Autism: Looking Back on 2019 and Ahead to 2020

Spectrum Autism 2019 Year in Review


Spectrum is a fine source for articles on many aspects of autism. Here’s their “2019: Year in Review.” Included are:

  • Research papers
  • A photo essay on life with autism
  • Five hot topics
  • “Standout stories”
  • Fun quotes

And the special feature doesn’t stop there; it looks ahead and offers a vision for 2020.

Grounded Planes Take Flight in Congo

Fantasy Planes in Congo


In this remarkable Telegraph photo essay, children in a bleak landscape have little but to play in, around, and on a series of abandoned jetliners. Evidently, these airplanes provide a flight of fancy, a respite, however fleeting. Many of these photos were in an earlier Daily Mail piece.


Toy and model airplanes have been part of my youthful fantasy. In fact, planes like the DC-8 shown, were those Space Age miracles that I flew on. Still in touch with my childhood self, these planes still evoke emotion.


In this portrayal, however, innocence has but all been lost.


Greta Thunberg Has a Message for the World. TIME Is Listening


Greta Thunberg - Time Person of the Year

Greta Thunberg earned Time’s coveted Person of the Year. The challenges her Asperger’s present aside, she has drawn on her talents and strengths to lead the world to a better, more sustainable future.

Rethinking Stimming in Autism

Spectrum Article on Stimming - Screen Shot

Rethinking repetitive behaviors in autism. Once seen as not socially appropriate behavior, stimming is gaining acceptance. Awareness of the benefits these actions offer autistic individuals in their quest to participate fully in society is increasing. “It’s important [for researchers] to recognize that it’s the way autistic people move through our world and engage with it,” says Raya, one of the subjects of this article. “It’s part of the way we learn and process information, and it’s a way we express our feelings and communicate.”

To read the full article and download a copy, click here.


Both Caroll Spinney and Fred Rogers Remembered What It Was Like to Be a Child

Thirteen Big Bird Fred Rogers

“It’s not easy being green. It seems you blend in with so many ordinary things. People tend to pass you over. But green is the color of spring. And green can be cool and friendly. And green can be big like a mountain. Or tall as a tree. Or big as a sea.” So Big Bird’s – and Caroll Spinney’s tribute went to Jim Henson. He liked himself just the way he was.

One day, Big Bird noticed a familiar face at Mister Hooper’s Store. It wasn’t until after he raced Snuffleupagus it dawned on him. Fortunately, the soft-spoken man came back for a visit. “Mister Rogers, What do you think about hugging Big Birds?”

“I don’t know. I have never tried.”

“I like you, Mister Rogers.”

“I like you, Big Bird.”

“I think most people completely forget what it was like being a kid by the time they grow up,” Caroll Spinney said in a 1982 New York Times interview. “But I never got over it.”

The same could be said of both Rogers and Spinney. With empathy, they both related to children, the very essence of what it is to be human.