TPP 340: Meghan Ashburn and Jules Edwards on Autistic Adults, Autism Parents, and the Children Who Deserve a Better World
My guests today are on a mission to show parents that there are different ways of approaching autism beyond what they’re told in doctors or therapists offices. Meghan Ashburn and Jules Edwards, co-authors of the book I Will Die on This Hill: Autistic Adults, Autism Parents, and the Children Who Deserve a Better World, are making it really clear that there is no one size fits all for any families and that there is so much to learn from just listening more.
Meghan Ashburn is a continuous learner, educational consultant, parent mentor, and co-author of I Will Die On This Hill. She's passionate about helping schools create more inclusive, accessible environments. Her online book club has over 10K members, and releases book recommendation lists on autism and neurodiversity. Meghan advocates for communication rights and inclusion at the local, state, and national level. She sits on her school district's Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) and is a recent graduate of Virginia's Partners in Policymaking.
Jules Edwards is a neurodivergent Anishinaabe writer, gardener, accountant, and disability justice advocate. She is the parent of neurodivergent Afro Indigenous people, and care provider to many neurodivergent children throughout the years. Jules is passionate about building community and works to improve child safety and disability policy.
Current roles include: care work of disabled youth, co-founder of Minnesota Autistic Alliance, board member for the Minnesota Ombudsman for American Indian Families, board member of The Arc Minnesota. She serves as the elected chairperson of the Minnesota Autism Council, a workgroup of the Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee.
Things you'll learn from this episode
- What disability justice is
- Ways that allistic and autistic parents raising autistic children can work together toward our common goals for our kids
- The harms of a continual pursuit for “normal” in ways that don’t respect or embrace our kids’ neurodivergence
- Why self-determination should be the goal over “independence”
- Ways that allistic parents may be perpetuating ableism without realizing it
- What an “autism moon” is and why ideal for families who are navigating a new diagnosis of autism
- Meghan Ashburn’s website Not an Autism Mom
- Meghan Ashburn’s Au-Some Book Club
I Will Die on This Hill: Autistic Adults, Autism Parents, and the Children Who Deserve a Better World by Meghan Ashburn and Jules Edwards
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a 13-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida
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