Tsara's Column: Autism, Inclusion and More
Updated/Revised Date: 2022-12-17
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)
Additional References: Tsara's Column Publications
Synopsis: 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 various other 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 about 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 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 behavior 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. It 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 frequently 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 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 wholly 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 remarkable, so what can I do? I have got to include it.)
Apart from being a contributing editor to Disabled World, I also manage SexualDiversity.org, a web site focused on a wide range of sexually diverse topics including disability sexuality issues. My personal blog can be found at tsarashelton.com. You also can find my latest posts by following @TsaraShelton on Twitter.
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
|Latest Tsara's Column Publications|
|The Strawman Argument: Information and Examples|
Description and examples of strawman fallacy, a fallacious argument that distorts an opposing stance to make it easier to attack.
Publish Date: 2022-11-29
|Gaslighting: Definition, Examples, Recognizing the Abuse|
Article on Gaslighting, a colloquialism used to describe psychological abuse in which a person or group manipulates another person or a group into questioning their reality or mental state.
Publish Date: 2022-10-31 - Updated: 2022-11-29
|A Lack of Ideas|
I don't have new ideas; I tend to do things how I see them done or how I've been taught to do them. Never do I think to myself this is cumbersome or imperfect; I wonder if there's a better way.
Publish Date: 2022-10-27
|Watch Where Your Words Come From|
Tsara Shelton writes on how the power of language is more about knowing our words are tools we use to share something grander than the words themselves.
Publish Date: 2022-08-03
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