wrote:
This has been, and will continue to be, an imperfect process. It will continue to be hard work. It will also require a lot of tolerance for the mess and the imperfection, and eyes on the larger prizes of dialogue and constructive conversations.
The other big event was the long-awaited release of our book, The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism, followed by Steven Silberman's review, naming it his "Book of the Year."

What is in store for 2012? Running more wonderful posts from you, our community, and more autism advocacy.

On behalf of the entire Thinking Person's Guide to Autism editorial team, I want to express our  deep thanks and gratitude for our readers and contributors.

The Complete List of 2011 posts, in alphabetical order by last name.  (On section assignments and the ordering of the list:  the assignment to section is for some posts, arbitrary, as they might have fit in another. Interviews and transcriptions of talks are listed by the person's name, rather than the interviewer or the transcriber.  Rather than ordering the list chronologically, I chose to alphabetize by last name.)

Autistics on Autism
Issues in Adult Autism: Transition Issues, 
Employment, Housing, and ...
Practical Advice for Autistics, Autism Parents,  and Others 
After the Autism Diagnosis: First Steps 
Caregiving and Autism 
Therapies And Service Providers 
Causation Theories and Dubious Therapies 
Autism Acceptance and Inclusion from the Parents' or Neurotypicals' Point of View 
Autism — Parent Voices 
School and Education Issues 
Technology and Assistive Devices
Autism Research 
Issues in Advocacy (Autistic Self-Advocacy, Parental Advocacy, and Other Issues) 
Announcements from the Editors