That's My IL

What does “That’s My IL” mean? It means something different to each person who comes through our doors. IL philosophy values dignity, resourcefulness, and freedom of choice for all people with disabilities. The way someone overcomes barriers to living independently is a core part of what “That’s My IL” stands for. It is the personal journey that leads someone to becoming more independent, examples include: learning how to use the public transit system, advocating for personal needs, requesting an accommodation at work, or getting an accessible apartment. That’s My IL stories are here to celebrate the strength of ingenuity that lives in the disability world.

Do you have a story to share? Call Independence, Inc., at 701-839-4724.

Taylor Ulch: A Chick on the Spectrum

    Taylor Ulch is a 2017 Community Leadership Academy Alumna.  Originally from Minot, she is continuing to work as a disability advocate from her new home in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

April 5, 2018 is World Autism Awareness Day...

Here’s what a chick on the spectrum wants you to know: 
  
What Does Autism Look Like?

  • The truth is, you can’t tell that someone is autistic by looking at them. Unless you’re a clinical psychologist who specializes in spectrum disorders, it’s also pretty unlikely that you would guess after spending an hour with them.

  • Autism has always existed, it just wasn’t recognized until the early 20th century. Also no, autism is not caused by vaccines, food dyes, witchcraft, or any other weird thing you’ve heard.

  • It’s important to remember that autistic children become autistic adults. Autism is stereotyped as being a children’s disability, and resources are often tailored exclusively to autistic children and/or their families, completely ignoring autistic adults.

  • Women and girls are more likely to go undiagnosed or to be misdiagnosed. Females are often diagnosed with ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, or Bipolar Disorder before finding their correct diagnosis of ASD. Women are also much more likely to be diagnosed as adults.
        
Functioning Labels vs. Support Levels

  • Terms like “low functioning” or “high functioning” are generally considered to be outdated and problematic . They are no longer diagnostically relevant and they are often used to deny autistics resources/self-agency.

  • Autism is a wide spectrum, and areas in which an individual may need extra assistance vary. The level of need is also fluid, depending on stress levels, mood, and other factors.

  • Many autistics prefer to use “support levels” to convey which areas they may need assistance and to what degree. For example, most days I need low support in managing my routine, but need medium support with medication reminders and high support with meal preparation.

  • Utilizing support levels empowers me to ask for help where I need it, without the weighted stigma of a catch-all functioning label. It’s also more appropriate for use by anyone with a chronic illness or disability.

 
Nothing About Us, Without Us! #RedInstead

  • #RedInstead is a movement started by autistics as an alternative to the Light It Up Blue Campaign run by Autism Speaks.

  • Autism Speaks’ advertising depends on offensive and outdated rhetoric of fear and pity, presenting the lives of autistic people as tragic burdens on our families and society. In its advertising, Autism Speaks has compared being autistic to being kidnapped , dying of a natural disaster , having a fatal disease, and countless other inappropriate analogies.

  • Only 4% of funds donated to Autism Speaks are reinvested in services and supports for autistic people and our families. Only 1% of Autism Speaks’ research budget goes towards research on service quality and less than one-quarter of 1% goes towards research on the needs of autistic adults.

  • Not a single member of Autism Speaks leadership is on the Spectrum, and they have actively rejected qualified autistic candidates.
 
Autism Appreciation Month

  • In April and year-round, you can help spread awareness and acceptance.

  • Support autistic voices and autistic lead organizations, such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and Autism Women’s Network.

  • Do not use the slur r*tard/r*tarded, or use Aspergers/Autism as a joke or personality trait.

  • Please be patient with autistic people if we’re having trouble understanding what you mean or having difficulty accomplishing certain tasks. We’re trying our best!

  • Ask an autistic you know about their special interest!

  • Remember that fidget spinners and other stim objects are not toys.

  • Believe autistics when they tell you that many of their autistic traits have a positive impact on their life. Many of us don’t want to be ‘cured’.

  • We only want to be accepted for who we are as individuals, just like everyone else.



Taylor Ulch: A Chick on the Spectrum
    Taylor Ulch is a 2017 Community Leadership Academy Alumna.  Originally from Minot, she is continuing to work as a disability advocate from her new home in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

April 5, 2018 is World Autism Awareness Day...

Here’s what a chick on the spectrum wants you to know: 
  
What Does Autism Look Like?

  • The truth is, you can’t tell that someone is autistic by looking at them. Unless you’re a clinical psychologist who specializes in spectrum disorders, it’s also pretty unlikely that you would guess after spending an hour with them.

  • Autism has always existed, it just wasn’t recognized until the early 20th century. Also no, autism is not caused by vaccines, food dyes, witchcraft, or any other weird thing you’ve heard.

  • It’s important to remember that autistic children become autistic adults. Autism is stereotyped as being a children’s disability, and resources are often tailored exclusively to autistic children and/or their families, completely ignoring autistic adults.

  • Women and girls are more likely to go undiagnosed or to be misdiagnosed. Females are often diagnosed with ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, or Bipolar Disorder before finding their correct diagnosis of ASD. Women are also much more likely to be diagnosed as adults.
        
Functioning Labels vs. Support Levels

  • Terms like “low functioning” or “high functioning” are generally considered to be outdated and problematic . They are no longer diagnostically relevant and they are often used to deny autistics resources/self-agency.

  • Autism is a wide spectrum, and areas in which an individual may need extra assistance vary. The level of need is also fluid, depending on stress levels, mood, and other factors.

  • Many autistics prefer to use “support levels” to convey which areas they may need assistance and to what degree. For example, most days I need low support in managing my routine, but need medium support with medication reminders and high support with meal preparation.

  • Utilizing support levels empowers me to ask for help where I need it, without the weighted stigma of a catch-all functioning label. It’s also more appropriate for use by anyone with a chronic illness or disability.

 
Nothing About Us, Without Us! #RedInstead

  • #RedInstead is a movement started by autistics as an alternative to the Light It Up Blue Campaign run by Autism Speaks.

  • Autism Speaks’ advertising depends on offensive and outdated rhetoric of fear and pity, presenting the lives of autistic people as tragic burdens on our families and society. In its advertising, Autism Speaks has compared being autistic to being kidnapped , dying of a natural disaster , having a fatal disease, and countless other inappropriate analogies.

  • Only 4% of funds donated to Autism Speaks are reinvested in services and supports for autistic people and our families. Only 1% of Autism Speaks’ research budget goes towards research on service quality and less than one-quarter of 1% goes towards research on the needs of autistic adults.

  • Not a single member of Autism Speaks leadership is on the Spectrum, and they have actively rejected qualified autistic candidates.
 
Autism Appreciation Month

  • In April and year-round, you can help spread awareness and acceptance.

  • Support autistic voices and autistic lead organizations, such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and Autism Women’s Network.

  • Do not use the slur r*tard/r*tarded, or use Aspergers/Autism as a joke or personality trait.

  • Please be patient with autistic people if we’re having trouble understanding what you mean or having difficulty accomplishing certain tasks. We’re trying our best!

  • Ask an autistic you know about their special interest!

  • Remember that fidget spinners and other stim objects are not toys.

  • Believe autistics when they tell you that many of their autistic traits have a positive impact on their life. Many of us don’t want to be ‘cured’.

  • We only want to be accepted for who we are as individuals, just like everyone else.





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