Wednesday, October 12, 2011

For My New Reader

I just had someone contact me on Etsy to tell me they loved the blog, and to ask for suggestions on further reading.

I rattled off a few of my favorite bloggers, but also suggested to the person that they check out various aggregator sites (and, I'd like to add, blog carnivals) to look around and see what most appeals to them there.

So, here you go, Olin.

Blog Aggregator Sites
Autism Blogs Directory (mostly personal blogs by autistic people or parents of autistic children)
The Autism Hub (not as big as it used to be, but still going)
wrtAUTISM (has a lot of research-oriented blogs)

Blog Carnivals
Autistics Speaking Day
Blog Against Disablism Day (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006)

Also, if any of you have any ideas for blogs, websites etc. that you consider Essential Reading, feel free to mention it in comments!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Autistic Artist: Justin Canha

An article in the New York Times from a few weeks ago profiled a young man named Justin Canha, who is a very interesting person. He loves to draw, and would like to be an animator or illustrator one day.

The article was about his struggles to find a job and live independently, and the "transition to adulthood" program* that is helping him to do that, but it also mentioned his art, and included a link to his website, where you can see a whole lot of his work, which includes charcoal and pastel drawings, comic strips and Flash animations.

I really like his "Carnivorous Plants" series; they look eerie and alien, but are beautifully colored. The drawings look representational and abstract at the same time, which is an effect I find mesmerizing.

Here are a few of my favorites:

*One thing that stood out to me, reading the article, was how intensively micromanaged his life seems to be! I notice this a lot about the lives of autistic people younger than I am, who have had behavioral therapy throughout their childhoods. I don't doubt that it's helping him learn to navigate the world, and I'm sure graduates of such programs end up better equipped for it than I am (maybe - one blogger has described behavioral therapy as taking away her ability to make decisions on her own, without "rules" to go by), but damn, if that were my life, with someone telling me how to spend every minute of every day, and getting on my case if I wanted to engage in "activities not directly related to finding a job"? I'd be a walking powder keg of fury. I don't respond well to control. I suspect that a large part of the reason I don't have a huge anger problem today is that I am used to having my boundaries respected; I don't feel like I have to explode and destroy things in order to be heard.