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Tsara's Column: Autism, Inclusion and More

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-06-30
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (
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Synopsis: Tsara writes about growing up in a diverse household and raising a family of her own.


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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.

This section also includes an additional 17 publications relating to Tsara's Column including:

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, a web site focused on a wide range of sexually diverse topics including disability sexuality issues. My personal blog can be found at You can follow 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.

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Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.


Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.

Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, June 30). Tsara's Column: Autism, Inclusion and More. Disabled World. Retrieved October 2, 2022 from

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