Two new blogs you need to read this new year

31 Dec

You may recall, Dear Reader, that earlier this year Change.org made a big splash when they advertised for an autism blogger for their increasingly popular social action network website. From blogs all over the autism blogosphere, readers and potential authors were urged to apply, apply, apply.

Of course it goes without saying that this was in itself a political act – I doubt very much if Change.org were quite prepared for the utter deluge of applications that hit them. I have it on good authority that applications ran into the thousands and has been by far the biggest launch Change.org have held.

Age of Autism, with its usual inherent crassness, not only informed their readers of this but also posted the private home phone number of one of the owners of Change.org. As ever, the people on that side of the fence show a startling lack of good social skills for a group that believe genes play a secondary role to vaccines.

Did I apply? Yep. Did I get it? Nope. Am I happy about that? I actually am. I would’ve loved to have carried a neurodiversity message into the heart of the largest growing social action network on the web today but although I made it to the final round, I didn’t make the final hurdle. C’est la vie.

So why am I happy? Because in a burst of what can only be described as genius planning from Change.org they have decided to appoint not one, but _two_ autism bloggers.

So what? I hear you say. Well, so, the first blogger is the truly amazing Kristina Chew. Someone whos blog will be required reading. Someone who is quite firmly on the side of autistic people.

But the absolute best thing is the second blogger. Change.org decided that they would have an autism blogger who was autistic. They settled for Dora Raymaker – an ASAN Director alongside Ari Ne’eman.

This makes Change.org the very first non-autie run political (with a small p) organisation in the US to appoint an autistic person to talk about autism. Think about that. Change.org beat ASA, Autism Speaks etc to appoint an autistic person to express an autistic viewpoint.

I am very excited about these two new autism blogs. I am thrilled that these two people beat off the competition (including me) to take a pro-autistic advocacy message to the heart of this website and this new way of campaigning. Well done Kristina, well done Dora – well done Change.org

Truly, a happy new year for autism advocacy.

NB: Official launch is not until 7th Jan so the blog will be in a state of flux for awhile. Don’t go expecting the finish product. But DO GO and join! Its expected to fully OPERATIONAL however by Jan 2nd.

31 Responses to “Two new blogs you need to read this new year”

  1. Another Voice December 31, 2008 at 21:29 #

    What an encouraging note to end the year!

  2. CS December 31, 2008 at 22:07 #

    I’m not surprised. Change.org is a politically progressive website.

  3. Club 166 December 31, 2008 at 22:56 #

    This is, indeed, encouraging.

    Congrats to them both!

    Joe

  4. Joseph December 31, 2008 at 23:06 #

    Change.org decided that they would have an autism blogger who was autistic.

    Ok, now I’m damn impressed.

  5. Socrates December 31, 2008 at 23:37 #

    Very good news.

  6. Justthisguy December 31, 2008 at 23:47 #

    Oh frabjous day! Calloo, Callay! Intralimina is one of my favorite people on the Web and I try to read her LJ every day. It is of course, also very kewl&wonderful that my favorite Latin prof is also included.

  7. Clay January 1, 2009 at 00:32 #

    Well done, oh yes! I clicked the link to Dora’s page, and found it excellent!

  8. Judi January 1, 2009 at 01:19 #

    This is SUCH exciting news! Very impressed with these choices.

  9. misha_k January 1, 2009 at 02:14 #

    This is such great news.

  10. Maddy January 1, 2009 at 05:07 #

    Yeah! What a spiffing new start to the year!
    Congratulations

  11. Dora January 1, 2009 at 08:48 #

    Well done Kev also, thank you so much for your kind post here!

  12. kristina January 1, 2009 at 11:11 #

    [blushing]
    Kev, you and everyone on the Hub are a longtime inspiration, and constant support. Thank you!

  13. Lisa January 1, 2009 at 16:21 #

    Excellent choices. Should be a big voice in the autism world! Good luck, Kristina and Dora!

    Lisa Rudy (autism.about.com)

  14. Aspie Bird January 1, 2009 at 19:46 #

    Good news!!

  15. Aspie Bird January 1, 2009 at 19:47 #

    Congratulations!! That’s good news!

  16. Harold L Doherty January 2, 2009 at 02:33 #

    “the first blogger is the truly amazing Kristina Chew. Someone whos blog will be required reading. Someone who is quite firmly on the side of autistic people.”

    Uh well Ms Chew is quite firmly on the side of those high functioning autistic people who subscribe to Neurodiversity,anti-cure ideology.

    As you know there are high functioning autistic people who disagree with the ND ideology and who do not see Ms Chew as on their side, firmly or otherwise.

    There are also many parents seeking cures for their autistic children and loved ones, the lower functioning ones who can not speak on their own behalf who do not see Ms Chew as on their side.

    But you already knew these things so please carry on.

  17. Sullivan January 2, 2009 at 04:06 #

    Dora, Kristina–

    I’m glad to see you on change.org! Very glad that they have an autistic blogger. Very glad to see an autism parent.

  18. Kev January 2, 2009 at 10:47 #

    Harold thanks for the strawman. My child is ‘ low functioning ‘ as is Kristina’s . Please take your pompous lawyer tricks elsewhere.

  19. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) January 2, 2009 at 11:32 #

    well, Kev… i was going to say something similar regarding HLD’s lawyer tricks and his strawman in particular…

    that someone can be so crass really is worrying.

  20. Linda January 2, 2009 at 17:31 #

    Congratulations! Your words are best shared with everyone: you are politically astute and well-positioned to bring autism into the new year.

    Residential and day services are needed starting at age 22!

    Hope to continue hearing about your son’s progress; especially with music!

    Linda

  21. Phil Schwarz January 3, 2009 at 07:24 #

    What Joseph said!
    Congratulations, Kristina and Dora!
    I think they are excellent choices to help move the public discourse about autism — and ultimately policymaking about autism — away from the endless debates over causation and “cures”, and towards the things that really matter, both to so-called “high functioning” and so-called “low functioning” autistic people: housing, education, employment, healthcare, and living in the community as consumer and citizen. All of us do each of these in some manner, regardless of ability or disability. And support for all of these goes neglected because too much political and policymaking focus is wasted elsewhere.

  22. Anne January 3, 2009 at 09:09 #

    I just joined up today. Outstanding blogging by Dora and Kristina already.

  23. Harold L Doherty January 3, 2009 at 16:31 #

    Mr. Schwarz

    In case you have not noticed there are many people, including parents who, unlike Ms Chew do not subscribe to Neurodiversity, anti-cure ideology, who do not want research and dialogue to move away from the search for a cure for their children’s neurological disorders.

    Kev, if you have decided that you would not cure your severely autistic child in the event that a cure becomes available, that is your choice to make not mine. I do not pretend to understand your reasoning.

    If a safe, effective, cure does become available some day and you, as a parent, refuse treatment on behalf of your child, you may have to discuss it with state authorities in whatever jurisdiction you reside in but it is still not my business to tell you not to seek treatment for your child’s severe neurological disorder.

    Nor is it your business, or Ms Chew’s, to tell more traditional parents who seek to help their children overcome such a debilitating disorder not to seek treatment.
    You can insult, mock and demean until the cows come home but you will always be wasting your time. Sensible parents will ignore your ideology.

    But if it makes you feel better as a person to insult parents fighting on behalf of THEIR children, not yours, or Ms Chews, … then carry on. I am sure they give your remarks the weight they deserve.

  24. jypsy January 3, 2009 at 18:06 #

    I hear Dr. Chew is pro ABA. Imagine!! And there she is blogging in public! What about all the parents who don’t subscribe to her pro-ABA beliefs?! How could they have chosen a blogger with that kind of ideology?! And an autistic (Ms, Raymaker) to boot… what were they thinking??! A pro-ABA parent with a barely verbal son in a special autism class and an autistic woman. Reality check needed…

  25. Dedj January 3, 2009 at 18:38 #

    Yes, apart from talking about treatments on her blog, including her son in various autism treatments, and blogging about autism research, Dr Chew is pretty much opposed to dialogue about autism treatment.

    You know, apart from the dialogue she engages in. Routinely. On her blog. Publically. On a easily verifiable and checkable source.

  26. Kev January 3, 2009 at 21:50 #

    Harold, when you can see beyond black and white either/or then you will have grown up enough to be capable of holding your own in this debate. For now, you haven’t.

    Think about it Harold. You are so very pathetic that you post fawning sycophancy on AoA even though you profess not to be believe in an autism/vaccine association. Why? because you are so consumed with misunderstanding for what boils down to respect that you are willing to join up with anyone who stands against those you oppose.

    I respect AoA more than I respect you Harold. At least they have an opinion and a reason. You just have your ignorance and a desperate bleating to be heard.

  27. Socrates January 3, 2009 at 22:45 #

    Harold,

    Sensible parents will ignore your ideology.

    umm, the ideology of scientific rigor?

    Children aren’t going to be cured of autism without rebuilding their brains from scratch. It’s not going to happen in our lifetimes.

    What we will get in out times is genetic screening, pre and post conception.

  28. alyric January 4, 2009 at 17:27 #

    Harold

    What have you been smoking? Even for you, this level of incoherence is most unusual. Krostina Chew, anti-treatment??? Strange, she should be a role model for you – moves halfway round the US in seaerch of the best ABA program and this is bad? I thought you liked ABA. Isn’t it the only effective treatment in your book? Of course Kristina makes it clear that ABA suits Charlie – she’s careful not to assume that that would be the case for others. We also respect her choices – she’s such a reasonable human being you see. So calling someone like Kristina non traditional is sort of dumb and non thinking.

    As for this safe effective cure you carry on about endlessly, where is it? How close are we to having one? If we’re not anywhere close, why do you keep harping on about it as if it were real? You want to look like a bona fide autism advocate don’t you? Maybe you need to get a better grip on reality and leave the magical cure thinking alone for a bit. Reputations still count and yours is looking a little frayed around the edges.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Autism Blog - » Blog Archive » Age of Autism’s reporter of the year 2008 - January 3, 2009

    […] see, David was alluding to the fact that Kristina Chew and Dora Raymaker head been appointed by Change.org to be their autism bloggers. Trouble is that somehow he got the […]

  2. Many Thanks and Then Some - January 5, 2009

    […] adjusting—-I’m very interested in knowing what you think. Thanks to all those—-Kev, Emily, Mike, Lisa—who’ve given the new autism blog a shout-out It’s been […]

  3. Easter Seals and Autism » Blog Archive » Change in the autism blog world, too - August 7, 2009

    […] blog called Left Brain/Right Brain – Autism News and Opinion reported that Change.org’s ad worked well: I doubt very much if Change.org were quite prepared […]

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