Tsara's Column: Autism, Inclusion and More
Disabled World (disabled-world.com)
Revised/Updated: Thursday, 3rd December 2020
Synopsis and Key Points:
Tsara writes about growing up in a diverse household and raising a family of her own.
By the time I was twelve my mom had adopted four boys, all with autism and other various diagnosis and cognitive challenges. My younger sister and I had different reactions to our growing family. She was thrilled to have such unique brothers to play with. I was nervous about how our lives would change, uncertain how to behave around this new brood, and aware that I should feel otherwise.
Thus began my lifelong quest to connect with my brothers, understand my own reactions, and advocate for inclusion. Well, that and a mom who insisted I do so. And I mean insisted.
My name is Tsara and I'm the oldest daughter of international brain change and behaviour expert Dr. Lynette Louise ("The Brain Broad"). I've been working as her part-time personal assistant for over ten years and hope to continue doing so until we have nothing to advocate for. (So, probably at least another year. Might take that long for the world to be peaceful, inclusive, and fully understanding of difference. Right? ;D)
Long before my mom became a renowned mental health expert specializing in autism, she was the single mom of eight kids - six adopted (she adopted two teenage girls as well as my four brothers) and all entirely unique. Mom herself has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome so it's no surprise she's always been drawn to loving and living with outliers.
However, I have always been somewhat the opposite. I was not comfortable being uncomfortable, and liked things to be "normal" so we wouldn't stand out or be cornered so often into awkward confrontations.
This is one of the reasons my brothers were the greatest gift in my life. They encouraged me to look at the world differently, they inspired me to become comfortable being uncomfortable, and they moved me often to change my mind.
Eventually, I had four sons of my own. This was the final push I needed to willingly (if not nervously) contribute my voice and ideas to the ongoing discourse in disability advocacy and culture. I wanted the world they were growing up in to be as diverse and inclusive as the home I grew up in.
I find the most honest way I can encourage shifts in thinking is by shifting my own thinking and exploring my experiences in writing. And so most of my contributions are of that nature; suggestions for change with an invitation that others add their input as well.
I also write about things my mom is doing, keeping people updated regarding any upcoming projects or books she has in the works. These are totally informational posts and not at all me adding my opinion of how awesome my mom is. (Okay, maybe a little opinion. I mean, it's also good information when I say my mom is awesome, so what can I do? I gotta include it.)
Feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments about anything I write. As I said, I write to invite experience and idea sharing. I hope you'll join me.
Subtopics and Associated Subjects
- 1 - Why We Revolt: A Patient Revolution for Careful and Kind Care : Tsara Shelton (2020/12/28)
- 2 - The Brain Broad's COVID-19 Response : Tsara Shelton (2020/12/03)
- 3 - In Service : U.S. Memorial Day 2020 : Tsara Shelton (2020/05/25)
- 4 - The Brain Broad Talks about Lust: Helping Teenagers with Autism through Puberty and Beyond : Tsara Shelton (2020/04/11)
- 5 - Autism ABCs and Fix it in Five: Free from The Brain Broad for April and Beyond : Tsara Shelton (2020/04/09)
- 6 - World Autism Awareness Day with The Brain Broad : Tsara Shelton (2020/04/02)
- 7 - The Novel Coronavirus and Your Autistic Child : Dr. Lynette Louise D.Sc., Ph.D. ABD (2020/03/19)
Tsara's Column: Full Document List
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