Remember Their Humanity: On the Ethics of Letting Autistic Kids Be Kids by Jude Afolake Olubodun and Terra Vance

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Learning Objectives

  • Describe the ways autistic childhood and adolescent experiences impact autistic adulthood
  • Explore how social norms, academia, capitalism, and insurance companies influence behavior goals
  • Deconstruct goals and reformulate them in the mindful and intentional framework of harm-reduction
  • Analyze how short-term behavioral gains may impact long-term outcomes
  • Discern how biases may reflect harmful values that violate practitioner ethics

Presenter Bios

Terra Vance, MS in psychology, BS in secondary education in English and language arts, is a Melungeon of Romani and Native American heritage who grew up in a coal mining camp in West Virginia. She is autistic, dyslexic, ADHD, and has traumatic brain injury. Vance was a secondary English teacher for 14 years and a DBT counselor for two before founding NeuroClastic, an autistic-led nonprofit. Now, she spends her days working various roles as NeuroClastic’s CEO. Her passions include decolonizing systemic structures, literature (especially Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man), building healthier communities, unpacking and reconnecting to ancestral culture, all things plants, and parenting her wonderfully autistic child. Any pronouns.

Jude is a Black, trans, and autistic parent of two gender non-conforming children, an educator in transformative justice, harm reduction, and the decolonization of the fight for survival. Jude teaches what it means to be in community and in struggle with one another to seek healing, and understanding and deconstructing white supremacy and imperialism in all forms so that people are no longer robbed of humanity and can reach mutual liberation.

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