IE 2020 Presentations

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Updated: 10 March 2020

Autistic Inertia

Presenter:
Leneh (Kalen)
Description:
Autistic people report a range of difficulties with starting and stopping activities which are often informally called ‘inertia’. Considering how common these problems are, and how much of an impediment they can be to independent functioning, there has been nowhere near enough attention from researchers and clinicians. For the most part, they see these difficulties as 'non-compliance' or 'lacking (social) motivation'.
I believe 'inertia', like autism itself, is actually a number of overlapping issues. At Autscape 2019 in England I began the first phase of my PhD research into this topic. In this presentation I will share some of my findings, including the three main causes of autistic people's difficulty doing things.
I will also share some of the anti-inertia strategies shared by my research participants and that I have developed and collected over the years.

Barriers to primary healthcare and mental health support in the autism community

Presenter:
Stuart Neilson
Description:
Being autistic, we commonly face difficulties accessing healthcare and often have poor physical & mental health. Mutual understanding in communicating our needs is a central difficulty. During Autscape 2018: Exploring Inclusion, this was investigated by means of a discussion workshop and qualitative survey entitled “What do you wish your doctor knew about autism?” Themes were identified for two subsequent quantitative surveys of primary care and mental health services, which examined barriers to accessing GP services. We found that communication was difficult and that reliance on the telephone to book appointments and receive results was particularly disabling. Non-binary autistic people are a large part of the community who face both additional health needs and perceive medicine to be less understanding. We explore ways to engage effectively with our healthcare providers, and discuss current trends in autism training for medical professionals.

“But I could have told you, Vincent”: Critical consumption of harmful narratives

Presenter:
Laura Sommer
Description:
This talk is about critical analysis of harmful narratives in popular culture around the subject of autistic/disabled suicide.
The suicide rate among autistic people is horrifically high and is a shameful testament to an ableist society that keeps failing autistic people in every way imaginable.
This talk focuses on a cultural narrative perpetuated in popular media that though it is really tragic when a disabled/autistic person dies, it is actually better for everyone.
I want to examine this narrative in several pop songs and films (making an intersectional link to the so-called “kill your queers” narrative regarding the LGBTQIA+ characters) and talk about the importance of critically consuming the little representation we encounter and not to internalise that dangerous narrative. I also call for a change of narrative in media representation and a swich from lethargy to outrage regarding autistic/disabled suicide.

Connecting with kindness to our autistic selves through somatic movement

Presenter:
Margaret Link
Description:
To comply with the demands and expectations of a neurotypically led society we may have learned to suppress our autistic selves. We may isolate, dissociate and habitually numb our felt sense experiences to prevent or cope with overwhelm. Somatic Movement is a body oriented self-care practice that encourages us to experience more aliveness and creativity. In a safe, relaxed and non-judgmental environment we develop and connect to a kinder understanding and appreciation of being with our body, autistic behaviours, unique human nature and each other. A typical class consists of gentle stretching and movement, breath awareness, visualisations and deep relaxation. We will spend time to explore what resources us in our daily lives to create greater safety and freedom to express ourselves more fully. Depending on our ability we will be sitting, lying and moving on the floor preferably without shoes and in comfy clothes.

EUCAP: New opportunities through international cooperation

Presenter:
Heta Pukki
Description:
This presentation introduces the European Council of Autistic People (EUCAP), a recently formed umbrella organisation that fosters connections between autistic people’s organisations. Similarities and differences between EUCAP’s eleven member organisations, based in nine countries, will be discussed briefly.
Acting as an international organisation representing large numbers of autistic people creates opportunities that have not been available to national and regional organisations. For example, EUCAP is pursuing associate membership of the European Disability Forum, in the hope of introducing more autistic voices into general disability discourse at the European level. Member organisations can learn about each other through ongoing cooperation and exchange of information, which helps them to identify potential visiting speakers for their events, or suitable partners for international projects. In 2020, one of EUCAP’s goals is to start surveying the needs and priorities of autistic people across Europe in a way that allows meaningful comparisons between countries.

How we got this far: A history of autistic space

Presenter:
Martijn Dekker
Description:
While this conference is all about "New Connections", it is also true that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. So this lecture will give a broad overview of the old connections that have led to these new ones – the birth of autistic community, autistic space and the autistic rights movement in 1992, and how all this gradually developed into the notion of neurodiversity.
A special section will tell the story of how Autscape was born in 2004 and how it overcame some of the challenges it has faced during its 15-year run of yearly Autscape conferences in the UK.

Infinite possibilities: The Power of Connection

Presenter:
Elaine Chapman and Carissa Smith
Description:
The current discourse in third level education often has student needs pitted against what staff feel that they can provide. As we're learning, as staff and students in TU Dublin, this does not have to be the case. What we're learning is that bringing disabled staff and students together can affect institutional change and lead to infinite possibilities for both.

Making sense of autism: Monotropism and the mind as an interest system

Presenter:
Fergus Murray
Description:
I will talk about Monotropism as a theory of autism, which suggests autistic differences can be explained by a tendency to concentrate attention and processing resources tightly. I argue that this ties together the various strands of autistic experience into a coherent whole in a way that no other theory has achieved.
I will discuss why it has taken a long time for many psychologists to take this theory on board, and also its impact since it has started being more widely recognised. I will explore its implications for practice, as well as for how to thrive as an autistic individual.
I will also talk a bit about the way forward from here: what still needs to happen to test the theory and put it onto a firmer scientific basis, and what other ingredients might be needed to provide a truly comprehensive account of autism.

The other half [provisional title]

Presenter:
Yo
Description:
(No description available yet. For an idea of what to expect, see Yo's presentation at Autscape UK 2017.)

What I (don't) know about autism

Presenter:
Jody O'Neill
Description:
An adapted presentation about the play, with video clips. (full description TBA)