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Today, I participated in a panel discussion and Q&A at the local mental health clinic, addressing how caseworkers, social workers, advocates, doctors, therapists and government workers associated with the Department of Education, Social Security, Administration on Developmental Disabilities, and other agencies could learn to cope with the huge wave of new diagnoses of autism in schools, public health, and social security, and how to do it in a way that respects the rights and dignity of the autistic individuals.

There were four people on the panel, and I was one of two autistic speakers. The other two were a social worker who has a son with autism, and a representative of a social work institution.

This is the first time this has ever happened, I’ve always been the token autie before. Oh the times they are a-changin’!