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What I Have Learned From Autistic Adults

By Rosemarie Griffin

How can you truly understand the world of autism through a child? It might be difficult because they are navigating their world and learning too. One of the most amazing ways to understand and learn about autism is through autistic adults. I have truly learned so much from some incredible autistic adults! So today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite reels with some powerful facts about autism from adults that have harnessed the power of autism and are sharing it with others! Let’s take a look at what I have learned from autistic adults! 

Autism Is Not An Illness @brittanyelizabeth @Tacobellqween

This fantastic reel gives you perspective. Brittany Elizabeth aka Tacobellqween has an incredible TikTok and Instagram of reels featuring her relationship with her brother Ryan. Ryan has autism and the reels share their relationship, but most importantly Ryan shares some incredible information about autism. In this reel, Autism is Not an Illness, Ryan says, “Autism is NOT an illness, Autism is how the brain functions. That’s what autism is!” It truly gives you a different perspective and provides context to remember autism is not an illness that we are trying to cure. An autism diagnosis just means a brain functions differently. How powerful of a statement to remember when working with children with autism. Remembering the word neurodivergent here really is important because this is just about how someone learns, not about having an illness.

Barriers She Broke Through – Sharing Her Autism Journey @britini_dangelo 

Another incredible reel that has so much incredible information about how to grow and learn, and ultimately persevere with autism is a reel by Brittni D’Angelo. She not only was the first female Big Brother player with autism, (Any Big Brother fans out there?) but this reel shares her journey from being a young child saying her first word at 3.5 and beginning to talk! How huge! She moves on to being in the gifted and talented program, independently participating in sports including karate, which she eventually earns a black belt in, and from there to graduating college as Valedictorian! Other people doubted her success, but she proves autism doesn’t hold you back, it just takes you down a different path. 

Autism Is A Family Journey @giacimiceli

This incredible reel follows a mother’s journey in supporting her son after his autism diagnosis and how a family rallies around Giaci to empower and support him throughout growing into the adult he is now. The goal of this family was always to allow Giaci to be the best version of himself. This reel is truly powerful and full of positive emotions! The reel begins with Giaci’s diagnosis at 2 years old, and the journey of learning, fighting, and protecting Giaci as a family throughout his years of growing up. Giaci’s sister says, “My mom has always made sure that we know Giaci was more than enough.” This really is an incredible reel proving the power of knowledge, support, and compassion can make all of the difference in a person’s life. Giaci’s mother has become a powerful advocate in the autism community and  is definitely one to follow. There is never a reason to lose hope, just maintain that fierceness to fight for the ones you love to give them the life they deserve! 
Wow! Those reels are so incredibly powerful in helping individuals understand not only the challenges of an autism diagnosis, but also the love, support, success, and ability to overcome those challenges is possible. Autistic adults have so much power in sharing their stories with the generations of young, autistic children and their families to prove that autism and neurodiversity is not an illness, but rather the way a brain works differently! I hope to continue to learn from autistic adults and continue sharing with all of you!


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Here's a free resource–

IEP Goal Bank

Writing IEPs for autistic learners can feel daunting.

From this free download, you'll get real-life examples of specific, measurable goals for expressive language, receptive language, play skills, and imitation.

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